Once in a while it's nice to do a bit of culture with the kids…. in a beautiful setting. We start the day off in Menaggio. I am totally not one for those little train rides along the road, but the kids love it, so what can I say…. I give in once in a while. The Trombetta Express Train takes you from Menaggio to Lenno with a few stops along the way for anyone who wants to jump on and off.

We stop at Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo. Villa Carlotta is a beautiful villa and botanical garden. It has over 70,000 square meters of gardens and museums. The villa faces Bellagio and has a magnificent view. The Italian garden is decorated with sculptures, stairs and fountains. It's so beautiful walking around, and always stress-free because the kids are loving running around the gardens too.

You can then get back on the train and go further onto Lenno. We once went there for lunch and was so pleasantly surprised with the most delicious meal at Trattoria Santo Stefano. Small restaurant with a small menu but delicious. We had a nice 3 course meal so needed to walk it off. Where better to do this then Villa Balbianello. This villa, which overlooks Lake Como has a garden with the most breathtaking view. It's simply amazing walking around. Quite a few scenes from movies were shot here, the most memorable ones being 'Casino Royale' and 'Star Wars: Episode II, Attack of the Clones'. After you've taken in as much beauty as you can, you can either take the little train back, or go back to Menaggio by boat.

It's a beautiful area. On a nice sunny day you couldn't ask for more. Adults and kids both happy, kids have run round so much that they are exhausted by the end of the night. Success of a day!

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Villa Carlotta
Via Regina, 2
22019 Tremezzo
Como, Italy
http://www.villacarlotta.it

Villa del Balbianello
Via Comoedia 5
Tremezzina
Como, Italy
http://www.visitfai.it/villadelbalbianello/

Trattoria Santo Stefano
Piazza Undici Febbraio, 3, 22016
Lenno, Tremezzina CO
Italy