La Vita Italiana Cavallino Culinaria: Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza

You don’t have to be a celebrity to feel like one in Lake Como. The people, the lake, the mountains, the palazzos, the food…all are equally glamorous and delicious on the eyes. Add to that the vintage cars gracing the lawns of Villa d’Este and you willingly succumb to sensory overload!

The Concorso at Villa d’Este, considered one of the best in the world, attracts the most beautiful of cars and people. Whether you stay at Villa d’Este, or rent a villa nearby, you’re in for a treat.

a stay in the area is not complete without a rewarding trek to Il Gatto Nero.

The view is nothing short of spectacular, exactly what you need to get you into la vita italiana.

The ride to il gatto nero is not for the faint of heart, but well worth it.

After exiting Villa d’Este, it’s an exciting 10-minute drive up the mountain, with countless switchbacks on a road originally built for pocket-sized Fiats and Alfas, but now occupied by modern day Mercedes and Lancias – going in BOTH directions! Not to mention the lack of parking on the top.

But after such a delicious meal, who would want to drive themselves home! Better let the experts handle it. It helped that our drivers that night, Claudio & Federico, from the amazing Lake Como Transfers, were locals and knew the route well.

To start scampi tartar with black squid ink parmesan crisps & salmon roe, then risotto with aged balsamic vinegar and parmesan (so good we forgot to take a picture!), and sea bass with burrata cheese and a puree of broccoli and peas. All washed down with local wines...as you do in la bella Italia.

The next morning, it was off to Villa d’Este.

After a quick stop at check-in to receive our credentials, we started our leisurely walk through the grounds, soaking in the sunshine, cars, and the all-encompassing elegance of one of the greatest locations on earth.

Presented by BMW Group Classic, guests marveled at nearly 60 historic cars from the 1920s to 1980s while enjoying the exclusive setting.

Pleaseant staff members offered “treats” to the guests to keep them nourished until the elabroate lunch began promptly at noon.

Lunch was located in the beautiful Veranda Restaurant overlooking the lake and the gardens.

Automated windows disappeared into the ground to create the perfect al fresco dining experience.

An elaborate buffet bordered the room.

Seafood salad with calamari, shrimp, and mussels; Prosciutto crudo and cotto; and pillows of buratta and mozzarella with fresh tomato and basil

The next tables offered up several traditional flavors of pasta, and sliced filet of beef.

but the best was the bacala with a lemon, caper, olive oil vinaigrette – salt crusted, and for the privileged few, served tableside, fileted with expert precision.

For dessert, pistachio crème brulee, tiramisu, fresh fruit, chocolate hazelnut cake, and homemade pistachio gelato. And to top it off, a glass (or maybe two!) of Villa d’Este’s own vino spumante.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the shade, sipping Aperol Spritzers, counting our blessings as the winners drive by, one-by-one.

La vita italiana doesn’t get much better than this.

Created By
Crista Miller
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