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It is hard to find words good enough to do justice to our experience of staying at Villa la Ruga. When we first arrived at the villa, our jaws dropped at the staggering views of the lake and surrounding mountains before us. Being right by the water, we felt totally uninterrupted and fully immersed in the breathtaking power of the area. Turning our attention to the villa itself, it was clear that this is a very special place indeed. Full of charm and equipped for our every need, we quickly began to feel very lucky to have found it!
We had ample opportunity to explore lake Como. Hiking, driving, boating and ferries are all easily accessible. As truly wonderful as sightseeing was, returning to the villa always seemed like the pièce de résistance. Each evening, we found the perfect refuge to enjoy good company over a local wine next to a roaring fire.
Meeting Francesco was sincerely one of the highlights of our stay. It is hard to imagine a host more intelligent, affable and helpful. Never intrusive, but always available, he helped us on so many occasions with matters great and small. One of our most magical experiences began with us setting off by boat directly from the villa. After a few hours scooting around the lake, we pulled up to a wonderful restaurant where we enjoyed a terrific lunch consisting of local cuisine. We have Francesco to thank for that whole experience! From setting up the boat, providing advice and directions to booking the restaurant itself, the whole experience was taken care of. Thank you so much!
So many wonderful memories: breakfast on the patio; ping-pong tournaments; choosing wines from the cellar; talking about life and the world with Francesco; the best meals we have had in Italy (and we have been around!); waking to views of the lake; pizza delivery by candlelight; rugged hillsides; mystery water bottles; napping on the deckchairs; the stars above and below...
I would normally describe something like this as the "trip of a lifetime". The only thing that stops me is that I can't wait to come again to repeat it! Hopefully Villa la Ruga and Francesco will be around for a long time so we can enjoy "many trips of a lifetime".
We stayed here over the winter holidays with a group of 5. Upon getting to property, we were pleased with how easy it was to park in the covered garage. We only had one car, but there could be room in the garage for two smaller cars, and there is also parking available off-street right outside the property. When we got into the house there was a small gift waiting for us with Prosecco (score!) so we could celebrate after our long day of travel. I was pleased that the house was very clean and organized upon our arrival as well.
The home is quite large compared to others we looked at, and with our group of five we never felt like we were in each other’s ways. All of the rooms have gorgeous views of the lake; I especially love that it is north-facing so we get to see the Alps in the background. The kitchen was easy to cook/clean in, with a gas stove and oven, large refrigerator, and dishwasher. There is also a washer/dryer on the downstairs floor, which we used once and was easy to figure out.
It got fairly cold outside during our stay, so I was afraid that the house might get cold and uncomfortable. I was delighted though with how well the radiators were able to heat the rooms, nobody felt too cold the whole time we were there (not even in the loft!).
Being the winter, I didn’t expect too much to be open in town since Lake Como is fairly tourist driven. However, while there were a few businesses closed for winter, it seemed like most of Argegno was still open. There are lots of locals who live in the area, so restaurants still fill up in the evenings (although we never had trouble getting a table). I highly recommend Bistro Argegno if you’re looking for a good place to get a drink/appetizers. Café Columbo is also great, and is the go-to place for bicyclists during the day and locals in the evenings. Both of these restaurants, as well as the rest of downtown Argegno, are only a 5-minute walk from the property.
We also traveled to some nearby towns. Como is not far away (20ish minute drive), and is where we got most of our groceries (at a store called Bennet). The ferry has limited hours over the winter but we did take it once to Menaggio which was lovely. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can drive 2 hours to Tirano and take the train into Switzerland. The trip is gorgeous, but is definitely an all-day event.
Overall our stay at Bella Vista sul Lago was amazing, and I cannot wait to stay here again in the summer months!