EXPLORE EUROPE | 3 DAYS IN LAKE COMO.
The town of Argegno on Lake Como.
We recently returned from a trip to the small town of Argegno in Italy, a treasure destination by the beautiful Lake Como. It truly was one of the most beautiful places. The small town charm, community of friendly, welcoming Italians, and the R&R activities make it a great spot for an executive retreat.
The trip began with a flight out to Milan. The city has 3 airports but the closest and most convenient for Lake Como is Milan Malpensa. The flights are also very reasonably priced out from London and the flight time is around 2 hours give or take 10 minutes. When you arrive in Italy, transfer times to Como is around an hour so it’s important to consider that re check in times.
We did a day in Milan first. An obligatory walk around the city and a stay in Baglioni Hotel Carlton. Milan is a great city, but some would say 1-2 days is enough time to explore the hot spots. It's always super easy to book a cab straight from the airport to the hotel and a lot less hassle than public transport, but - the buses from Malpensa into Milan are so easy and efficient it's almost not worth paying more. It's was around $10 per person, they left every 20 minutes or so, and if you board the right one (ask the drivers for help/give them your hotel) then it's more than likely you'll be dropped within metres of your accommodation. You can read more here.
The following day we took the train from Milan to Como. From the train station we took a 5 minute taxi to the port. We then took a boat to Argegno. Aboard the boat was one of the best places to see the lake and the charming towns surrounding it. The serene mentality of life in Italy is compelling. Every home looks grand, surrounded by lush grass and the tranquility of Lake Como.
The food I was particularly looking forward to. I absolutely adore Italian food; fresh pasta is just everything. We stopped at a beautiful little Italian diner and ate crab linguini.
Eat at pizza at Bar Motta
This great bar is owned by three Italian brothers. Born and raised in Argegno, world travellers, they know everything you need to about Argegno. The place we rented was actually owned by their father (which I wasn't aware of until we ate here!), so they couldn't do enough to help and make us feel at home. They also make killer cocktails.
Take the Argegno funicular to Pigra
I planned in advance to take the funicular to Pigra, but hadn't heard much about it when I arrived, which made me a little sceptical. Undoubtedly a highlight of the trip. Do not miss. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the top in a carriage that if I'm honest feels old and unsafe, but you should give a hour or two to explore the top, get a coffee and admire the views. You can see for miles and it's just the most incredible view of the lake. You have the option to take the funicular back down, or if you're making a day of it you can hike back. Depending on the group, hiking is a great activity for an executive retreat. It constantly bewilders me; these hidden places of the world where people are born and raised. These locals wake up to this every morning and it's just life.
Spend the day in Bellagio
You should take a day from your executive trip and take a boat to the quaint town of Bellagio. This stunning location on the opposite side of the water is great for a spa day and a great dinner. There are a ton of boutiques and mini salons, but I'd recommend booking in advance and visiting Belvedere Hotel for a spa day. Bellagio is a rather wealthy town in Italy so it's a perfect place to get some R&R.
Stay somewhere amazing
Accommodation as usual is my favourite planning element of the trip. I always source venues and locations that are unique. I'm also a big fan of hotels right in the hustle and bustle of it, but for somewhere on Lake Como I think it's a great opportunity to AirBnB or do an apartment hire. I stayed in an amazing rented house, which you could only reach through a long winding walkway and approximately 6 billion steps. The place was serviced and regularly rented to travellers for leisure or corporate trips. I love walking and exploring so for me it was great, although it's worth mentioning that there are no cabs in Argegno, so come rain or shine, half or full bottle of wine (hey that rhymes), the 6 billion step walk up is your only way back home. I quite enjoyed it.