Located on the western shores of Lake Como in Italy’s Lombardy region, is the picturesque village of Menaggio.
This quaint town makes a great location for either a day trip or as a base for exploring the Lake Como region. There is a long, elegant promenade along the lake front which is perfect for early evening strolls and has lovely views back across the lake to the beautiful towns of Varenna and Bellagio.
The village square, Piazza Garibaldi, houses boutique stores and restaurants, cafes and bars which are ideal for lunch, dinner or enjoying an afternoon Aperol Spritz in the sunshine.
The upper part of the village has retained its medieval style and is lovely to explore but be prepared for steep hikes and steps – wandering the narrow streets is a workout in itself! With limited taxis in towns (there are only two) getting around requires a lot of walking if you aren’t staying close to the lake front or don’t have a car.
The village, while still busy in peak time during summer feels a little quieter than nearby Varenna and Belaggio – both of which are a quick ferry ride away with regular departure times during the season.
Homemade crostata, fettuccine cooked perfectly al dente and simple breads with home grown ripe summer tomatoes and slabs of local cheese were some of our favourite food experiences in Menaggio.
The Grand Hotel Menaggio is a great accommodation option if you want to be right on the lake, however our favourite place to stay is a quaint family run hotel in the hills called Hotel Royal. What this hotel may not have in terms of luxury five star amenities it makes up with through pure heart – it feels like staying in a lovely, relaxed family home with great, simple home made Italian food. On our last day the owner, Mario Colombo, even drove us to the ferry terminal, carted our luggage, brought the tickets and made sure we were safely onboard. Unfortunately it is closed for the 2018 season but fingers crossed it reopens for 2019. It’s a true hidden secret at a very affordable price that is rare to come across these days.
A trip to Menaggio, whether for a day trip or to stay is highly recommended for any visitors to the Lake Como region.