We’ve been home for a week and a half already and I’m still trying to shrug off those holiday blues. Visiting Italy’s, Lake Como was one of the most revitalising trips I’ve ever been on and certainly one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever visited.
It was the setting for the most beautiful wedding I have ever been too (and I’ve been to a fair few this past year!) which was the reason for our trip. My best friend, Emma and her now husband decided to tie the knot in Como and have all the wedding guests make a holiday out of the stay which turned out to be an experience of a lifetime. We took the short 1.5 hour flight out on Friday to Milan and decided to spend a night in the City before we caught the train down to Como the next day. Arriving later on in the evening meant we couldn’t do much exploring but we headed straight out to a local Italian restaurant that was recommended to us called Il Tavolino, a cosy restaurant that was candlelit and had chequered tablecloths and herby aromas.
The following morning we took the 30 minute train journey to Como and drove to the villa that the entire wedding party was staying in based on the lake in Moltrasio. Emma had shown us the photos of where we would be staying and I knew it was going to be spectacular and like no where I had stayed before when she said that Mariah Carey had stayed there and celebrated her birthday the year before, but being there and seeing Villa Passalacqua in real life was a different experience. There were and are no words.
Villa Passalacqua was built in the 1700’s and is a National Monument for Italy, currently owned by an American family it is decorated with Venetian tapestries and paintings and surrounded by perfectly kept gardens situated on Lake Como’s shore. We spent the first two days laid around the pool in the gardens with the view of the lake and mountains over our shoulder. I’m not usually one to sit around a pool on holiday but this one was an exception, my body and mind was in dia-need of a rest and it was a great opportunity to relax with all the friends and family members in the wedding party and get excited for the days ahead. That, and the fact that the lake and mountains surrounded us sitting in 30 degree sunshine whilst I floated around in the swimming pool on a Unicorn with an ice cold beer in hand – where else would I want to be?
After two days of relaxing, it was time to be on Bridesmaid duty alongside Kat & Ruby for our best friend. We spent the morning together in Emma’s room getting our hair and makeup done and helping Emma into her dress before photos were taken around the Villa. We walked through the gardens and down to the Lake before getting on a speed boat that took us to the ceremony at Villa Balbianello – a recognisable venue if you’re a James Bond and/or Star Wars fan. The outside ceremony was in the middle of the greenest and lushest gardens I’ve ever seen, at the top of the small island with a break taking backdrop of Lake Como. It was perfect.
We spent around an hour at Villa Balbianello after the ceremony, having photos and enjoying the canapés and string quartet before the bridesmaids and groomsmen shared a speedboat back to Villa Passalacqua for the reception. Speeches were made, food was eaten, prosecco was drank and sparklers were lit as the sun went down and we all moved inside to one of the many rooms to dance with the band that Emma had been so excited to have play at their wedding. I know most people describe a wedding day as magical and like a fairytale but this truly was – we were in one of the most beautiful places on our Earth, celebrating a wedding like I’ve never been to or seen before with a Bride that looks like she’d just come from a cover shoot of Vouge. It was SURREAL!
The day following the wedding was everyones last day in Como so a group of us decided to continue the fun and the magic by renting a couple of speed boats between us and taking them out on the lake so that we could find some swimming spots. A bucket list moment right there.
We only stayed a total of 5 days in Italy but it really was a once in a lifetime experience and one that I will forever remember. It’s made me want to focus on visiting and travelling to places more close to home in Europe during the next year or two, I think many of us take for granted what it practically on our doorsteps and easily accessible and venture further out forgetting about our continent – so I highly recommend exploring places like Italy that are only 1.5 hours away on a plane. It’s taken me longer to travel home on the M25!