The area surrounding Lake Como is a place of spectacular scenery, fascinating works of art and interesting architecture and buildings lining the shores and old villages. But one cannot claim to know an area well unless one has tasted its local cuisine and products.
During our full day Cheese & Ham Lovers Tour we will enjoy exclusive visits to 2 award-winning cheese and ham producers of the area: CAROZZI and MARCO D’OGGIONO. A food lovers dream!
You will start your journey in Varenna, from where you will be driven down the Lecco branch to the east, a stunning and magical territory with unspoilt landscapes, a distant cry from mass tourism, dwarfed by the majestic and severe surrounding mountains.
You will admire the lakefront of Lecco, an enchanting town renowned in the past amongst noblemen and great writers such as Manzoni, who chose it as an inspiring location to rest and create his masterpiece.
Our first stop will be at Marco d’Oggiono production site, a family-owned business, founded in 1945 in Oggiono (Lecco) and continues today with passion and wisdom to produce cured hams making a mild and good prosciutto crudo. Here you will be welcomed with a delicious tasting of their top quality sliced meats followed by an exclusive visit to their “prosciutto rooms” (Marco d’Oggiono Prosciutti received an award from Lombardy Region as one of ten Lombardian Excellencies in 2014).
A nice half-hour drive will bring you up the mountains to discover the Valsassina Valley on the Eastern side of the lake. Lake Como excels in dairy products. The Valsassina Valley is a territory recognized by the European Union as a protected area. Many of the largest Italian cheese companies were born there thanks to the pastures and to its caves which provide a constant level of humidity and temperature in all seasons, suitable for the natural seasoning of the cheese.
Carozzi is a boutique dairy and cheese producer. It has been operating in the historic butter factory site in Pasturo since 1960 and has developed an internationally award-winning range of hand-made dairy and goat milk cheeses that have become Italian classics. Here you will visit their local production site, learning about all the processes of conservation and “salatura” of one of the most renown cheese of the Valley: Taleggio. A delicious tasting of their top quality cheeses, including gorgonzola, latteria, primo sale and goat milk products will be served at a beautiful setting with mountain view, complete with a risotto or pasta dish and a glass of local wine.
Expect mountain scenery on a grand scale on your drive back to Varenna, a ravishingly photogenic stretch of road surrounded with majestic peaks and characteristic historic villages writhing its way through the valley down to our magnificent lake.
Every time you visit a country don’t forget to taste its specialties with the locals, a real experience that allows you to know the culture and the traditions of a destination !