Lake Como – Lenno and Villa Balbianello
Lenno is a small village situated in the centre on the northwest side of Lake Como, at 27 km north from Como. It has a mild climate and it is located in one of the most fascinating parts of the lake called “Tremezzina”, renowned for its luxuriant vegetation and its calm waters.
Lenno is not as busy as the other major resorts of the central Lake area but makes it an ideal place for daily excursions or for weekend breaks or longer holidays.
In Lenno there is the sumptuous Villa Balbianello, one of the most beautiful villas of the lake, famous for it’s’ gardens and for being chosen by George Lucas for scenes in “Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones”.
WHAT TO SEE
Lenno is located on one of the most beautiful inlets of Lake Como with a unique view of the lake and Bellagio. It has a lovely promenade to walk along with restaurants and cafés where you can stop for a drink enjoying gorgeous views.
In the main square (piazza XI Febbraio), along with the touristic information office, you can visit the church and the Roman baptistery of the eleventh century. In the centre of the square is the war memorial. Lenno is in fact one of the Italian cities decorated to the Military Valour during the Liberation War, for the sacrifices of it’s’ people to fight partisan during the Second World War.
Going forward along the Gulf of Venere you can reach the beautiful unspoilt pebble beach where you can relax in the sun or in the summer go for a swim in the fresh waters of the lake.
Walking further down you get to Villa Balbianello, where you can have a nice walk into its luxuriant gardens. You can get to the villa also by boat that leaves from the Lido of Lenno.
The biggest attraction of the villa are its’ gardens, but also the interiors are very interesting. Today Villa Balbianello belongs to the Italian Cultural Heritage Fund (FAI).
WHERE TO EAT
In Piazza XI Febbraio the “Trattoria Santo Stefano” recommended by Slow Food, is the best place where you can taste local dishes, especially fresh lake fish. Otherwise you can go to Restaurant-Hotel Plinio, where you can have lunch overlooking the lake, or choose the Lido di Lenno Beach Bar.
HOW TO GET THERE
By car: From Como you can take the road SS340 in direction Menaggio, driving along the west coast of Lake Como and admiring many panoramic views. Gone through Laglio, Argegno and Brienno only it will take a half hour to get to Lenno. From Milano it will take you 75-80 minutes.
WHERE TO STAY
In hotel. Hotel Lenno (4 star hotel, double bedrooms starting from 150 euro) fantastic location overlooking the lake in the middle of the Gulf of Venere.
Holiday homes: Vacanze Lago, agency specialized in vacation rentals at Lake Como, suggests Villa Oleandri: Stunning sel catering apartment on the ground floor with a nice covered porch and the garden overlooking the bay of Lenno. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, it’s particularly recommended for couples and families.. Sleeps up to 5 people. Prices starting from 500 Euros per week.