5 Tips for Exploring Lake Como This Summer

Written by Guest Blogger: Kristy of Prosecco and Palmtrees

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

I instantly fell in love with Lake Como when I first visited a decade ago.  I recommend it as a must see stop on any tour of northern Italy (well, any trip to Italy for that matter).  When you wake up on the lake that first morning, grab an espresso and just sit and watch as the mist hovering in the valley begin to part as the sun rises higher in the sky, revealing bougainvillea draped trellises and the occasional palm tree, delightfully out of place at the base of the Alps. Sigh.

Are you planning on traveling there and enjoying la dolce vita too? Below I shared my top five tips for planning a perfect trip to Lago di Como.

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

1. Travel by Boat

Spending at least one day aboard a boat is a must-do here, and it’s the best way to see the sites on the lake in a short period of time.  While you can navigate pretty easily by ferry, I recommend hiring a boat with a driver.  It's a fantastic way to get your own private tour of the lake while you sit back and relax. 

I love the fact that the driver can just pick you up from the dock of your lakefront hotel or villa maximum convenience.  The driver will give you the scoop about what royalty owns which villa, where Bruce Springsteen stays, and yes, even point out George Clooney’s house.

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

2. Dinner with a View 

Have as many meals outside as you can overlooking Lario (the locals’ name for the lake).  My favorite dinner vista is from the terrace at Il Gatto Nero perched on the mountainside high above the town of Cernobbio along the most southwestern part of the lake. 

Make reservations just before sunset so you can watch the towns below begin to slowly sparkle with lights as the skies transition to from daylight to twilight.  If not within walking distance of where you are staying, I highly recommend getting a driver so you don’t have to worry about navigating switchback roads after a few glasses of wine.

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

3. Go Green

While there are some formal gardens you can visit, I prefer to just take in the cascading wisteria and sweet smelling jasmine as they seem to naturally occur along stretching promenades and around the grand villas situated on Lake Como.  Each visit I have dinner or drinks at Villa d’ Este so I have an excuse to visit the hotel, where you can walk through the grand stone mosaic walls framing the garden path along the hillside.   My other favorites include the acres of gardens at Villa Carlotta the whimsical Villa Balbianello, and the charming promenade in Teresio Olivelli Park in the town of Tremezzo.

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

4. Get Lost

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

Step off the ferry, drop a pin on your phone, and just get lost in a maze of streets and cafes. 

Exploring the winding paths by foot, you will discover delightful nooks and crannies of the lake.  These off the beaten path spots can be great photo opportunities too. 

The towns of Moltrosio and Argegno have some great switchback paths and pretty alleyways. 

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

Picture Courtesy of Kristy from Prosecco and Palmtrees

5. Relax

Take time to do nothing at all.   Grab a bottle of pino nero, your favorite sunglasses and a comfy chaise lounge to bask for an afternoon in the Italian sunshine as the classic wooden boats parade by.  Lake Como is a wonderful place to recharge and reawaken your senses.   For ultimate experience, stay at one of the handful of hotels with swimming pools that actually float right on the water.

Follow along with more of Kristy's adventures on her blog Prosecco and Palm Trees or on Instagram.

Traveling to Lake Como this summer? Why not hire us to assist? Travel Italian Style offers custom travel planning for this beautiful region as well as throughout all of Italy (

Kristy + Max in the Beautiful Gardens of Belmond Villa San Michele.

Kristy + Max in the Beautiful Gardens of Belmond Villa San Michele.

Meet the Author

Kristy is lives in sunny Florida with her husband, 3 dogs and long awaited son Maxwell.  When she's not busy chasing Max around the house, you'll find her happily snapping photos, running marathons or planning her next trip to Italy. Kristy loves sharing style and travel tips, as well as her insights on mom life after infertility on her blog Prosecco & Palmtrees.

Traveling to the Fullest with Jennifer from Sidewalk Safari

Interview and Written by Francesca Panzariello 

Making the most out of every opportunity is an essential quality to have for travelers. It’s a skill that travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J), has perfected throughout her many worldly adventures. Through her blog, Sidewalk Safari, she helps encourage readers to take advantage of any opportunity or free moment to explore the world – even if it’s the world right outside their doorstep. 

Jennifer caught the travel bug after finishing graduate school, but she sure has made up for lost time. After realizing her life goal was to live abroad, Jennifer set her mind to it, devised a plan, and made it happen. Without ever traveling to Ireland before, Jennifer and her husband were off to Dublin on a year-long assignment working for a popular tech company. 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Thinking they were only living in Dublin for a year, Jennifer wanted to make the most of their precious time abroad. The couple took 23 overnight trips during that first year alone. Whether it was extending business trips or checking off places from their personal list, they were exploring in any way possible. Fast forward six years, Jennifer and her husband are still living in Dublin as if they only have a year abroad, still traveling to the fullest. Exploring places like India for work, jetting off to South Africa on vacation, or just coming across quirky places around Dublin. It almost seems as if they’ve been just about everywhere you’d ever want to go. 

“Turn everyday into a vacation day – even if you’re traveling for work. So many people traveling for business only see their hotel, office, and the airport. If you’re in a new place, there’s always something interesting to see or do”

Originally, Sidewalk Safari was created as a way for Jennifer to look back on her travel memories. Since then the blog has evolved into much more. It has evolved into a model to show people that it is possible combine business with leisure travel. Sidewalk Safari inspires people to make the best of those business travel opportunities. As Jennifer puts it, “Vacation is a state of mind.”  So why not turn your next business trip into a time to explore? 

It doesn’t have to be a big undertaking, start small. Have to travel for a meeting Monday morning? Leave Sunday and explore the city instead. Wake up an hour early Monday, grab a coffee and blend in with the locals. Above all, Jennifer offers this advice: WALK, WALK, WALK! She believes the best way to experience and really see a place is on foot. On your next trip, if it’s walkable, forget public transportation and hit the sidewalk. 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Everyone knows traveling can sometimes be overwhelming. Jennifer has the answers to all your travel stresses. Known for her organizational prowess, Jennifer brings those valuable life skills into planning her next trip with her husband. Planning a trip is like planning a project. Break things down into easy to manage pieces.

Keep a checklist, write everything out, and create reminders for yourself. It’s these simple and easy changes that can make all the difference when planning your next trip. As a result, Jennifer is able to live a balanced life, juggling a full time job, traveling and maintaining Sidewalk Safari successfully. 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer (Sidewalk Safari) 

“You only live once, make the most of the time you have and do the things you love. Travel is a big part of what makes me happy.”

Jennifer inspires us here at Travel Italian Style because she proves that anything is possible when it comes to travel. Very often as women we feel there is a lack of time for ourselves due to family and work obligations. We have trouble finding that balance-- Sidewalk Safari proves the contrary.

While balancing a married life and full-time job, Jennifer has still taken over 80 trips around the globe during the past four years. She proves that staying organized is the key to a balanced and fulfilling life!

 To read more about Jennifer, her travels (especially this post we love during her recent visit to Sicily) and to learn more tips for taking that dream trip, follow along on the Sidewalk Safari blog or on Twitter.

You may also want to check out  Vacation Counts which is written by her husband Scott who blogs about how to keep a healthy work-life balance.

What tips do you use to stay organized to promote a healthy travel-work balance? What advice can Jennifer or the TIS team share with you to help you get on the next plane to Italia?

Meet Francesca

Francesca is an Assistant Travel and Media Coordinator for Travel Italian Style. As an International Relations guru, she brought her studies to After studying in Perugia, Italy this past spring. Here, Francesca developed a better appreciation of the Italian way of life (especially the food). Through her passion for travel, she wants to help others get inspired to start their own adventure.

Francesca joined Travel Italian Style to be part of a company that gives people the chance to experience an authentic Italian lifestyle and to spread the travel bug. 


Travelers Giving Back: The Story of Nomadic Matt & FLYTE

An Interview with Matt Kepnes
Written by Halie Taylor / Interview by Giorgio Nardini

NY Times Best Selling Author, Matt Kepnes, known to you as Nomadic Matt wasn't always a intrepid globetrotter. In fact, as a child Matt wasn't afforded the opportunity to travel. It actually was not until he was into his adult years did he have the chance to explore outside his home town of Boston.

It was his first trip to Costa Rica in 2003 that opened his eyes to all the world had to offer. Matt immediately fell in love with travel and the freedom it granted him. In a drastic change of events following this trip, he came home, quit his job and began a year long adventure around the world that eventually changed into a seven year adventure exploring destinations all over the globe. At this point in his life, Matt never looked back. 

"Travel has shaped my life and given me purpose. Opening yourself up to new experiences can have a powerful impact on you, and help you figure out who you are and what you want to be."

Now 13 years later Matt has become an icon in the travel industry. Starting with his award winning travel blog: Nomadic Matt, his NY Times Best Selling book: How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, the creator behind an online media school for aspiring bloggers and even the owner of a hostel in Texas.

Now Matt's newest venture is the one that will inspire and impact the lives of so many others. This is the mission of FLYTE.

FLYTE, the Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education, is a non-profit that helps with the logistical support and funding for teachers looking to provide cultural context for what they teach. It was created to assist students from underprivileged areas on dream trips to explore the world.

In 2015 Matt co-founded the organization with Courtney Dalton, also a traveler and a former financial and budgetary manager for study abroad programs. Being in this business, Courtney understood the struggle and costs involved with international education. She believed in the purpose of studying abroad but also knew it was not financially possible for all.  Together they knew they could make a difference. 

"Travel changes people’s lives. This is especially true for young people who are at a time in their life where they are still figuring out who they are and where they fit into the world. It is an age where exposure to a variety of ideas and cultures can create a huge impact, and can inspire them to do something or be someone they never would have considered before."

When starting this venture Courtney & Matt quickly learned many of the students that they met with this program had never even left their local community in which they live, much less the state and the country. They wanted to inspire them to venture outside of the familiar environments and comfort zones and view the world from a different perspective allowing them to see that the world is so much bigger and expanding upon their own experience.

"We want to bring the power of travel to kids who might not otherwise get the chance to see the world. We want to see our students follow aspirations to continue with their education beyond high school, and to become active and engaged citizens in the world."  

In just under a year, FLYTE raised $20,000 to send their first group of students to Mexico!

Matt's future of FLYTE  is to reach into more geographical areas around the world and provide students with even more destinations to explore. 

While spreading the word of this organization, Matt will continue to travel the world and inspire other's with his writings. Follow along on the FLYTE Facebook page or on the TIS donor page to see updates, future trips and upcoming missions for the organization. 

Travel Italian Style Partners with FLYTE!

Here at Travel Italian Style, we truly believe in Nomadic Matt's mission. We support the notion that travel changes lives. It promotes new outlooks, helps you build character and gives you incredible experiences that will remain with you forever.

Erica, Matt  & Courtney of FLYTE with Travel italian Style Founder, Cassandra Santoro

Erica, Matt  & Courtney of FLYTE with Travel italian Style Founder, Cassandra Santoro

In fact, Travel Italian Style was created because our founder had the wonderful opportunity and the means to step on a plane to Italy for the very first time in 2006. It was an amazing experience that changed her life but she knows it was a privilege to have this adventure. 

Therefore, Travel Italian Style has become a proud partner of FLYTE. For every tour we sell  2% of the profits will go directly to the organization. The money donated will go directly towards paying for a students’ airfare, meals, school books, ground transportation, and accommodations when they abroad.

"This partnership not only offers the monetary support to pay for our programs. It is an example of the travel industry giving back, making travel a catalyst for social good."
-Matt Kepnes 

Remember: "Giving is not about a donation, it's about making a difference."

Join one of the 2016 Travel Italian Style tours and you will automatically be donating directly to FLYTE! Check out more information here

To see more on FLYTE or to donate today visit their website at

Giorgio Velardita Nardini was born and raised outside of Rome. He is joining the TIS team as International Public Relations and Branding Advisor. As a passionate amateur photographer, traveling is the thing he loves the most and can’t live a day without thinking about his next destination. Giorgio shares his photos and advice on his very own blog which is written in both in Italian and in English.

Halie Taylor is the Travel Marketing Trends Coordinator for Travel Italian Style and is currently a senior at College of Charleston in Charleston, SC where she is majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Living in Charleston, Halie developed a love for beautiful scenery and unique culture.