Our “Thorny” Way to Lake Maggiore, Italy, and its Camin Hotel Colmegna

Camin Hotel Colmegna on Lake Maggiore, Italy.

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 (Milan–Florence–San Gimignano–Dozza–Venice–Verona–Lake 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.

The lake of Como in Italy.

One hundred kilometers left to Lake Maggiore, no more than an hour’s 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 don’t 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.

A road to Lugano.

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, that’s 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.

The town of Colmegna on Lake Maggiore in Italy.

The town of Colmegna on Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The town of Colmegna on Lake Maggiore, Italy.

Camin Hotel Colmegna on Lake Maggiore in Italy.

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.

Lake Maggiore in Italy.

Camin Hotel Colmegna on Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The restaurant of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The town of Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The town of Colmegna

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.

The restaurant of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.


View of Lake Maggiore, Italy.

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.

Roses in the garden of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The nearest town, Luino, is located 5-7 minutes away. The cuisine there is also great, just as elsewhere in Italy.

Food in the restaurant of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

Camin Hotel Colmegna is groomed and filled with roses inside and out. What a cozy reading-pavilion they have in the garden!

We are reading in the pavilion for reading of Camin Hotel Colmegna. Lake Maggiore, Italy.

We are “reading” in the reading pavilion

The park of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

Lake Maggiore, Italy.

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.

The park of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The resting zone of Camin Hotel Colmegna. Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The park of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

The rest zone of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

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.

Jacuzzi in the park of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

Keep smiling, sir! 🙂

Jacuzzi in the park of Camin Hotel Colmegna, Lake Maggiore, Italy.

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.

Lake Maggiore, Italy.

More about Italy:

First Summer in Italy
Decorated Ceilings of Vatican Museums or Interview with God
To Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy, accompanied by Orvieto Classico

Posted in Italy. 45 Comments »

45 Responses to “Our “Thorny” Way to Lake Maggiore, Italy, and its Camin Hotel Colmegna”

  1. Tales and Travels of the Tin Man Says:

    How very marvelous,………………I am pea green with envy!!!!!!!!


  2. wolke205 Says:

    Wonderful post as always 🙂


  3. boomerontario Says:

    I am so glad I subscribed. These are wonderful posts.


  4. wordsfromanneli Says:

    What a beautiful place for a holiday!


  5. Giovannoni Claudine Says:

    Lovely reportage! I do really love this lake 🙂 I see it since around 53 years….
    Pity I didn’t know you planned to be around the Lago Maggiore… we live on topo of Locarno (about 30 min. from Colmegna) and we could have had a nice aperitivo together…
    Next time you will came to Switzerland, let us know…
    See you next time, serenity :-)claudine


  6. Madhu Says:

    Wonderfully indulgent! Lovely pictures!


  7. IshitaUnblogged Says:

    Victor – loved this post. I think I like your guest blogger’s post more than yours – there’s a sense of elegance and relaxed rhythm in the sequence of the photographs. The Maggiore lake right at the terrace railings – I can feel the breeze… stumbling this, pinning some pics as well:)


  8. Susie C. Says:

    Mrs. Tribunsky, you are charming! This was a very enjoyable post. (I often disagree with my GPS, and I’m often right!) 🙂


  9. pommepal Says:

    This is a beautiful descriptive post lovely photos. I felt as though I was there with you


  10. redeyefamily Says:

    You have found one of my favorite places. I’ve been there twice and would go back again in an instant. Forget Lake Como! Give me Maggiore!


  11. Elisa Says:

    I was thinking this looks as captivating as a beautiful dream, and then I saw the sleepyheads! Maybe I was dreaming!

    This is a gorgeous post!



  12. Debra Kolkka Says:

    We have also had problems with satnav in Italy. Anyway, it was worth the trouble.


  13. May Dayao Says:

    We loved Lake Maggiore and would definitely go back! A perfect place to unwind and relax! Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  14. Tali Says:

    Wow, what an adventure to get to your hotel! But worth it to see the stunning views along the way and to arrive at a lovely destination.


  15. sheof108names Says:

    Wonderful post (as always) – I always find them entertaining to read and love your phtos. Looks like a magical spot! Well done to your wife 🙂


  16. adventuretraveleditor Says:

    What a beautiful place! Love the night photo with the moon!


  17. Olivia Mair Says:

    Lovely! Reminds me of the magical time I spent on Lake Maggiore.


  18. rivermansky Says:

    I stayed at Lake Como a few years back. Stunningly beautiful. We too went to Switzerland over the alps. Breathtaking. Great article and wonderful photos


  19. Indah Susanti Says:

    Gosh, the place and the view are fantastic!- It feels like the luxury meets nature 🙂 Thanks for the review and great images – certainly it will be on my list to visit 🙂


  20. Rita Says:

    Gorgeous place! I spent a week in 2007 at lake Como and last August a week in Stresa, by Maggiore. Both are marvellous, but Maggiore is still closer to my heart. And easily reachable through Milan-Malpensa. Room with the view of Isola Bella is a must! And not to miss over-the-hill visit to Lake Orta. Planning to return in close future. And meet you drinking prosecco with Irina in Stresa ( there is very suitable little wine-bar waiting for you)!
    Best regards from Tallinn again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      There are so many unexplored places in Italy and in Europe that I am not sure we will ever return to Maggiore. But thank you for the invitation. I will remember the name of this bar. Who know what the future prepared for us.


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