This newly-furnished three-room apartment in the village of Fiumelatte has superb panoramic views from a spacious balcony overlooking the centre of Lake Como. You can dine outside and watch magnificent sunsets over the mountains. The apartment is quiet, set away from main roads with a separate entrance, and conveniently located: a 10-min walk to the nearest beach, a general food store, a lakeside restaurant and Fiumelatte railway station. The village of Fiumelatte-Pino is named after the local river, the 'Fiumelatte' which means 'Milky River' and is named after Italy's shortest river that mysteriously dries up here in certain months.
More about the location: The apartment is one of five in the Residenza Bellavista. You can drive up to the entrance to unload your car. We recommend you park in the free communal car park 50 metres away. The apartment has a separate entrance with seven steps down to the porch. It is 50 metres from the railway, but the local slow train passes once an hour (5:30 am to 11 pm) for less than 20 seconds and is not loud. A 10-minute walk down the mountainside is the nearest beach (pebble), food store and bakery, restaurant and Fiumelatte railway station. There is a beautiful pebble beach a 10-min drive away at Lierna and a sandy 'Lido' at Varenna and at Bellano. Local restaurant il Crotto di Pino is steps away from the apartment. The nearest supermarket (Eurospin) and nearest petrol station are in Bellano. The best patisserie nearby is Cafe Loro in Bellano. There is a mini fish market in Mandello (not every day of the week, check opening times) and a fruit and vegetable market on Saturday mornings in Lecco.
Situated on famous hiking trail: The apartment is situated on one of Como’s oldest and most famous hiking trails, Il Sentiero del Viandante or the Wayfarer’s Path, which dates to Roman times and spans the lake’s eastern shore and offers hikers many superb views over Lake Como and the surrounding mountains. Fiumelatte means Milky River and is named after Italy's shortest river which mysteriously dries up here in some months. It was first mentioned 500 years ago in the writings of Leonardo da Vinci who explored it to find the source. The best shorts walks from the apartment are to the source of the Fiumelatte (1 hour there and back), to Castello di Vezio and back via Varenna (90 minutes) and the shortest is a circular walk around Fiumelatte-Pino is via Via Roslina then up the mountainside and along to the opposite end of the village, then back via Strada Vechia, which is a beautiful old path with great views over Lake Como.
Getting there : If you come by car, take the SS36 motorway from Milan to Lecco and then take the road to Sondrio via Varenna. Turn off after the second tunnel under Lecco to the right on to the SP 72 and Fiumelatte-Pino is the village before you reach Varenna and there is a signpost to 'Loc. Pino'. To get to there without a car, take a bus or train from the airport to Milan central railway station then the Milano-Colico train to Varenna. The apartment is a 35-minute walk from Varenna railway station. You can also take a train from Milan central railway to Lecco where you can change trains for Fiumelatte. You can also drive to Menaggio and take the car ferry to Varenna, which is a short drive to Residenza Bellavista in Fiumelatte-Pino.
Local and regional maps for roads and hiking, timetable for trains and boats, information on Fiumelatte-Pino, Varenna and Lake Como area, books about the area and cookery books, instruction manuals for appliances. Pasta drainer, salad drier, tupperware containers, metal sieve, large metal measuring bowl, metal hot plate, 3 white oven dishes, 2 glass salad bowls, wooden salad bowl, small glass mixing bowl, wooden plate, metal vegetable steamer, blue plastic measuring jug, 4 saucepans, 2 frying pans, metal cheese grater, small metal measuring jug, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar holder, 1 large serving white plate, 10 large white plates, 10 bowls, 6 coffee mugs, 6 tea cups and saucers, 6 espresso cups and saucers, 10 side plates, 1 sugar bowl, bread basket, citrus fruit juicer, coffee machine filter papers, 2 Champagne glasses, 8 stem wine glasses, 6 water glasses, terracotta wine cooler, nightlight/candle glasses, matches.
12 teaspoons, knives, forks, dessert spoons; 6 steak knives (serated-edge), set of four Japanese cutting knives, 2 other knives, poultry scissors, 1 bread knife, pair of scissors, skewers for barbecue, bottle opener, pump and stoppers to keep wine, tin opener, garlic crusher, tea strainer, vegetable peeler, tea towels, chopping boards, cork drinks mats, table cloths and napkins, tea cosy, oven cloths, light bulbs, emergency candles, insect repellers, pegs, electrical extension cable and multiple plugs, 4 fly squatters, tape recorder, clothes roller-cleaner, shoe sponge-cleaner, refuse/garbage/rubbish bin, cloths, sponges, brush to clean dishes, 2 Moroccan teapots, 1 Bialetti coffee maker, electric kettle, American/German filter coffee machine (paper provided), metal fruit bowl, marble surface (this is not a cutting board), oil and vinegar salad set, 2 wooden spoons, sauce spoon, spatula, serving spoon, salad servers, whisk, serving fork, metal roasting tray with grate.
Storms and powercuts
Sometimes there are violent rain, hail and/or thunder and lightning storms that can blow up within a couple of hours. When you leave the apartment please close all windows and shutters. Push the balcony furniture away from the railings in case it rains. Do not leave anything breakable or valuable on the table on the balcony at night because this can blow away or get soaked. Feel free to leave windows, shutters and the balcony door open at night, but be ready to get up – if there is a storm – to close them if they are rattling. Occasionally the electrical power supply cuts out during a storm. There are two green lights in the apartment that are always on and which are independent of the main power supply. One is in the central corridor, one is in the entrance to the apartment. If it is dark, these will guide you to the power switches in the cupboard in the entrance beneath the water boiler. Just flip the switches back to “on” position. The housekeeper will demonstrate this for you.
Sunblinds on the balcony
Three sunblinds shade the balcony from the sun. Please take great care when using with these. When you want to pull the blinds down or put them up again, always use the stick to guide them up or down. At the end of the stick is a hook, this latches into a fitting on the blind and you can use this to guide the blinds. You can secure each sunblind in two places, either secure them in a vertical position (the metal fitting for this is directly on the balcony railing), or at an angle (the fitting for this is at the end of the metal arms). You can adjust the angle of metals arms too. It is advisable to close the sunblinds during a storm, as they will make a lot of noise and could be damaged. If you leave them during a storm they must be secured in a vertical position, i.e. 90-degree angle. So, if you want to leave the blinds down to cool the flat while you are out for the day, make sure the blinds are in a vertical position. The housekeeper will show you how to do this.
Shutters and doors, refuse and security
Keep the shutters and doors closed when lights are on inside the flat or the balcony light is on as this attracts flies. If flies come in, you can vacuum clean them from the walls. To keep the flat cool in summer, keep the shutters closed but windows open behind them during the day. At night, open the shutters to let the flat cool down. In this region refuse/rubbish/garbage is separated. All refuse containers are on the edge of the car park 50 m from the apartment. Please collect glass bottles, plastic bottles and paper, as there are separate containers for each. There is also a container for general household refuse which you can throw into a plastic bag in the bin under the sink. Please dispose of all your refuse before you leave. For your own safety and the safety of your possessions, please keep the front door locked at all times. You may leave the balcony door open at night, but please close it and and close all the shutters when you go out.
Damage, telephone, fax and departure
If by chance you damage or break anything, the 200-Euro deposit should cover this. Please let me know what is broken so it can be replaced immediately for future guests. You may use the telephone, fax or internet connection. To avoid charging an administration fee, double the cost of the calls you make. The housekeeper will tap in a code to check the balance and find out how much you owe. When you leave, please make sure you lock all windows, shutters and doors. You don’t need to clean the flat but please tidy up and return utensils to their places in the kitchen, and if you have moved furniture around please put it back where it was when you arrived.