Most evenings on holiday, dinner is the main event, whether you are eating at home or at a restaurant. But there is no shortage of music around. Throughout the summer season, there are plenty of festivals, such as the Jazz Festival in the Tremezzino area, putting on evening shows. Most of these start at around 9 at night. This might seem a bit strange, but it’s normal in Italy. Often evening concerts are held in wonderful settings like the Villa Carlotta. Usually the atmosphere is informal and relaxed, but the dress code is smart casual. If you are in a family group, let the children stay up and take them out with you. Feed them first with pizza and an ice cream, and they will be happy. Nobody will mind if they fall asleep in your lap, or even if they want to have a little mooch around.
July is the best month for classical music on the lake, with several festivals staging concerts in some of the grandest villas. For example, the Como Festival ‘Citta della Musica’ stages 6 major concerts in the park of the Villa Olmo. Tickets can be booked via www.vivaticket.it. It can be tricky finding out what’s on, because the publicity is a bit hit and miss. You may see a poster advertising a concert as you drive through a village, and then not see another one. When you arrive for your holiday, go into the local bar or even the municipio, the town hall, to find out what’s on while you are around.
Just as every village has its festival, every festival has its fireworks. Firework displays generally don’t start until eleven at night, but they can be really spectacular, because the lights are reflected in the water. If you find out that there is going to be a display locally, don’t try to get right into the village, where it will be hard to park and noisy, but find a vantage point (preferably your terrace!) some distance away where you can view in comfort.
Teenagers looking for some night-time excitement will probably be dependent on a generous parent to provide lifts, but there are nightclubs and discos to be found in Como. There is even a club in San Siro, halfway up the lake, on Saturday nights. Follow signs for Club Space.