Head up the winding road in Carate Urio (one deli, a few bars) to this: a lofty 19th-century villa with stunning views of Lake Como.
Its mix of old elegance, high spec design, and years of love and attention makes this the warm family home it is today. Bedrooms, soothing and serene, are on the top two floors. Below are books, games and sofas, proper fires, and a kitchen fit for chefs. In summer sniff the roses, bask by the pool, or play ping-pong and hide and seek in the gardens.
For restaurants and shops you have Cernobbio, 6km. Pick a café by the lake; catch a ferry to Bellagio. Don’t miss the Villa Carlotta, loved for its botanic gardens. From Cernobbio you can also walk a lakeside pathway (5km) into Como. Later recover in the venerable Villa d’Este, with afternoon tea or an aperitivo.