Buying real estate on Lake Como is sometimes seem as a property investment for use in the Summer months but really nothing could be further from the truth. From its strategic central location, Lake Como makes a great base for exploring some fantastic ski resorts in the Italian and Swiss Alps.
Under an hour from Lake Como Closest to Lake Como, is Mount Sighignola in Lanzo d’Intelvi, at 1320 metres above sea level and just 20 minutes by car above Argegno. A day’s skiing only costs €20 at weekends and €15 on a week day and the area is great for beginners or children with a short baby slope and then a medium difficulty slope. With only 4km of pistes it is great if you are just starting and looking to try skiing near home. Fantastic views can be enjoyed from the top over Lake Lugano, and the area is known as the “Balcony of Italy”. Otherwise just north of Lecco, on the Lecco branch of Lake Como is Piani di Bobbio at 1700m, a larger ski area offering 35km of downhill skiing. The majority of the pistes are suitable for beginners but there is also challenging black runs if you take the Chiavello chairlift and descend Mount Orscellara. Whilst for cross country skiers there is a 5km ring also used for Italian and international races. Just 20 minutes by car from Lecco and under an hour from Como, and a day’s skipass is €32 at weekends or €26 during the week.
Under two hours from Lake Como Under two hours from Lake Como are some excellent Italian resorts – Bormio with its World Cup run and 50 km of pistes, suitable for all levels and reaching to over 3000m, Aprica again with 50 km of runs and the convenience of the beginners’ slopes right in the town, Chiesa Valmalenco, 35 km of pistes, Madesimo, 50 km of pistes. The choice is really vast and not limited to these more well known ski areas, where you will find excellent skiing, and can enjoy mouth-watering local food and wine at the numerous baitas dotted around. Skipasses around €35 to €40. Changing direction and going north from Como, a Swiss resort that is returning to popularity is Andermatt at the foot of the San Gotthard tunnel, and reachable by car in 1 hour 40 minutes. Famous in the 1960’s and with scenes in Goldfinger, the James Bond film, it has recently seen heavy investment in 5 star hotels and luxury boutiques. It has 125 km of runs to suit all levels and reaches to 3000m
Under two hours, 30 minutes from Lake Como If you wish to travel that little bit further there are some of the most famous ski resorts in the world within a few hours’ drive. Going into Switzerland there is St Moritz, about 2 hours 30 minutes from Como. There are 350 km of runs taking the three main ski areas into account; Corviglia, Corvatsch and the Diavolezza. Having hosted 4 World Cups and 2 Winter Olympics, St Moritz is gearing up for the next World Cup in 2017. Remember, it is Swizerland and a day’s skiing will set you back about €75. Staying in Italy, then try the duty free area of Livigno, with 115 km of downhill runs on both sides of a wide valley. Lifts are linked and a day’s skiing will cost €44 but is well worth it and you can always save with duty free purchases, at least petrol! Known as Piccolo Tibet as it is very cold and may be best avoided in the extremes of January! These are just a taste of the resorts comfortably accessible from Como for the day. If you are going for a weekend there are vast areas to explore – the Dolomites, the Via Lattea with Sestriere at its heart…………there are no limits!