• Friday Photo: Lake Como

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    Nestled beneath the foothills of the Bergamo Alps, near the Swiss border, Lake Como is synonymous with luxury. The glacial lake is the third largest in Italy and, thanks to a sub-tropical, Mediterranean-like climate, has been a popular holiday destination for European nobility since the age of the Roman Empire.

    Lake Como Lake Como

    The towns and villages which grew around Lake Como’s shores reflect its aristocratic pedigree – with ornate villas offering visitors breathtaking views across the water and private boats and tour barges taking passengers on indulgent excursions. The buildings and exquisite landscaping surrounding Lake Como are world famous: a mixture of elegant stonework, manicured gardens and fountains which date back centuries – and contribute to an atmosphere of extravagant luxury.

    Beyond its opulent buildings and architecture, Lake Como is regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and represents unforgettable holiday possibilities. Lush and verdant, the forested landscapes surrounding the lake offer hours of entertainment for hikers and sightseers – who can expect to encounter a range of plant and animal life in explorations of surrounding hills and trails. Lake Como also provides the ideal setting for a range of water-sports, with sail boats joining windsurfers and kitesurfers for regular trips out onto its waters.

    For those visitors searching for a more tranquil experience, Lake Como’s beaches are stretches of golden sand which let visitors sunbathe at their leisure or take dips in crystal clear mountain waters. The area has a reputation for a range of luxury spas, each offering opportunities for guests to relax and recuperate or enjoy therapeutic treatments against a backdrop of lavish natural scenery. In the evening, residents and tourists alike settle into lakeside restaurants and cafes – for leisurely evenings of fine food, drink and entertainment as the sun slips behind the mountains.

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    Nicola considers herself very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit a number of places around the world and these experiences usually involve searching for as many kinds of wildlife as possible. Recent highlights include penguins in Antarctica, bears and whales in Canada and Alaska and sea otters in California - but there are always more animals to search for.

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