Camin Hotel Colmegna was the final destination point of our spring auto trip around Italy. It promised to be a special place. After the long route (MilanFlorenceSan GimignanoDozzaVeniceVeronaLake Maggiore) we were looking forward to spending time in a calm place to relax, enjoy romantic atmosphere, check thousands of photos taken during the trip, and return home happy and rested. We liked the web site of this hotel at once–some might say, Love at first sight. The hotel staff kindly answered all our questions by e-mail, therefore the choice was made–Camin Hotel Colmegna on Lake Maggiore.
So, after the long tour around Italy, we were on our way to Lake Maggiore, but as it turned out, one more adventure was waiting for us before we could relax near water. After leaving Verona, we decided to visit Como, the biggest Alpine lake of Italy, and the eponymous town on its shore just to have a cup of coffee.
One hundred kilometers left to Lake Maggiore, no more than an hours drive, we thought. Apparently, our GPS navigator did not agree. Initially, we followed its advice, but then we decided to drive without it, because the Alps have not so many roads, and only one of them leads to Maggiore. Having conquered the next peak, our Fiat Bravo entered some unidentified town. No one was in the streets. Seems like they stick to siesta here. The Italians.
«Where are we?» asked the navigating officer (my wife, Irina), waking up. (It is a more than strange question from the navigator, isn’t it?)
The first local we met was a woman who neither understood nor spoke English or German. Our Italian was limited to “buongiorno,” “bella signora,” and “grazie.” However, her Italian seemed very strange to my ear. Since it was long past midday, and we still would like to get to Camin Hotel Colmegna today, it was crucial to find out our location. We unfolded the map on the hood: Signora, point out our location, please!
What? Chiasso?! But that’s in Switzerland!!!
Excellent. You need a special visa (not the Schengen one) for visiting Switzerland (in 2007). We dont have it, but we are here (I don’t know how). We are illegal immigrants. Later, we crossed the Switzerland border twice again during this endless 100-kilometer trip to Lake Maggiore. There is Swiss Lugano on the horizon.
After several hours of wandering in the Alps, we succeeded in getting close to our target. Our GPS navigator began to give more stable directions. It was some 40 kilometers to Luino, and we started to feel braver, but then we saw the line on the road: Arrivederci, Italia!
Stop! Please, not Switzerland again!
Later, we found out that Camin Hotel Colmegna is located 20 km from the Swiss border. Maybe, thats why our GPS was insistently trying to bring us to our destination point through the neighboring country, Switzerland, which we were desperately trying to avoid. Whatever the case, we entered the hotel lobby by the evening.
That was an elegant Italian villa with cozy rooms, light interior, and windows with the view of Maggiore Lake. The staff was polite and very amiable.
The restaurant was perfectly decorated, the good old classical music was played during your meal. It had two halls: indoors, where breakfast was served, and outdoors for lunch and dinner.
What a beautiful breakfast we had! Along with the traditional eggs, muesli, yogurts, baked goods, and fruit, they served alpine honey, a plentiful cheese plate, and real Parma ham. As gourmets we would give it the highest rating! We have never had such a wonderful breakfast before or since that trip.
From the main menu, we would definitely recommend sea-salt dressed dorado. It was so delicate. Piemonte wine was perfect! You want waltzing after such a dinner and the proper music.
The nearest town, Luino, is located 5-7 minutes away. The cuisine there is also great, just as elsewhere in Italy.
Camin Hotel Colmegna is groomed and filled with roses inside and out. What a cozy reading-pavilion they have in the garden!
The garden is gorgeous and the beach is private property hidden from prying eyes. The descent to the lake is very convenient. There are some hammocks and an open Jacuzzi on the shore.
In those May days, the temperature of the water in Jacuzzi was +18 and even colder in the lake. I sat only for two seconds in the “hot” pool for a special photo for the family album.
Keep smiling, sir! 🙂
What is important: the property of the hotel is very small. If the romantic Camin Hotel Colmegna provides a very pleasurable and cozy atmosphere in the middle of May, I can hardly imagine summer holidays here. When the hotel is packed, it will be a real pandemonium here. I would guess that a sense of peace returns to this place not earlier than in the second half of September.