From the moment I draw the curtains I am absorbed by the lake inhaling the pristine air and views. Days at Porto Felice always begin with a sense of happiness.
Energised I take a 15 minute run around the gardens and a swim in the pool. Then I pause to meditate under the old trees, smelling the grass and fragrant herbs, time for stillness before another delicious day.
I never miss shopping at Clerici for colourful fruits, creamy mozzarella and Italian delicatessen. Then to Menaggio, a lovely little town by the side of the lake, 5 km from the villa, full of cafés, small restaurants and shops. A busy and joyful place for a stroll walk along the lake, watching the ferries to Bellaggio and Varenna. I am always drawn to have a peek at the fashion at Savorani and I love Decio, where we bought all the tableware for Porto Felice.
If it is just the family we will drop into Cafè del Pess for lunch on the main plaza, I always order risotto with Missoltin, a typical dish with fresh lake fish. If we have friends visiting we never miss the spring azzaleas at Villa Carlotta, or a trip to Bellagio by boat for some shopping in the charming streets and browsing a few art galleries. Afternoons are reserved for far niente, doing nothing basically but sunbathing on the pool deck with an iced ginger, mint tea or crushed iced tutti frutti juice. The afternoon shade on that side of the house is perfectly cool for a quick nap. In the winter I am quite likely to have a massage.
Re-energised we head to Lenno for gelato at La Fabrica, one of the greatest ice cream makers on the Lake, and eat it on the beach at Venus Bay. A little later we might take friends across the lake to Villa D’Este for an aperitivo in the Cernobbio hotel.
Back home to dress up for dinner on the terrace of the Grand hotel Tremezzo, one of the most luxurious and glamourous hotels on the lake. Excellent food, stunning views over Bellagio, deeply romantic. When we don’t feel too hungry we might nip down to the hotel’s cellar for a wine tasting with a plate of cheese and prosciutto di Parma.