While I was in Lake Como, we decided to take the passenger ferry over to Mennagio and rent a boat for half the day from AC Boat Rentals. It was an overcast and windy day, but I decided to take my chance, as the weather seemed to blow over fast in the area. Mennagio is on the west side of the lake in the middle, and the rental company recommended going south all the way to the city of Como.
Villa del Balbianello
A few minutes after pulling out of Mennagio, we saw the famous Villa del Balbianello. If it looks familiar to you, that’s because it’s been featured in many famous movies, including Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and James Bond’s Casino Royale. You can tour the villa, as well as rent it out for events like weddings. It was built in 1787 and has had multiple owners, but now is with the National Trust of Italy.
The boat came with a map of what areas were around the lake, as well as where celebrity homes were. Unfortunately it wasn’t the clearest, so we had to guess. These are supposedly two of them, but I’m not sure who they belong to. After looking at pictures later, we realized we spotted villas owned by Richard Branson, George Clooney, and Gianni Versace. Clooney is probably the most well-known celebrity for having a place on the lake, as he spends a decent amount of time there for a vacation home. The locals were aware of when he was there and where he had gone (he was gone when we were there unfortunately). He has a place in one of the smaller villages on the southwest side of the lake, and he is never bothered by anyone when he goes there according to the locals.
There are so many small villages on the lake that I would love to explore next time I go back. I loved how colorful all the buildings were. There were also many small churches that could be spotted on the outskirts of the towns that have been used for hundreds and hundreds of years. We made our way to the bottom of the lake and saw the bustling city of Como, which is much more populated than the rest of the towns along the lake. It was warm and sunny, so we took time to relax and take pictures.
A few hours in, I got a text from the company saying we needed to come back due to a storm that was predicted to come. Although it was sunny in Como, we started to head back and was I glad we did. It started to pour rain and get very windy. We went at full throttle to get back in what was a very wet and cold ride. Despite the trip ending shorter than expected, it was a great way to explore the lake and I’m glad we did it. It’s an independent way to go around the lake at your own pace.
This post was produced in partnership with AC Boat Rentals, but all opinions are my own.
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