• Food & Wine

Flavors on the lakes: Como and Varese

Land of water. Lombardy is often described as the region of lakes by the tourist guides, especially those designed for foreign visitors.

Yet many locals barely realise that they live in an area with one of the highest numbers of freshwater lakes in all of Europe. The area around Lake Varese and Lake Como is a land on undulating countryside, with snow-capped peaks dotted around in all directions.

Hiking enthusiasts will love routes such as the Sentiero del Viandante, on the eastern shore of Lake Como, and the Via dei Monti Lariani, which starts at Cernobbio and takes in a number of hamlets along Lake Como’s western shore and culminates at the Colma di Sormano, situated atop the steep Ghisallo hill, from whose terrace one can gaze out at Lake Como, where the sumptuous villas – including the fabulous Villa Balbianello – attract Hollywood directors.

Lovers of literature will want to follow in the tracks of the protagonists of “Promessi Sposi”, discovering the most romantic corners of Lecco thanks to the Itinerario Manzoniano.

Everything but the oink. Cassoeula is a local speciality made from the less glamorous parts of the pig (including the ears, trotters and snout) and cabbage, but there are countless variations on the theme.  Varese citizens, for example, add little verzini sausages. Another local dish is bruscitt: beef minced with a knife and then sautéed with butter, lard, garlic, wild fennel and red wine before being served with polenta.

Bold missoltino. The lakes have always produced many freshwater fish, including the local agone, which – when dried and salted according to an age-old process – becomes missoltino. This is then served with polenta and red wine, to bring out its bold flavour. The perfect wine for this dish is a Domasino, made from Sangiovese, Merlot and Rosseio grapes, the latter of which is native to the region and is produced in very small quantities each year.

The local vines go back for many centuries, yet nearly died out due to a variety of reasons, including the rise in sericulture. Indeed, wine production only resumed a few years ago. Many of the vineyards are located on terraces cut into steep slopes, with the significant temperature variations giving the resultant wines elegance, freshness and depth of flavour.

On the same topic

What to do in franciacorta

Land of wine, nature and history between Bergamo and Brescia. Franciacorta an experience that leaves all your senses satisfied.
  • Food & Wine
What to do In Franciacorta

Wine and Flavor Trail Franciacorta

Among rows of vines with perfect geometries that cross small villages rich in history, traditions, farms, cellars and signs of human activity: discover Franciacorta
  • Food & Wine
Wine and Flavor Trail Franciacorta,

The cheese

Ben sei formaggi prodotti nel Cremonese hanno ottenuto il riconoscimento DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta): grana padano, provolone valpadana, taleggio, quartirolo lombardo, gorgonzola e salva cremasco.
  • Food & Wine
The cheese

Where to eat in Lecco

  • Food & Wine
The 6 best proposals about where to eat in Lecco

Eating in Como

Here are some suggestions of where to eat in Como
  • Food & Wine
Eating in Como, 3 culinary worlds and 5 different restaurants

Tasting your way around Monza and Brianza

Wild garlic pesto, pink asparagus from Mezzago, white potatoes from Oreno: discover all the local flavours of Monza e Brianza.
  • Food & Wine
Tasting your way around Monza and Brianza

Fagiolo Borlotto di Gambolò

Il fagiolo borlotto, coltivato da secoli nell’areale agricolo di Gambolò e nei suoi immediati dintorni
  • Food & Wine
Fagioli Borlotto

Wine tastings and cellars in broni

At the foot of the Pavia hills, Broni, where wine is poetry
  • Food & Wine
Wine tastings and cellars in Broni

Lecco culture and flavour

Visiting Lecco? Well, you don’t need to worry about getting lost.
  • Food & Wine
Lecco cultura e sapori

Where to Have Brunch in Milan

Not just breakfast but not even lunch, the brunch combines the best of both meals. Here are some suggestions of where to go to do it
  • Food & Wine
Where to have brunch in Milan, suggestions

Wine Cellars in Casteggio

An ancient village in the Oltrepò Pavese, rich in high quality vineyards
  • Food & Wine
Wine cellars in Casteggio, a hidden treasure

Bergamo Restaurants Guide

The Bergamo cuisine has always stood out for its repertoire of robust and tasty dishes
  • Food & Wine
Bergamo restaurants guide, let's discover them

Panettone recipe

The secret of the preparation of the panettone: one of the typical sweets of the Milanese tradition
  • Food & Wine
Panettone recipe, a Milanese staple

Gorgonzola

A DOP cheese from the Province of Milan
  • Food & Wine
Gorgonzola

Cremona Nougat Recipe

It is a variation of the traditional sweet that includes the addition of aromas such as vanillin and candied fruit, which make the mixture softer based on sugar, honey and album
  • Food & Wine
Cremona Nougat Recipe, homemade goodness

Consortium Salami Cremona IGP

An institution to identify, safeguard and promote on the market a typical product of the Po valley
  • Food & Wine
Consorzio Salame Cremona IGP

Tripe a la Milanese Recipe

It is a second course based on meat and is ideal for lovers of ancient flavors
  • Food & Wine
Tripe a la Milanese recipe, how to prepare it

Christmas and the festive dishes of Lombardy

Christmas dinner in Lombardy: the most famous dishes of the region's festive culinary tradition, from starter to dessert
  • Food & Wine
Natale, i piatti della festa in Lombardia

Garda s olive oil

Recognized by everyone as an exceptional oil, especially when paired with certain dishes. Its freshness and delicacy are increasingly appreciated throughout Europe
  • Food & Wine
Garda’s Olive Oil

Polenta e Bruscitt Recipe

Typical dish of Lombardy made with polenta and stewed beef strips
  • Food & Wine
Polenta e Bruscitt recipe, a specialty from Busto Arsizio