What do Casino Royale, Ocean’s Twelve and Episode II - Attack of the Clones have in common? A lake. After James Bond is tortured by Le Chiffre, he is put in a sanatorium with a view of Lake Como and this is where he first reveals his feelings to Vesper Lynd (Eva Green); this is also where the night fox (Vincent Cassel) has his residence and where Mr. and Mrs. Ocean go to beat him at his own game; finally, the undulating hills around the lake also form the background of the love story between Anakin Skywalker and Princess Amidala, which starts off beautifully, yet ends quite badly. And these are just some of the latest films shot around Lake Como.
Lake Como is quite a big lake in the shape of the letter Y or rather of an upside down tuning fork. At the southern end of the left fork lies the small town of Como, which can be reached in about half an hour from Milan by car – and better still by train from the Stazione Centrale, which leaves around every hour. After leaving the station, in about a quarter of an hour you will reach Como port.
This is the starting point for big, twinlevel tourist ships which tour the whole lake. The ticket costs just six euros and you can get on or off every boat at either one of the six stops along the round itinerary which correspond to different towns on the bank of the lake.
The port at Cernobbio is lined with several great restaurants, owned by English immigrants, where you can try the local specialty. Moltrasio, on the other hand, offers an excellent pastry shop as well as the chance to climb the steep streets up to the church square, which commands a spectacular view of the lake and the small towns on the opposite bank.