Lake Como is the perfect location for an inactivity holiday, for three reasons.
First, the stunning scenery justifies anyone spending day after day mostly just looking at it (guilt free gawping).
Second, the quality of a lot of the internal and external accommodation, the mild weather and the number of lakeside bars, cafes and ice cream vendors, make just sitting around a very comfortable experience here.
Third, on an inactivity break you will be doing what the locals do (or should that be ‘not doing what they don’t do’?).
Lake Como has long been a favourite destination of the wealthy Milanese, who flock there not for sightseeing or activities but for respite from the city and modern life.
If the idea of an inactivity holiday appeals to you, here are ten suggestions as to how it might work out in practice:
- Get a room, or an apartment, with a good view of the Lake. That way, you’re sightseeing, without going anywhere, as soon as you open the blinds.
- Lake Como is not the seaside but you can sunbathe at a number of small ‘beaches’ or Lidos around the Lake, with no ‘Amusements’ to distract you.
- Read an international newspaper while sipping a latte at a pavement cafe in the lakeside piazza at Menaggio.
- Eat ice cream outside a cafe on a shady lakeside promenade in Varenna.
- Enjoy a glass of wine in an alleyway in Bellagio, ignoring all the shops.
- Admire Como’s historic architecture from nearby bars and restaurants.
- Adapt to local culture by taking a ‘siesta’ in the early afternoon.
- Book a relaxing massage at La Dolce Acqua spa in Lenno.
- Don’t hire a car.
- Buy a local guide-book and read it through before thinking about doing any sightseeing.
Another way of looking at this is to do none of the things the other visitors are busy with but enjoy having time to spend on something of personal interest instead. It could be just catching up on books you never had time to read, or possibly doing something creative (many writers and musicians have been inspired by Lake Como). For those whose personal interests include ‘alternative’ therapies, these can be found in limited quantities at Lake Como, sometimes associated with ‘Agrotourismo’ – holiday accommodation in farmhouses, or at least in rural locations. In other words, Lake Como refreshes the mind and spirit as well as the body.
For many visitors, the inactivity holiday may be what they want for a day or two before moving on to gentle activities such as sightseeing.