* Lake Como is a preferred vacation spot for the rich and famous
* George Clooney spends summers there, along with Sting, Helen Mirren and others
* Here’s what to do and where to stay during your visit
Nestled on the border between Italy and Switzerland, Lake Como is a favorite among the ultra-rich and celebrities for its tranquil beauty. The secluded destination has gotten an extra burst of press coverage ever since surreptitious photos of George and Amal Clooney at their Lake Como home with their newborn twins were published in the French magazine Voici—an offense for which the Clooneys have vowed legal action.
Pesky paparazzi aside, Lake Como really is a beautiful place to vacation — and has long been one of Clooney’s favorite summer destinations (his serene lakeside house is pictured, above). We’ve rounded up some of the most popular activities to book for your first visit, and even threw in a place to stay. Check it out and click through to book.
1. FoxTown Factory Stores in Switzerland
Cross a second country off your bucket list when you slip across the Swiss border to the FoxTown Factory Stores. The outlet boasts over 160 luxury retailers such as Gucci, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana. Even better, all of the merchandise is discounted. There are also restaurants, a casino and a beauty center. The package includes round trip transportation (only 60 minutes from Lake Como) in an air conditioned coach — just what you need for a relaxing day of shopping.
2. Bergamo Half-Day Tour
Nestled in the scenic foothills of the Alps is the medieval city of Bergamo. During your two-hour guided walking tour, you’ll take in breathtaking views from the Città alta (upper city), the Piazza Vecchia and the Basilica of St. Maria Maggiore, which dates back to the Fifth Century.
3. Football Tour of San Siro Stadium & Casa Milan
Explore San Siro Stadium, the home field of Italian soccer teams AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano. Not only will you get to see the trophies and memorabilia housed at Casa Milan, but because your ticket includes hop-on hop-off, you can explore the nearby city of Milan (only 60 minutes away) at your own pace.
4. Como, Bellagio & Lecco Full-Day Tour by Train
After arriving from Milan (if that’s where you’re staying) aboard a 60 minute train ride, you’ll be greeted by an experienced tour guide who will lead your day-long exploration of Bellagio, which is known as “the Pearl of the Lake,” and Lecco, which features dominantly in Italian literature. It’s not hard to see why celebs like Clooney, along with Brad Pitt, Sting and Helen Mirren, have fallen in love with this town.
5. Lake Como Full-Day Tour With Cruise
Your day begins at Cadorna station in Milan, where you’ll depart for Lake Como by train. You’ll get to take in the undisturbed beauty of the lakeside town as you shop and dine before embarking on a cruise that lets you enjoy splendid views.
6. Dependence del Parco
Of course, if you’re planning to visit Lake Como, you’ll need a place to stay. We like the Dependence del Parco, a lakefront hotel in nearby Cima with four restaurants, an indoor and outdoor pool, attentive spa and daily buffet breakfast. A hotels.com Gold Award Winner for 2017, the hotel is great for couples, but caters to families as well, with an on-site “children’s club” and supervised childcare available, so mom and dad can enjoy a day of exploring on their own.
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