Hosteria del Platano (Gourmet Chick in Italy)

Lake Como in Italy is one of those places that everyone comes back from raving about. Until I visited I really couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. To me, the whole of Italy is beautiful so I was not sure what was so amazing about this one particular lake. Then we spent four days at Lake Como and from my first glance the whole place just took my breath away. The scenery is stunning, the pace of life relaxed and of course this is Italy so the food is everything that you expect.

View of Lake Como from Fiumelatte

We hired a villa with a group of friends in Fiumelatte which is adjacent to Varenna. There is only one restaurant in the village and so we decided to try it out on our first night. Hosteria del Platano is situated on the main road that divides Fiumelatte from the lake, however at night time it is fairly tranquil and you can sit outside next to the road and watch the lights sparkling across the lake. The restaurant has recently been renovated and is fairly modern inside with some bench seating outside which is made more inviting by a collection of cushions to perch on.

The menu bristles with local dishes based on produce from around the lake and the nearby Valtelinna valley. This emphasis continues in the wine list which has a strong emphasis on local wines, our waitress recommends the Grumello from the Valtelinna valley. It is a fantastic, smooth red which we love so much that we order several bottles and try and write down the name so that we can attempt to purchase more another time.

The almond crusted perch

There is more good news to report when our food arrives. The lake perch is topped with an almond crust that adds welcome bite and texture to the silky, smooth fish. It is served with a simple dish of green beans. Just as impressive is the slow cooked beef that has a rich peppery flavour. We have found ourselves a little bit of food heaven and it is only metres from the front door to our villa. It could be difficult to muster the enthusiasm to eat anywhere else on the lake.

The desserts on offer are limited and seem to comprise a lot of gelati. It is the cheese platter that is the must order dish at this stage of the night as a serving for two contains a varied assortment of cheese in enough quantity to serve all five of us. The cheese is served with an assortment of figs and jams however without bread or biscuits. Clearly at Hosteria del Platano they believe that there is no point wasting valuable stomach space on carbohydrates when there is cheese to be had.

The only bad news about Hosteria del Platano is that the renovations have not continued to the toilets. A late night visit left us shocked to discover that the toilets were squat toilets like the sort that are common in some parts of Asia. I have never come across this before in Italy and it was really quite bizarre in such a lovely restaurant. Luckily Hosteria del Platano was so close to our villa that we could avoid the dreaded squat toilets altogether. There are definite advantages to eating close to home.


Details: Via Statale 29, Fiumelatte, Italy (Ph 00390341815215)

Damage: Reasonable


If you liked reading this you might be interested in this post on a fabulous little trattoria in the Cinque Terre region of Italy, Trattoria Dal Billy.


  1. I’ve never been to Lake Como, and it sounds like I’ve been highly remiss. The word “lake” doesn’t excite me (which also explains why I haven’t spent much time in Switzerland, either). In any case, I’ll look forward to your additional posts on the region.

  2. I am dying to visit the Italian lakes – my sister-in-law is just back from Sressa on Lake Maggiore and it sounded wonderful. Re. the squat toilets – I was also surprised to find them, but I’ve encountered them in a few places in Italy. I was also unpleasantly surprised to find a squat loo in Avoriaz – can you imagine attempting to use a squat loo in full ski gear incl boots?!? Yeah right.

  3. American in London – I agree I am more a beach girl than a lake girl but Lake Como really took my breath away – the setting is really spectacular with mountains all around and very peaceful.

    Jeanne – I can barely walk in ski boots let alone squat!

  4. […] Hosteria del Platano (Fiumelatte); […]

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