Autumn Days with Kids on Lake Como

by Janelle Schroy

Gone are the days of thinking of Lake Como only as a place where the rich and famous have their luxurious lake homes.

I must have thought this because of movies like Casino Royale (Bond) and Ocean’s Twelve.

There certainly are a lot of sprawling villas with exquisite gardens around the lake, but most of the area is peppered with delightful little villages like the one we are staying in now.

There are boats and seaplanes, sleepy lakeside cafes, Venetian balconies, and cobblestone paths up into the Alps.

Switzerland’s border is a 15 minute drive away, and the air is as fresh and clean as you could imagine.

After a few months of living in busy iconic cities such as Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Rome, and Florence, it was time to spend a month soaking up autumn in nature.

We were in Rome on Tuesday, and our friends who had come to visit us went home to America. We checked out of our Air B&B and sat at a cafe with all our kids, 4 suitcases and 6 backpacks and began the research process.

Where to next?

Lake Como was on our list of interests, along with Venice, Tuscany, and Amalfi Coast.

Amazingly, it’s not a busy time in Lake Como and finding a very affordable alpine village house overlooking the lake took no more than 15 minutes.

We jumped on a 3 hour train from Rome to Milan to Como, then onto a bus around the lake, and here we are: home on the lake for a few weeks.

George Clooney’s villa is nearby and the local shops and cafe owners all speak of him in loving tones — he is a neighbor, a friend.

He’s here about 4 months a year with his family. Though he’s the highest paid actor in the world, here he’s just “George.”

He bikes around the lake, eats gelato with his kids, pops into the corner store for pizza sauce. He serves on a board for conservation of Lake Como’s natural resources and takes a keen interest in the affairs of his community.

Lake Como is a neighborhood, a collection of beautiful souls and homes with character. There are so many stories I want to explore here over lazy autumn walks with my girls and cozy cups of coffee while painting in lakeside cafes.

Just now, there’s no where else I’d rather be.

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