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I was born on the shores of Lake Como, but for study, work, and fun, I always seem to find myself far from my hometown. Until one day, while I was sitting at a table at a club in Milan talking about work, collaborations, and far-fetched dreams, I was suddenly reminded of how beautiful Lake Como and its marvelous Brianza surroundings are.
And so, almost by chance or perhaps by magic, I found myself hunting for local stories, ones about their love of the food, the landscape, and the wine. I was taken back to those places of peace and pure relaxation where I used to sit and daydream. How could I not share my heart’s place with you? Here are 5 fantastic places just out of town that are immersed in nature, exude relaxation, and boast an undisputed reputation of excellence in hospitality.
Via Ca’ di Maggio, 333 Località Riviera – Pontida (Bergamo)
Here, you are “one step from heaven,” or rather at the top of the hills of Pontida, at Via Ca’ di Maggio 333. Immersed in the vines and woods of the Val San Martino, your gaze will fixate on the Bergamo plains and its surrounding hillside. And if, in addition to nature, you enjoy sightseeing and visiting luxury villas, this is the right place for you. You may think you’re dreaming, but you’re just at the Polisena.
Via Galbusera Nera, 2 – La Valletta Brianza (Lecco)
You can’t help but try to say ”wow” when a culinary welcome from this local eatery will leave you speechless. Unable to form a sentence, you’ll think, “if this is just the beginning, what else are they creating in the kitchens?” Welcome to the old barn at La Costa farm, now the Galbusera Nera restaurant, at La Valletta Brianza 2, in the province of Lecco. Be prepared for an evening that’s full of surprises!
Via Alta Collina 12 bis – Montevecchia (Lecco)
When you arrive, all you’ll see is an old stone farmhouse from the early twentieth century and hairpin turns on the road behind you. Don’t worry, you didn’t make a wrong turn! All you have to do is follow the arrow that points to the entrance, turn the corner of the farmhouse, go down a few small steps (12-inch heel-approved ladies!) and set foot out on the terrace, or rather, the Terrazze di Montevecchia.
Via Statale, 73 – Brienno (Como)
Like a diamond, the Crotto dei Platani restaurant is literally set inside a rock between Lake Como and Monte Gringo. With a veranda that breeds intimate conversation, breathtaking views, a luscious garden, and a small terrace adorned with passion flowers, this ornate, romantic locale is perfect for nature lovers.
Via Trento e Trieste, 63 – Carate Brianza (Monza e Brianza)
In Italy, the past is tied to the land, and a loyalty to times gone by is the touchstone for Camp di Cent Pertigh, where a distinctly Lombard cuisine, designed by chef Silvano Zappa and his sous-chef Daniele Caleffi, influences local and seasonal dishes with the purpose of helping customers rediscover the old tastes of tradition. The wine list recounts Italian, European, and American labels from around the globe.