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Exploring the Laino area.

Welcome to my blog:

To give prospective tenants of our flat in Laino, near Lakes Lugano and Como, an idea of what the area has to offer, I blogged the following while we were on holiday in the Dado flat.

In 2021 we bought a cosy flat in Laino. During the first half of the year we were busy renovating the house and furnishing it to our liking. So we didn't have much time to see the surrounding area.

Except, of course, Laino itself........

After a beautiful stretch of hairpin bends, we reached this small Italian mountain village, situated between Lake Lugano and Lake Como.

We also visited San Fedele Intelvi, the nearest village where you can shop and where there are also restaurants and other shops. (Laino has only one bakery). There is a large market every Wednesday. San Fedele has a beautiful, typically Italian-looking church.

To get away from it all during the reconstruction period, we found time to drive from Argegno to Menaggio on Lake Como.

We approach Argegno from the mountains, from which there is a magnificent view.

It was worth it, even if it was only spring......

Holiday 2022:

But now the flat is ready and we have almost two weeks to explore the area.

Day 1: Arrival in Laino.

After a good drive we arrive in Laino in the afternoon. A cool drink after a long drive is definitely worth it. The view from the flat is always magnificent.

Day 2: Lake Como towards Dongo

The great thing about the location of our flat is that you can make beautiful tours. There are days when we visit both Lake Lugano and Lake Como. Although we arrived yesterday after a long journey, we wanted to see the surrounding area.

We wanted to drive from Menaggio along Lake Como to the village of Dongo. The quickest way to Menaggio is via Osteno to Porlezza on Lake Lugano. And from there further north. A route with many tunnels and villages.

In Dongo we turned back, because a circumnavigation of the entire Lake Como is not really possible. Via Argegno you return to the lowlands, so all in all a nice route.

Next time we can take a closer look at the villages we just passed.

The village of Santa Maria on Lake Como

Day 3: The balcony of Italy

It wasn't a long drive today, but we saw the whole of Lake Lugano.... How is that possible? Less than 13 km from our flat is a viewpoint at an altitude of 1,200 metres above sea level. When you arrive here after a winding mountain road, you will be overwhelmed by the view. Without having to walk any further, you can see the entire Lake Lugano from Italy to the Swiss border. Something very special indeed!

Day 4: Visit to Nesso

To be seen in an episode of Lake Beau: Nesso, the picturesque village between the towns of Como and Bellagior. A long drive, but again so beautiful that you don't even realise how long you've been in the car! Nesso is famous for its ancient bridge. A characteristic staircase leads to this old Roman arch bridge.

You park your car at the top of the village and walk down a beautiful path to the lakeshore.

Then, as you descend, you can see the beautiful bridge from which people jump into the water. Behind it is a waterfall. The journey and the climb are definitely worth it

Day 5: Morcote on Lake Lugano

What remains special is that we continue to cross the border between Italy and Switzerland. It is not noticeable in the language, as Italian is also spoken in this part of Switzerland. You only get Swiss francs back if you pay cash in euros.

Today another village is on the programme that could be depicted on a postcard. The village of Morcote on Lake Lugano. After 40 minutes we reach the village.

After lunch on a beautiful terrace by the lake, we started to climb up one of the pretty alleys.

Via a path through the centuries-old village, we reach the imposing church.

It looks very Italian when you see the cypress trees, but it is actually Swiss.

There is also a beautiful garden in the village (Scherr Park), but we save that for next time. That's enough climbing for today.

Day 6 : Swimming in one of the lakes

When you drive on the roads along Lake Como or Lake Lugano, it's not always clear where you can swim. And that's exactly what we expected after a few days of travelling. We discovered that it is often possible to swim if you leave the main road and follow the signs "Luganolago" (and a blue wave will follow). You are often taken to a village where there is a small pebble beach. It is also regularly called a "lido". Sometimes it's a real pool, but mostly it's a piece of lake with a lawn, a restaurant and deckchairs. Often you have to pay a few euros/francs for it. It is also nice to walk part of the GREENWAY along Lake Como. This route goes along the shores of the lake and there are nice beaches..

Day 7: Lenno on Lake Como

We were actually out to see if we could hire a boat to go to Lake Como. First of all, it was difficult to find a parking space at a designated boat rental place, and when we found one, we found that we had to book days in advance. However, it turned out that we had ended up in Lenno. And now that we had found a parking place, we should explore it. It was worth the effort. A typical village where wealthy Italians once lived and strolled along the shores of Lake Como.

Lunch was a great success, also thanks to the beautiful view.

Villa del Balbianello is definitely worth a visit, but after lunch and refreshments this was no longer possible.

Day 8: Porlezza market

We had been there a few times before and had read that there was a market on Saturdays. A good reason to visit Porlezza. Again, I was just looking for a parking space.

Porlezza is a kind of "Dutch enclave" because of the neighbouring popular campsites, and that was easy to hear during the market visit. There is also a typical Italian market with lots of food, but also clothes, bags, etc.

Finishing with a cappuccino on the terrace overlooking the lake is always a good idea.

Day 9: Road trip Campione - Riva San Vitale;

Today we have another road trip ahead of us. On the way we have already seen it on the signs: Campione d'Italia. It looks like a piece of Italy completely surrounded by Switzerland. Since time immemorial, this community has enjoyed special privileges and wealthy Italians still live here. .

The most striking feature is the huge casino. After Campione, the road doesn't go any further, so we turn around and drive in the opposite direction, past Lake Lugano. The 2 runs parallel to the A2 and the railway line. From Via Bisone to Riva San Vitale.

Day 10: City of Lugano

Today was a bit cloudy, so a good day to visit the city of Lugano. Although it is a city of millions, the centre is still welcoming..

Especially the beautiful old houses

and the fact that almost always

on the lake.

From the centre you can take the tram

up the hill to the train station

One of the many terraces is a good place to linger.

Day 11: Visit Gandria

What started as an attempt to go swimming turned into a visit to Cima and Gandria due to persistent cloud cover.

So we drove from Porlezza (where we actually wanted to go swimming) to Cima.

The tunnel you take next goes through the mountain you can see from the flat! It is called Monte dei Pizzoni and is on the border between Italy and Switzerland.

In the tunnel that follows is the customs office. A number of petrol stations follow (strange, because petrol is much more expensive here than in Italy). We then left the main road and drove along the dyke through beautiful villages.

At one point we passed a car park full of cars. What was going on here?

From this car park we followed the olive path and reached the pretty village of Gandria, which is right on the lake.

Going down the stairs, we came to the landing stage of a boat that goes around on the lake.

There are also some restaurants from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of Lake Como.

A large plateau with cheese and salami is highly recommended.

Day 12: Relaxing in our flat

oday is our last day in Laino. Tomorrow we return home, so it's nice to spend a day in our flat. Relaxing on our balcony is certainly no punishment.

We have enjoyed these days very much and luckily we will be back many times. We haven't yet managed a visit to Como (old town), a boat trip from Menaggio to Bellagio. But we will definitely do it on our next holiday. There is still a lot to discover in this area. As you may have noticed, we are not particularly keen on cycling and walking, but we have seen enough signs during our tours to realise that there are opportunities. However, there are trains that go up several mountains (Mont Bré and Mont Salvatore near Lugano) and we will definitely do it again.

I hope this blog has inspired you enough.

Hope to see you on the next blog and see you in Laino

Greetings Arjan & Martine

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