If you love...
Mountain and lake views: Leave Como, take the Via Regina along the west side of the lake and head
to Cernobbio, a gorgeous village (home to Villa d’Este) with ancient origins
and narrow buildings in shades of pink, terracotta, gold and cream. Drive up to
the peak of Mount Bisbino and
you’ll be rewarded with some seriously-stunning postcard-worthy views (and the
start of a 125km hiking trail if that’s your thing). Strangely enough it was
also the site of some UFO sightings back in 2012!
18th- and 19th-century
Italian architecture: Visit Tremezzo, home to
some of Lake Como’s most beautiful villas, including the world-famous Villa Carlotta – a
masterpiece of art and architecture, completed in 1743 with its impressive art
collection and stunning lakeside gardens. The small village of Griante is also
particularly famous for its villas and gardens (most are private and therefore
only viewable from afar) which, along with the peaceful ambience, is why to
this day it attracts a long list of illustrious guests, including poets,
composers, dignitaries and royalty.
If you love...
Peace and quiet: Classy, chic, calm and chilled, Portofino is definitely the place to be if you want a vibrant atmosphere, without any of the white noise. Helicopters and jet skis are prohibited, there's no outdoor music allowed after 10pm, no new building has been constructed in the last 40 years, no-one is permitted to swim in the port itself and nightclubs are situated a little further away, like Paraggi (around 10 minutes away by car).
Local life: We absolutely adore the glamour of Portofino. This is where people watching is at its best and you simply can't help yourself! It's a must for anyone who wants to experience the chic, classic lifestyle of the locals in their small yet buzzy habitat, the main street lined with designer boutiques like Hermes, Gucci, Dior et al.
Exploring: Just wandering around Florence for us is heaven and we love the narrow streets lined with colourful vespas and the beautifully-dressed everywhere you look!
If you want fabulous city views, head to the beautiful gardens on the south bank of the River Arno.
Further afield is the charmingly-quaint Pisa – well worth a visit to see the Leaning Tower alone.
Or, 50 minutes' drive away is the beautiful medieval city of Lucca, one of Tuscany's best-kept secrets: compact and easy to explore on foot or bicycle, with a labyrinth of narrow streets, and a great collection of galleries and museums, including Puccini's former home.
The Arts: Florence has an almost endless list of art that you'll want to tick off during your stay, with paintings, sculptures and frescoes created by the greatest minds of all time. The Uffizi Gallery is home to an unrivalled collection of Renaissance sculptures and paintings from the likes of da Vinci, Francesca and Botticelli.
All prices include return economy class flights.