Bellagio is a village located on Lake Como, the third largest Italian lake after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. Having high mountains on both sides, Lake Como stretches at a length of 50 kilometers from north to south in the alpine landscape of North Italy. Halfway the lake splits into a left and right arm, and on this exact point you will find the pretty village of Bellagio.
We very much enjoyed the week we spent in Bellagio. Its superb location makes it easy to visit the nearby towns. There are rustic, old alleys with many craft shops, restaurants and trendy boutiques.
Bellagio is called “The Pearl of Como Lake” and for sure it’s one of the most interesting places where we have already been.
In my opinion, Bellagio’s top attractions (in no particular order) are:
- The ferry – Arriving in Bellagio is an attraction by itself. It’s possible to drive all the way there but it’s a very narrow and scary road. Most visitors come by ferry and the views you get while approaching Bellagio are really spectacular.
- Walk on narrow alleys and staircases that are spread out along the village. You will see ancient medieval houses and villas mixed with ultra modern design used in some restaurants and shops
- The battello – This small boat is the main transportation method to travel from one village to the other. Get the schedule at the pier and program your day accordingly.
- The Tiramisu – I guess no one loves tiramisu more than I do! The desserts I found in Bellagio are huge and absolutely delicious!
- Lago di Como (Como Lake is also called Lario) – It’s astonishingly beautiful and travel by batello (small boat) along it’s calm waters gives an extra charm to the whole experience.
- Varenna – Take the batello (ferry) to Varenna. This is an attractive village on the eastern shore of Lake Como, located very close to Bellagio by boat. The main tourist activities in Varenna are the gardens of two villas, Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi.
- Gelatto – It’s unnecessary to talk about the Italian Gelatto as it is the best in the world, but it worth showing this masterpiece making it sure we don’t forget about it!
- Menaggio – Take the ferry to Menaggio. Another pretty village located on Lake Como and pretty close to Bellagio. The batello (small boat) links the two village with several trips a day. Menaggio offers a pretty lakeshore lined with trees and flowers, some attractive old buildings and dramatic mountain views. A good way to get to know Menaggio is get on “trenito” (a little train that goes through the streets). Using this funny transport it’s possible to visit most of the attractions without walking a lot!
- Villa del Balbianello – Located in Lenno the Villa del Balbianello is one of the top attractions on Como Lake.
- Pescallo – The best way to visit Pescallo is by foot. Walk from the piazza past the church and towards to a park and little harbor called Punta Spartivento. Close to the square it’s possible to see Villa Serbelloni. Continue walking past the town hall and take the paved footpath towardsPescallo.Pescallo is an enchanting fishing village with great views to the lake. There’s a restaurant with tables by the water and the village is super tranquil, giving the sensation it belongs only to you! Don’t miss a visit to Pescallo, it’s a must!
- Details – While walking in beautiful Bellagio, pay close attention to all details! Where are you going to see a birds nest right on the main alley with dozen of tourists walking day and night? Only in Bellagio!
- Food – It’s not necessary to mention the Italian food, as everybody knows it’s delicious and rich in flavors! We ate in excellent restaurants while visiting Bellagio and the nearby villages. The prices are very reasonable and even the house wines are excellent too! It’s also great to dine along the waterfront. I can never decide between pizza and pasta as both are always delicious! Be prepared to gain some extra pounds while visiting the region.
- St Giovanni – Take the ferry and visit peaceful and scenic St Giovani.
- Castello di Vezio – This castle dates back from the 11th century and is one of the most beautiful castles in Como Lake. It ‘a Roman fortification of the XV Century, it is built around a square tower with battlements and a real drawbridge. It can be reached by climbing to the top of the mountain which takes about 1 hour from the base of town. The walk up the mountain is steep but the panoramic views worth the efforts. From the top it’s possible to have wonderful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
- Vila Monastero – This once inhabited Vila on the lakefront is now used as a conference center and attracts many visitors to its beautiful botanical gardens.
- Campo – This tiny village is a must! Campo homes a very famous Villa on Lake Como: Villa la Cassinella
- Tremezzo – This is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Lago di Como, situated on the western shore of Lario, just in front of Bellagio, with a stunning view of the central basin. Since the 40’s, the village, along with Lenno and Mezzegra, has become part of a unique commune, known as Tremezzina. The marvelous villas and huge hotels built between 18th and 19th centuries have made Tremezzo an international tourism landmark.
- Gardens of Villa Melzi – The villa was built back in 1810 as a summer residence of Francesco Melzi d’Eril, Vice President of the Italian Napoleonic Republic and it’s the perfect example of Neoclassical style. Villa Melzi’s gardens are considered more proper “English” gardens rather than Italian-styled gardens. Part of the charm of the gardens is that they end straight in the water.
- Como – It’s a large city with a beautiful promenade and a huge and beautiful Cathedral. I wouldn’t recommend staying in Como because you will find scenic little towns with great romantic atmosphere everywhere else around the lake. Anyway, if you have time, visit Como and its beautiful Cathedral.
- Swimming – The waters are very clean with pleasant temperatures. We had fun going to the beach located in Lenno and swimming in Como Lake!
We stayed in beautiful Bellagio from Aug 3rd till 10th, 2011.