Bellagio is a picturesque stone village near Lake Como in the Province of Como in the Italian region of Lombardy. This fascinating village has been populated since the Paleolithic era, however the Insubres, a Celtic tribe were the first distinguishable inhabitants of the territory, dating to about 400BC.
Lake Como is famous as a holiday destination, and the most well-known of its shore-side towns is Bellagio. A beautiful town, this area was home to the 17th and 18th century gentry, and even at present day it exudes romantic charm. Traditionally, Europe’s lords and ladies came to immerse themselves in the relaxing environment of Lake Como, and indulge in refreshments and fine cuisine, bathe and sail their yachts. Nowadays, it still preserves its serene, lighthearted air that is ideal for a tranquil and picture-perfect vacation. So why not grab a rental from CuddlyNest, visit Bellagio and pretend you are in a scene from a Jane Austen novel?
How do I get to Bellagio?
The ferry is the easiest way to access Bellagio. There is no direct train to Bellagio, but the nearest stop is at Varenna and trains travel frequently to and from Milan. A hydrofoil links the city of Como to Bellagio, and makes stops at other nearby towns as well. The city of Como can serve as the perfect base from which you can travel around the lake and the broader Lombardy region.
What can I do at Bellagio?
While Bellagio’s beaches are its main attraction there is abundant culture to experience as well. A good way to appreciate the lovely Lake is with a stroll around the lakefront, or by appreciating it from one of the cafes at the docks. For fashion lovers, the region is famous for its silk fabrics. Museo Didattico della Seta, or the Silk Museum, further expands on its production since it was introduced by Marco Polo. Silk here is used to make scarves, ties, blouses and more despite production not being in Como anymore. These fabrics are elegant and high-quality, so why not buy a gift to adorn yourself or someone special back home? There’s lots more to see at Bellagio as well, from parks and museums to ancient cathedrals and villas. Stroll through the pretty, narrow streets of Bellagio and take in the many shops and sights. But remember to bring your comfortable walking shoes, as there are many stairs!
Basilica of St. James
The town of Bellagio is home to the landmark of the Roman era basilica of San Giacomo or St James. The unembellished stone facade is pressed beside the impressive attached bell tower, which is visible from the adjacent areas. The church was built in the 12th century in the Romanesque style. It has three slender naves and a tripartite curved apse of stone. It was refurbished during the Baroque period, but lacks the usual extravagances of that style, so it maintains a reserved atmosphere generally. It contains a mix of artwork by the Umbrian and Lombard schools, some exquisite paintings of which one is credited to Perugino, as well as Romanesque statuaries and a marble pulpit resting on four marble columns which embody the four evangelists.
Bellagio is the spot where the cycling tour starts, with a climb to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Ghisallo which is the patron saint of cyclists. Thus, cycling fans consider it an important destination. The uphill climb is a distance of roughly 4 km and has a steep upwards rise of nearly 500 meters. You can also take the route from the Wall of Sormano on the road to the western shore as well as the Onno to Valbrona on the eastern shoreline of the lake. These two routes, along with the ascent to the Sanctuary, constitute a portion of the Tris del Lario race.
Treks of all degrees of difficulty are possible around and above Bellagio on the Larian Triangle. So don’t worry if you have been slacking at the gym lately – you can find a trail that suits your fitness level or challenge yourself!
Along the banks of the cliffs in Bellagio are many old upper-class houses. Lovely tree-filled parks and gardens surround each villa. While some villas are private, others such as Villa Melzi d'Esti and Villa Serbelloni are open to the community and offer tours, which go into detail about the history of the land. Villa Melzi d'Esti is a noteworthy building facing the lake and was constructed in the middle of 1808 and 1815 by Giocondo Albertolli, an architect, for Francesco Melzi d'Eril, who was appointed Duke of Lodi by Napoleon. It is designed in the English style of gardens, which line the banks of the lake and provide a view from Bellagio to the direction of the hills to the south. The villa is surrounded by memorials; relics (such as two valuable Egyptian statues and a Venetian gondola), and many plants which include hedges of camellias, old trees and groves of azaleas. There is also a chapel and a glass house set in the neoclassical style in a grand manner.
Bellagio is full of restaurants and cafes, which offer everything from traditional food to modern cuisine. One such traditional dish eaten on Bellagino feast day is the Tóch, made of polenta mixed with cheese and butter. Dried cold fish taken from the lake, or with stuffed chicken or salami complement it. Miasca, Pan meino and paradèl are some desserts in the form of cakes and wafers than are also available.
Vacation rentals in Bellagio, Italy
Ready for that dreamy vacation in Bellagio then? Book your lodgings through CuddlyNest and choose from properties that fit your needs and tastes. If you have a pet, there are accommodations that can house them as well, no worries! Our selection of rentals at Bellagio offer both cozy and spacious apartments ranging from near the gorgeous lake to close to the city center. So go on that perfect vacation with CuddlyNest and make memories!