Usually if I’m missing the ocean and feel the need to hear, breathe, and smell the salt air, my husband and I make the two-hour drive to Liguria (the basil pesto alone is worth the drive out). Up until now, we never gave much thought to checking out the freshwater regions such as Lake Como, Maggiore, or Iseo because typically, these areas fill up with tourists and residents on sunny weekends. I actually first learned about Villa Balbianello several years ago from a surf shop salesperson in Honolulu (I just love learning about new places via word of mouth!). Originally from Switzerland, he was now married to a Hawaii girl, and upon hearing of my plans to move to Italy, strongly suggested that I visit this villa in Lenno. What a place. My advice to new visitors would be to walk the very easy stroll, then ride the taxi boat on the return. This gives you an opportunity to high-style it outta there with a different perspective from the lake.