An hour’s drive south is Cinque Terre, a cluster of five of the most beautiful fishing villages in the Mediterranean. The walk along the coast takes about four hours, but during the summer months the roads get crowded and the sun scorches, so get out early in the morning if possible.
Goodbye Splendido, we drove to Lake Como. How did I not discover this wonderful corner of Italy until now? The natural beauty left me speechless: lush mountains, grand villas, emerald waters rippled by water taxis, running from one harbor to another. We are staying on the southern tip of the lake in Cernobbio, which has a number of shops and restaurants along the water (including Harry’s bar, which is our favorite).
For our first day on the water, we opted for a self-drive speedboat, stopping at Comacina Island, a safe swimming spot (the lake’s cold and deep waters mean caution is always needed), and also make a spectacular drive to (if you’re a tourist) the town of Menaggio, before catching a taxi to Bellagio. There’s no better way to get to Lake Como’s most iconic town, which, though crowded, is still fun, with its cobbled streets lined with pretty boutiques.
The rest of our days in Como were spent sipping shakeratos (an Italian-style iced coffee), gazing at the view, and dining out in the most stunning setting ever. As we drove away, my husband and I planned to return. Will you have kids for our next anniversary?
Reach Garda via Sirmione, a fortress at the southern tip of the lake, and have lunch in the pretty lakeside town of Peschiera del Garda. Soon we were among the clouds as we drove through the mountains to Riva del Garda on its north coast. The atmosphere here is completely different, a magnet for water sports enthusiasts. Hotel du Lac et Du Parc, where we were staying, was modern with beautiful grounds and was the perfect retreat for the last five days of relaxation.
We went to SUP, tried windsurfing, rented a bicycle, and ate gelato. There are also water parks, treetop adventures, and kid-friendly climbing areas nearby, but we all love adventure. In the evening we strolled into the center of town, bustling for hours with shops, market stalls, street artists and Leon d’Oro – one of the town’s most famous pizzerias. town. Trustworthy, it served the best pizza of our trip and on our last night in Italy. What could be better than a breakup?
Naomi Greenaway and her family are guests at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, in Montalcino, Tuscany, which has doubled from €938/£822, B&B, and Belmond Splendido Hotel in Portofino, has doubled from €1,023/£897 ( open for the season from June 1st).
The Grand Minerva hotel in Florence has doubled from €318/£279.
The Sheraton Lake Como hotel has doubled from €166/£146.
Hotel du Lac et du Parc has doubled from €104/£91.