A cluster of five mountains like ancient trusting friends encompass Lake Como with tales to tell. They tower to the horizon in a domineering maze of peaks, deep irregular valleys, and crusted sheer-sided facings. Deeply sculptured from wind and rain, and often cloud-covered, they stand like faithful world-worn sentinels. Tagged the Pre-Alps, the mountains cast long shadows across the lake’s glacier-formed deep blue water creating a textured moment of sun and shade. Residents and visitors alike recognize that in only a few places on the planet are water and mountains in such remarkable intimacy and the recognition inspires soft expressions of awe and delight.