We are going on honeymoon to Italy, ending on Lake Como. I want to wow my future wife. We’re young, but we’ve always traveled to the best places—thanks to our parents. They suggested Villa d’Este, but I think that is too old and stuffy for us. Any other ideas?
Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles
Well, you have hit pay dirt. Until about 10 minutes ago, Lake Como had not really changed since the times of Bellini, J. M. W. Turner, and, most modernly, Visconti. Now Como itself, beating heart of the Italian silk industry, has its first five-star hotel, the 18-suite Vista Palazzo, with a private Riva and linen sheets from Rivolta Carmignani that the gods on Olympus would envy. Also, a helicopter transfer from the airport—yessssss!—and made-to-measure emerald and diamond jewelry: maybe noooo, but how wide is your love?
SPLASH THE CASH: Mandarin Oriental has opened at Villa Roccabruna; the darling grande dame Grand Hotel Tremezzo, owned by the De Santis family (Valentina is a powerhouse of energy and innovation), who have also acquired Villa Passalacqua (one of the largest on Como, with many terraces sloping down to the lake).
CUT A DASH: For white-on-white obsessives, Villa Lario has suites carved into the hillside. By the way, if you are thinking cheap, don’t go to Lake Como at all.
SURPRISE! Restaurants: Davide Caranchini, formerly of Noma, has opened Marteria. Have the wood pigeon in salt with a cocoa-nib crust. (No, I don’t know anything about it, but it is delicious.) At Feel Como they make their own smoked panna cotta. Kitchen, on the way to Cernobbio, the food is modern jolly.
But you’ll be really insider if you still unashamedly go to Locanda La Tirlindana in Sala Comacina for the lemon ravioli.
Victoria Mather is a veteran travel writer based in London