How to visit 2 glamorous Italian destinations: Italian Riviera & Lake Como

Italy is home to many captivating places that mix picturesque landscapes with fine dining, luxury lifestyle and fashion.

Among the most glamorous destinations attracting elite tourism are the Italian Riviera and Lake Como.

If you want to enjoy an exclusive vacation to experience Slow Travel and the Dolce Vita, these 2 areas are ideal because they are only 3.5 hours’ drive apart, meaning that you can visit them at a relaxing pace over a week or so.

What gives them the glam touch and what do they offer to see and do? Let’s find out.

Italian Riviera


Portofino is the iconic village that symbolizes luxury and old-world glamour in the Italian Riviera.

Portofino harbour

Celebrities that have visited it in the past include Beyoncé, Madonna, Silvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg and Bruce Springsteen – just to mention a handful.

The town features a picturesque yacht-lined harbour, traditional pastel-coloured buildings, chic boutiques and elegant hotels with Liberty-style facades.

More glamorous ideas around Portofino

Other villages that you can visit near Portofino include the idyllic Camogli, the stately Santa Margherita Ligure and the magical San Fruttuoso with its Medieval abbey on the beach.

One of the recommended ways to move around is by boat, so that you can admire the distinctive silhouettes alternating colourful buildings and lush vegetation from the turquoise sea.

An exclusive experience that you cannot miss in the area, is to discover the heroic vineyards in the Cinque Terre villages.

You can book a guided visit in an authentic winery, where the local producer guides you in a wine tasting session that includes the rare Sciacchetrà.

In this part of the Italian Riviera, your taste buds will be delighted to taste the crispy yet soft focaccia, fried fish and freshly made pesto on handmade pasta.

Lake Como

Lake Como made worldwide news in 2002, when George Clooney bought an 18th-century villa as a vacation home in the local town of Laglio. Paparazzi often flock to the area when he or his VIP friends are around. But the lake has always attracted tourists looking for glamour and luxury.

Lake Como village

Just like on the Italian Riviera, the best way to take in the beauty of Lake Como is from the mirror-like water.

You can join a boat tour for small groups or book an exclusive private cruise to soak it all in: the pristine nature, the retro atmosphere and the elegant buildings from the 1800s. Add a taste of local cuisine and traditions by visiting an ancient mill where you can taste olive oil, cheese and cold cuts.

To top it all off with a gourmet touch, you can also reserve your table in one of Lake Como’s Michelin-starred restaurants!

What about visiting some of the places that you see from the boat?

Make sure not to miss the gardens of Villa Melzi and the amazing Villa del Balbianello, which appeared in movies like “Casino Royale” and “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones”, and was also the wedding venue for Bollywood superstars Ranveer Singh e Deepika Padukone.

Bellagio is the most famous hip village on Lake Como, but also the most crowded.

Lake Como View

The best town for accommodation is Varenna, not only because it offers a more peaceful yet just-as-charming setting, it also enjoys a strategic position to visit nearby gems both north and south along the “three legs” that give Lake Como the shape of an inverted Y.

Visit Portofino and Lake Como with an Exclusive One-Week Tour

BeautifuLiguria proposes an itinerary with selected experiences in the most glamorous villages along the Italian Riviera and Lago di Como: learn more about “Liguria and Lake Como Charming Tour”.

Or… Check our trips and experiences lovingly crafted by real locals. We love the territory where we live and have selected for you the best of the best.

Would you like to talk to us?

Contact us and we will be happy to help you to plan the perfect trip for you.