34 Via Giacomo Matteotti, Pognana Lario
Lake Como—hugged tight by green mountains and pastel palazzi—is unabashedly old-school glamorous. Despite the hum of homeowners, holidayers, and the odd seaplane, the lake exudes a dolce far niente sundress-and-Aperol-spritz calm. A stay at the intimate Villa Làrio feels like floating around your own exquisitely restored palazzo, replete with lush gardens, contemporary interiors, and a mega view. We loved diving off the private jetty, laps in the pool, morning cooking classes, and finding cozy, manicured corners to enjoy the panoramic lake vistas. Da Luciano across the water for a Negroni, shellfish cavatelli in Cernobbio, daily dips, and Riva boat trips are the way to go. Pro tip: to really explore the little villages nestled around the lake, rent a car.
40 Via Regina, Cernobbio
Perched at the edge of Italy's fabled Lake Como, Villa D’Este is sort of the king amongst kings when it comes to old-school Italian luxury. The building is classic Italian stucco (it was built as a summer home for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio in 1568), and the experience is as luxe as you would expect—between Venetian glass chandeliers, a pool that floats out onto the lake, and a state-of-the-art Turkish bath. As many rooms have gorgeous views of the lake, you don’t need to do much more than open the drapes for an epic backdrop, but the 25 acres of appropriately lavish Renaissance-style gardens that surround the hotel don’t hurt either.