Some vacationers yearn to be moving. Hiking, surfing, parasailing, cavorting. For those who prefer a more contemplative experience, consider Villa Lago di Como. Housed in a former medieval watchtower, the Liberty-style villa dates back to 1909, and today it has been painstakingly renovated to ensure that, no matter where on the 4.5-acre property you happen to be, you are awestruck by the view of the lake. Why not while away those precious vacation days reading by the infinity pool or enjoying an apéro (or four) on one of the two roof terraces?

And make sure to bring a few friends. There’s certainly room—Villa Lago di Como features nine bedrooms, along with a drawing room, dining room, “yoga/wellness” room (2019 alert!), and media room, in addition to the usual fare. The interiors are modern and serene, promising that no offensive tchotchke will distract you from your primary activity—admiring the surroundings.

Should one feel inclined to venture out, the mountain village of Pigra is a short walk away, and it’s an ideal place to embark on a hike or mountain-bike ride. Should you desire a bit more bustle, for less than five dollars the cable car will whisk you down the mountain on an unforgettable ride to Argegno. While it’s undeniably quaint, with fewer than 1,000 residents, Argegno is home to two worthy restaurants—La P’Osteria and Ristorante la Piazzetta—and the irresistible Gelato di Zoe. And in Argegno, you’ll also find Villa Lago di Como’s private mooring. Surely, you brought along your Ferretti? —Ashley Baker

Villa Lago di Como is available to rent from Isola Rossa Villas; price available upon request