Hill View - Indagare Tours: Hiking , Lake Como, Italy

Indagare Tours: Hiking

The landscape surrounding Lake Como—with sloping, dramatic cliffs and the occasional church perched on the hillside—conjures thoughts of the Swiss Alps (in fact, the Switzerland border is only a 30-minute drive away). The challenging terrain, coupled with stunning views overlooking the lake, makes Como a great destination for those looking to combine down time with more active days. Indagare can arrange daylong hikes or shorter jaunts, the best of which culminates with a sweeping panoramic of the lake on one side and Switzerland on the other. Indagare members can contact the Bookings Team to arrange a guided hike.

Tress at Indagare Tours: Private Boat Excursion ,  Lake Como, Italy

Indagare Tours: Private Boat Excursion

The best way to take in Lake Como’s dramatic landscape (and avoid driving along the winding, narrow streets) is by boat. From the water, one can embark on a boat tour, passing the lake’s most famous villas including those of George Clooney and Richard Branson, as well as the home that was once occupied by Winston Churchill (he was known to paint in the gardens). Indagare members can contact the Bookings Team to arrange a private boat and a guide.

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Road at Town of Como , Lake Como, Italy

Town of Como

While Como isn’t a shopping destination by any means, there are ample stores to browse if you forgot anything at home. A number of Italian luxury brands (Max Mara, Furla, Ermenegildo Zegna) have boutiques here, but for a wider array of fashion, shoppers should check out Tessabit, which stocks such designers as Balenciaga and Comme des Garçons, and A. Gi. Emme, a good spot to shop for basics from Bonpoint, Equipment and Vince. You can walk around the mostly pedestrian area, see the Duomo and then have gelato at Gelateria Lariana. Most stores are closed on Sundays.

Garden at Villa Carlotta , Lake Como, Italy

Villa Carlotta

Built in 1690 for a Milanese marquis, this villa and garden complex covers 17 lakefront acres (eight of which can be toured) in Tremezzo, with stunning views of Bellagio from the estate’s balcony. The grand villa takes its name from Charlotte, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen, the daughter of a German duke who was gifted with the home as a wedding present in 1843. The family remained in position of the villa until World War I, when the Italian government confiscated it and has maintained the grounds ever since. Villa Carlotta contains a diverse array of gardens, from the traditional Italian landscaping that leads up to the villa entrance to the bamboo forest and rhododendron arboretum in the back. The home itself has been turned into a museum, containing such artworks as Luigi Acquisti’s Mars and Venus. Indagare members can contact the Bookings Team to arrange a guided tour.

Tress at Villa Balbianello ,  Lake Como, Italy

Villa del Balbianello

If this historic villa looks familiar, it’s because it has been featured in a number of films, including Casino Royale and A Month by the Lake. Built for a Cardinal in the late 18th century on the site of a former monastery, it has interiors filled with whimsical objects and artifacts of its former owner Guido Monzino, an explorer and one of the first Italians to climb Mount Everest. After his death in 1988, the Italian National Trust assumed control of the home-cum-museum, whose fanciful furnishings include such rare objects as African terracotta masks, a 99-piece collection of prints of Lake Como and its villas and the sled used during Monzino’s 1971 expedition to the North Pole. Particularly interesting is the secret passageway leading from one building to the main house, which was built during the Cardinal’s tenancy as an escape route should Red Brigades attack. Indagare members can contact the Bookings Team to arrange a guided tour.

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Aerial View-Watersports ,Lake Como, Italy


Recreational swimming in Lake Como is not encouraged because of bacterial pollution, but getting in and out of the water during watersports is not a cause for concern. The lower area of the lake (where Villa d’Este is located) is better for rowing and kayaking because it is calm and placid, while the upper area is windy and boasts ideal conditions for sailing and windsurfing.

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Indagare employees walking up stiars

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