Your trip to Lake Como is incomplete without a visit to its Pearl: Bellagio. Bellagio is located halfway between the two southernmost branches of the lake, and is famous worldwide for its beautiful villas overlooking the water (like Villa Serbelloni or Villa Melzi).
Here is something I wrote about the best things to do in Bellagio – you’ll be happy to know that most of the attractions are located within walking distance 😉
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Bellagio, the Pearl of Lake Como
The tiny streets of Bellagio are so pretty that a simple walk is worth the visit. The old town center of Bellagio has one main road, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, which gets to Punta Spartivento (tip of the village) in less than 10 minutes.
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi is populated by dozens of shops where visitors can find local food, leather goods, clothing, perfumes, and much more.
To the left of the main street, several alleys lead to the lakefront, facing the Como branch of the lake. These alleys are also full of shops and restaurants… and stairs, too! So wear a pair of comfortable shoes and get ready to do a lot of ups and downs.
In the town center, you can get to Piazza della Chiesa and admire the Basilica of San Giacomo, a Romanesque church built between the 11th and 12th centuries.
After walking on the romantic lakeside Lungo Lario Manzoni, you will reach the world famous Villa Serbelloni, a luxury hotel built in the 15th century and currently owned by the Rockefeller Foundation.
If you’re not a guest of the villa, you cannot visit the interior. However, you can book a visit and enjoy a walk into the 50 acres of park and gardens that surround the villa (contact Promo Bellagio for more information).
One of the best things to do in Bellagio is definitely a stroll around the Villa Melzi gardens. The villa was built between 1808 and 1810 on commission of Francesco Melzi d’Eril, duke of Lodi, and its gardens were designed by Luigi Canonica and Luigi Villoresi.
The park is home to a large number of exotic trees, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, among others. Here, visitors can choose between different routes, since these gardens gather many elements of artistic, cultural, and historical interests. Entry price is €6.50.
Take Via Eugenio Vitali and, after a short walk, you will get to Punta Spartivento: you’ll find yourself in the middle of the three branches of the lake, where locals’ boats are moored and where you have the chance take some amazing pictures.
One of the most beautiful parts of Bellagio is Pescallo, an old fishing village located southeast of the promontory. A stepped pathway, starting from the Bellagio town hall, will take you there in about 10 minutes. Pescallo is a very popular destination for sports, so don’t miss the chance to do some kayaking or water skiing.
If you are in Bellagio and want to relax on a beach, you can choose between the public stony beach of San Giovanni or the Lido di Bellagio, which is equipped with bar, wifi and gazebos.
Also, you have the chance to take a boat tour to enjoy Lake Como from a unique point of view.