Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Ge­orge Clooney at the Grand Ho­tel Villa Ser­bel­loni on Lake Como in Bel­la­gio

Also star­ring Chef Et­tore Boc­chia

Cuisine | a&d - - Foreign Cuisine -

The Grand Ho­tel Villa Ser­bel­loni has been in the same fam­ily for gen­er­a­tions and it is the most au­then­tic of all Ital­ian palaces, per­fectly cap­tur­ing the magic of Lake Como. This charm­ing es­tab­lish­ment is a per­fect spot from which one can de­part on a jour­ney (ei­ther on foot or by boat) through the nearby fish­ing vil­lages, Pa­tri­cian vil­las and lush gar­dens that sur­round Lake Como. Ever since 1873, the ho­tel has be­come an in­creas­ingly sought-af­ter lux­ury tourist des­ti­na­tion. Through­out the years, many stars, ac­tors and stylists have vis­ited the place along­side hordes of reg­u­lar tourists. It has 95 guest rooms and two restau­rants, in­clud­ing the Mis­tral*, which is lo­cated on a beau­ti­ful lakeside ter­race. But wait, there’s more: a pri­vate beach, a lux­u­ri­ous 2-hectare lakeside park and a spa by Bi­ologique Recherche, the French ex­pert in pro­vid­ing cus­tom­ized cares and a clin­i­cal ap­proach to beauty. The spa fea­tures ex­quis­ite treat­ments that use the purest of in­gre­di­ents and fol­lows unique and strict pro­to­cols built on a rep­u­ta­tion of ef­fec­tive­ness. What bet­ter way to fol­low a nice gourmet meal than a nice lit­tle face care?

As for the vil­lage it­self, Bel­la­gio was in­cluded in the Ital­ian His­tor­i­cal Mon­u­ments list and has man­aged to pre­serve its au­then­tic­ity and by-gone charm, fea­tur­ing a maze of al­ley­ways, col­or­ful houses and old street­lights, as well as a swarm of old gar­dens that mir­ror the lifestyle of its in­hab­i­tants. Its unique ge­o­graph­i­cal po­si­tion al­lows guests to ex­pe­ri­ence unique views over the snow-cov­ered moun­tains that de­scend all the way into the yacht-filled lake be­low. Lo­cated a mere 10 min­utes by foot from the ho­tel, the vil­las that sur­round Lake Como stand tall as sym­bols of the power and wealth of the great fam­i­lies, wel­com­ing tourists into this typ­i­cal Ital­ian par­adise. Must-see at­trac­tions: The Gar­dens of Villa Melzi (Bel­la­gio): A 19th cen­tury villa with an English-style gar­den fea­tur­ing rhodo­den­drons and a small blue lakeside kiosk. The villa for­merly be­longed to Comte Melzi d’Eril, Viceroy of Italy and friend of the Em­peror, who used to come here and find in­spi­ra­tion be­fore head­ing off to bat­tle. Villa Ser­bel­loni Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion in Bel­la­gio: A mag­i­cal ter­raced botan­i­cal gar­den filled with the charm of the good old days fea­tur­ing mul­ti­ple orchid trees and count­less fruit trees. 15 min­utes by boat from the ho­tel: Villa del Bal­bianello (Lenno): This villa was built in the 17th cen­tury on the site of an old monastery which be­longed to Car­di­nal Vis­conti. It fea­tures many se­cret pas­sages, a kitchen lo­cated in­side the old church and a unique Chi­nese porce­lain col­lec­tion from the Tang Era. 40 groundskeep­ers are in charge with the main­te­nance of this pris­tine clas­si­cal Ital­ian gar­den. The in­side of this pri­vate villa is filled with the ar­ti­facts of Comte Monzino, a fa­mous Ital­ian moun­tain climber and ex­plorer, the first man who planted the Ital­ian flag at the North Pole and on top of Mount Ever­est (1973). The villa was also used as a set for «A Month by the Lake», «Star Wars Episode II» and «Casino Royale». Villa Car­lotta (Me­nag­gio): The splen­did gar­dens of Villa Car­lotta, lo­cated on the op­po­site bank of Lake Como from the Grand Ho­tel, are fa­mous for its aza­leas and rhodo­den­drons. The villa it­self is a mu­seum open to the public. Ge­orge Clooney’s villa (Laglio): One might even come across the fa­mous Hol­ly­wood celebrity in Laglio, as he owns a su­perb villa here.

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