Luxury Explorer

Milan and the Lakes

Milan is the operatic heart of Italy, while serene Lake Como provides mesmerising escapes

Milan and the Lakes
Milan and the Lakes

Milan and fashion go together like Dolce & Gabbana, while Lake Como and celebrity seem to combine like George & Clooney. 

Milan is the commercial powerhouse of Italy, famed for couture, design and finance, it is also home to one the planet's most beautiful gothic cathedrals, a 15th century castle, a world-class opera house, La Scala, and a number of the finest 5-star hotels in Italy.

Named the 'World's Best Fashion and Luxury Shopping Destination' by a 2015 Italian survey, that cited the number of tourists who visit the city specifically to shop; beating Paris, NYC, London and Rome to top spot. So, if shopping is on your agenda make sure you visit magnificent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and avoid having to walk too far with your couture bags by staying in the Golden Rectangle district, known locally as "Quadrilatero della Moda". Baglioni Hotel Carlton Milan or Bulgari Hotel Milan both fit the bill, or you can use the gorgeously grand Hotel Principe di Savoia's limo service to waft you back and forth from the Piazza della Repubblica.

For art lovers, seeing Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper is a must, but tickets require a concierge's connections. Fortunately, we know how.

If you want to lunch with the locals, enjoy a drink at Wes Anderson-designed Bar Luce or enjoy 2-starred Michelin dining at Cracco, Sadler, Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia or a dozen more stars dotted about the city, Milan has much to offer the gourmet.

The gateway to Lake Como

What’s more, Milan is just an hour’s drive from stunning Lake Como, with many locals commuting each day. Covering 146 square kilometres, this beguiling glacial lake has captivated the hearts of poets and romantics for centuries. In 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley famously wrote: "This lake exceeds anything else I have ever beheld in beauty."

In addition to selecting the lake's finest hotel, Villa d'Este, Luxury Explorer has brought together a cherry-picked collection of the most exquisite luxury villas on the shores of Lake Como, to satisfy the most discerning traveller looking for unfathomable opulence and privacy in the most idyllic setting. This is a collection suited to very special vacations and memorable private celebrations.

All our villas are positioned directly on the lakeside or within parks that border the lake. Beware of those that appear to be 'lakeside' when, infact, they overlook the lake from the other side of a busy road.

From our handpicked Lake Como collection, choose between aristocratic palaces like Villa Sola Cabiati, grand residences like Villa Marie Taglioni, villas with hotel services including lovely Villa Cima, or the ultimate in private lakeside luxury, the unmatched Villa la Cassinella - read our travel editor's exclusive review, Ladies who Lake Como.