Lake Como, Lombardy
Many views are described as ‘spectacular’, but the ones offered by Villa Moderna truly are that. From just above a charming, red-roofed village on Como’s southwestern flank, this impressive home looks across a swathe of the lake, including its sole island, Comacina, and the gilded town of Bellagio, to the tree-covered mountains plunging down to meet it. Those vistas are especially mesmerising from the svelte, 18-metre infinity pool and its neighbouring hot tub, and on the outdoor terrace. Sundowners out there are unforgettable. Moderna by name, Moderna by nature. The villa’s interiors are distinctly contemporary, all straight lines, space and light. Warm cherry wood balances lots of buffed, local stone; the latter regulating summer’s heat. There’s a loft-apartment feel to the villa’s main open-plan space, whose undulating levels unite a lounge, dining room and high-spec kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling windows re-emphasise that exceptional scenery and, to one side, jasmine and oregano plants scented a small courtyard. Four bedrooms are classed as ‘masters’ thanks to their size, lake views and terrace access; all six are ensuite, and spread across both floors. Stopping at nearby Lenno – whose garden-lined Villa del Balbianello featured in Casino Royale – criss-crossing lake ferries serve the beautiful towns of Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio, where golf awaits. Truffle hunting and wine-tasting experiences also await in the local area, as do hikes, horse-rides and lakeside cycle paths.