Modern Milan came to Lake Como last summer with the August debut of Il Sereno Lago di Como (ilsereno.com). Designed by the Milan-based Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, the 30-room hotel is a contemporary observatory nestled among the rocks and leaning over the lake’s shores. Inside, colorful furniture, fabrics, and details—much of it designed by Urquiola herself—complement floor-to-ceiling vistas of the water and surrounding mountains. The views can also be enjoyed while sipping Pimm’s on the sleek terrace or taking a dip in the infinity-edge pool. Should the modern style prove too anachronistic for Como purists, Urquiola has also helped create a Renaissance-style alternative at Villa Pliniana (villapliniana.com), Il Sereno’s restored 16th-century estate located just 5 minutes away by Riva speedboat. Adorned with restored frescoes and Venetian floors, the exclusive-use property is old-school Como with just the right amount of modern Milanese style.