In 1818 Percy Bysshe Shelley famously wrote the following description of Lake Como: “It exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty…It is long and narrow, and has the appearance of a mighty river winding among the mountains and the forests”. While Shelley certainly had a penchant for the hyperbolic, in this case, he was not exaggerating. This exceptionally scenic “Y” shaped glacial lake is the third-largest lake in Italy and has been a popular holiday retreat since the days of the Roman Empire. The lake boasts a treasure trove of artistic, cultural and natural gems hidden in the numerous villages and towns dotted along its shores. These towns are home to a plethora of grand villas and opulent palaces as well as some lovely lakeside beaches fringed with lush sub-tropical plants which thrive in the area’s mild Mediterranean-like climate. Spend your days indulging in an array of watersports, relaxing on the lakeshore, or ferry hopping from town to town. From the bustling historic town of Bellagio to the small peaceful resort of Varenna, there is plenty of variety to suit any taste and interest.