Bellagio is defined the “Pearl of Lake Como” and I agree with this definiton. It is is a beautiful small village, surprising and coloured and in my opinion a trip to Bellagio is for sure one of the things to do on Lake Como. So if you are planning a holiday on Como Lake today I try to give you some tips for a trip to Bellagio.
Where is Bellagio in Italy?
Bellagio is a small village located in Lombardy region, in the North of Italy, on Lake Como. The shape of Como Lake is a sort of “Y” and Bellagio is located at the northern point of the triangle. The village occupies the tip of the promontory and from there you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Lake Como.
How to get Bellagio on Como Lake
You can get Bellagio by car but from my point of view the best way to get Bellagio is by boat. Many ferries connect Bellagio with Como City and with the other cities of the Lake Como as Varenna. Ferries are available during the day and also during part of the night and you can take your car with you. But please remember that in Bellagio is not so easy park you car (parking spaces are few and expensive)! Also remember that the roads to get Bellagio by car from Como are slow, narrow and winding.
For this reason my suggestion is to get Como City by train from Milan and then move to Bellagio by boat! Take the ferry is less expensive than you can imagine and during the trip you can enjoy beautiful views of the Lake Como.
Things to do in Bellagio and what to see
The best thing to do in Bellagio is rent a boat and see the village from the lake. Do not get me wrong, it’s also very nice to walk through the narrow streets of Bellagio, stopping to see the shops or eat ice cream sitting in a bar overlooking the lake. However, the view that you can admire from the boat, when Bellagio appears with its colorful houses nestled on the mountain is unique. So my first tip, if you plan to visit Bellagio, is rent a boat or get the village by ferry.
More than that if you visit Bellagio don’t miss the Basilica of San Giacomo and the stone tower (“Torre delle Arti Bellagio“). Along the banks of the promontory of Bellagio there are many old houses, each surrounded by beautiful gardens. Some of them, like “Villa Serbelloni” and “Villa Melzi d’Esti“ are open to the public and you can visit them. The best period to visit these villas is springtime, with the blossoming of flowers!
When is the ideal period to visit Bellagio
In my opinion Bellagio has a charm without seasonality and it always worths a visit. From my point of view, however, there are times when Bellagio is really too crowded and one of these is the summer. So if you, like me you, do not like confusion I advise you to go there in the springtime and in particular to arrive at Bellagio in the late afternoon. In this way you can enjoy one of the beautiful sunsets on Lake Como and a walk through the narrow streets of Bellagio at night. I find it very romantic! In addition to that hour usually the crowds of tourists away so if the weather permits you may choose to dine in Bellagio, even outdoors, enjoying the scenery and even an ice cream after dinner.
Visit Bellagio with kids
I’ve said that I find that a trip to Bellagio is a very romantic thing? No? Well, I only say that when I was young was a classic destination for sweethearts so if you are looking for a destination for a romantic weekend on Lake Como Bellagio from my point of view is perfect! 😉
However if you visit Bellagio with kids I recommend you leave the stroller at home. The streets of Bellagio are narrow ant there are many stairs made of stone, so if your children do not walk my tip is bring baby carrier.
Bellagio restaurants with affordable prices
The price is a subjective matter but in my opinion the prices of Bellagio restaurants are not cheap. In contrast, however, many restaurants have a priceless view that – at least in part – compensates the bill a little bit to expensive.
Here I point out a couple of restaurants to eat in Bellagio with resonable prices. The first is “Ristorante Pizzeria Bellagina”, one of the Bellagio restaurants where you can enjoy a nice view but with honest prices. It is a place just outside the historic center, simple but with a beautiful terrace overlooking the lake. They have high chairs for children and dogs are welcome. We only ate pizza, we found it good and reasonably priced, but they also cooked fish and there is free parking right in front. Another restaurant of Bellagio to eat without fear of spending too much is “La Divina Commedia”. In this case it is not the view to attract customers but the setting, as the local, which is located in an alley of the old town, and is on three levels: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise like the poem of Dante Alighieri. The buffet menu is affordable and also suitable for children.
Where to sleep in Bellagio with kids
There are many hotels in Bellagio. The last time that we went in Bellagio we stayed in a B&B that rents also apartments: Il Vicolo. This B&Bis located in “San Giovanni”, one of the small villages that are part of Bellagio, just in front of the lake. You can choose to book a room in the B&B or one of the small apartments. We did the second option: the apartment was lovely and well equipped and the breakfast was fantastic.
From San Giovanni you can reach the centre of Bellagio by walk (25 minutes) or by boat.
What to see on Lake Como
Bellagio is known as “the pearl of Lake Como” but if you come around here remember that there is not only Bellagio to see. Lake Como also offers many beautiful locations to visit, maybe a little ‘less famous of this village but I think just as beautiful and charming. If you look for some advice in this post I have collected some of my favorites. Here I can tell you not to miss seeing Como, going up on the funicular railway up to Brunate, the “Isola Comacina” (Comacina Island) and the village of Varenna with the beautiful “Villa Monastero” (Monastry Villa) and the impressive “Castello di Vezio” (Castle of Vezio).