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Review 1480: Villa AnnaMaria, DeVita Apartment


Review by Kaydee from TN who is a SlowTrav Contributor

apartments in a villa, Domaso, Lake Como, Lombardy


April 2005, One week


We spent a very enjoyable week in this apartment in the village of Domaso on the northern end of Lake Como. The apartment is one of four apartments in the Villa AnnaMaria, owned by Giovanni (Gio) Gotti, who I first got to know on the Slow Travel message board where he is Giò59. This 17th century villa has been beautiful restored. It is located on a narrow street in Domaso near the big church, about two blocks up from the lakefront. We liked hearing the church bells nearby. Parking is available in a small public area between the church and the villa.

The DeVita apartment is on the ground floor of the villa and faces toward the narrow street. The apartment is very spacious and a bit formal with very high tray ceilings. Each of the three tray ceilings is decorated with beautiful, elaborate paintings, which Gio told us are a few hundred years old. The apartment has one entrance off the main foyer of the villa and then a separate entrance that opens to the side drive.

The great room is absolutely huge and very pleasant. It includes a cozy sitting area with two very comfortable blue couches, a dining area, a corner kitchen, and lots of additional space. There’s a television and also a DVD player. Gio lent us several DVDs. There aren’t any books in this apartment, but Gio let us borrow several books from other apartments.

The kitchen area is small with just two small counters behind big folding doors. It was somewhat challenging to prepare a full family meal, but the arrangement is probably just fine for most travelers who eat out most nights during a normal vacation trip. The kitchen was equipped with everything we needed (cooking pots, crockery, really nice wine glasses), but just doesn’t have a lot of workspace. There is a microwave instead of an oven.

This apartment has two pretty bedrooms, each with their own bathroom (including showers). Our daughter’s room had two twin beds with pretty pink flowered spreads and then two more twin beds in a loft up a steep ladder. My husband and I slept in big bedroom decorated in blues; this bedroom also had a small loft over the bathroom with one little bed. It would be possible for this apartment to comfortably sleep seven people.

The villa has an attractive back courtyard and also a very pretty swimming pool in the front of the villa. It was too cool to swim when we visited in late April, but warm enough for me to enjoy reading in the sunshine by the pool. The property is beautifully landscaped, and we loved the smell of the wisteria that covered the front wall.

We had the opportunity to tour the other three apartments in the Villa AnnaMaria. Each apartment is different and I thought each one was very appealing. I especially liked the Nelly apartment, which we had originally booked. (It has a larger kitchen but just one bedroom and bathroom.) Gio and his family live in the Villa AnnaMaria. He was a very helpful host in answering our questions and making suggestions for our week. We enjoyed the company of the Gotti family’s little black cat, Nerolina, who spent much of the week in the apartment with us.

Domaso is an old fishing village, simple and rustic, with a couple of shops and eating places in the old village. There are other restaurants and 12 campgrounds on the northern edge of the village. Gio and his wife own one of the campgrounds. The wind patterns on the lake make this a world-famous location for windsurfers. We found Domaso a great place to base on Lake Como. The views of the lake and the mountains are stunning. We could easily reach the popular tourist destinations on the lake by car or ferry, though the ferry did not run that frequently to Domaso during the time of year we visited. We found the traffic on the main road around the lake to be very manageable. One day we made a day-trip to Lugano, Switzerland, less than an hour away.

Domaso has a decent supermarket, a ten-minute walk from the Villa AnnaMaria. There are a couple of smaller shops in the village, though the opening hours were variable, at least in late April. We had a good meal at the Da Lui restaurant near the main village square, but our favorite was El Timone, a restaurant/pizzeria near the supermarket. The food was good and very reasonably-priced. We ate there three times. There was a place in the old village that was supposed to be an internet café, but we never found it open. We used the internet once in Bellagio and once in Tremezzo.

For more information on our week on Lake Como, see my blog at: www.slowtrav.com/blog/kaydee/archives/000818.html

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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