Only 30 minutes from Milan, Lake Como is one of the most popular, if not the most, and the deepest lake in Italy. It is shaped in a "Y" fashion and is studded with beautiful little villas and resorts. In the Roman era, it was a popular retreat for the aristocrats and still serves as a haven for the rich and famous. (Madonna, George Clooney, and Gianni Versace to name a few, all have homes here.) The stunning background of the Alps and the beautiful juxtaposition of the quaint villas among the natural beauty of nature makes this destination of our most memorable. The towns of Como and Lecco sit at the ends of the southwestern and southeastern branches respectively. The small towns of Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna are situated at the intersection of the three branches of the lake: a triangular boat service operates between them. We stayed in the village of Menaggio, which was a perfect central base for hiking and taking ferries from one small town to another. The picturesque views from any spot in this town was to die for, and it was truly amazing to see the striking mountains jutting out of the beautiful, calm lake. We were so close to Switzerland we had to drive into this neighboring country just to say hello to the Swiss, and 20 minutes later ended up in the town of Lugano . Whether you go for adventure or relaxation, beautiful Lake Como is perfect for both.