Acquaseria is the first settlement you come to heading north up the lake from Menaggio. It is where we have our house, so it’s not surprising that we really like it! It’s a great place to stay because it is within easy reach of Menaggio, for a bit of classy shopping and strolling up the lungolago, and all the ferry connections to the sightseeing destinations of Bellagio and Varenna. Being on the widest point of the lake, it has fantastic views to the east, north and south. Acquaseria is part of the comune of San Siro, which was formed when three villages were brought together under one administration. Its two sisters are Santa Maria and Rezzonico.
The village is on the ancient pilgrim’s road from Milan to San Moritz, and the old village, above the main road, still has the small church that was built for the pilgrims to give thanks for not being cut up by the bandits on the tortuous path across the Sasso Ronchio, the perilous route from Menaggio.
Like many of the villages in the northern half of the lake, it is a working village first and a holiday place second, which gives it a really authentic atmosphere and an unpretentious air. Families will find that there is plenty of fun to be had exploring the narrow streets of the old village, scrambling around the beach and exploring the local footpaths.
The village has a range of essential shops, including specialist butcher’s and fruit and veg, and a range of bars. We recommend Bar La Terrazza. This doesn’t look like much from the road, but out at the back there is a superb terrace looking out over Simone’s market garden to the lake. The Crème Caramel ristorante has a wonderful lakeside setting, and some say that it has the best pizzas on the lake. Da Luigi on the main road is good for steaks, and for pizzas too.
If you are looking for a supermarket, you could easily drive past and not notice it. Head north up the main road from Acquaseria village. After a little way you pass the Villa Camilla and then come to the large church of Santa Maria on the left. Just beyond here, again on the left, you’ll see a rather unprepossessing-looking building set back from the road. This is the supermarket, which is run by an agricultural co-operative, and has a surprisingly good range of stock. Look out for the sign Consorzio Agricolo.
The hamlet of Rezzonico is at the northern end of San Siro, and can be recognised by the distinctive square tower of the castle. It has a delightful small square on the lake side, with a 15th century portico. Very suggestivo, as the Italians say.
Walks around the village
These walks, which you can download as pdfs, start from the little square by the tiny church in the old part of Acquaseria.