If you are heading to Bellagio, Lake Como, you might be wondering about the best things to do in Bellagio – if so, this post is for you. This post will help you plan your trip. I share some of the best activities as well as important travel tips for your Bellagio itinerary.
Bellagio, a small town on the shores of Lake Como, is probably one of the prettiest places you can visit at and around Lake Como. It is known for its cobblestone lanes with cute restaurants and cafes, a beautiful promenade, and different villas and parks. Whether you do a day trip from Como, Milan, or stay for longer, Bellagio is a must-see in Lombardy.
There is just one big “issue“ with Bellagio – it can be crowded. Very crowded. Because it is anything but a hidden gem, it does get busy. The “Pearl of Lake Como“ is a tourist magnet. There are many reasons for this, which you will find out about in this post.
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IS BELLAGIO WORTH VISITING?
Yes, Bellagio is worth visiting! Bellagio at Lake Como is a great place to visit because of its incredible beauty and atmosphere. The old town with its cobblestone streets and traditional Italian buildings creates an enchanting atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else.
Stroll through the stunning gardens or take a boat tour around the lake for unforgettable views. Bellagio is also full of fun activities and attractions, from markets to cafes, galleries, and museums. No matter what you’re looking for, Bellagio has something to offer everyone! Plus, with its stunning backdrop of the Alps and Lake Como itself, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the views.
HOW LONG TO STAY IN BELLAGIO?
With one day in Bellagio, you can see all the attractions – in half a day you can manage to see the main sights. However, Bellagio makes a good base to visit some of the other stunning areas along the shores of Lake Como. So you stay in Bellagio for a couple of days and see Bellagio itself in a day.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN BELLAGIO, LAKE COMO
Okay, here are the best attractions in Bellagio – find out about the best things to do in Bellagio.
BELLAGIO OLD TOWN & GIUSEPPE GARIBALDI
One of the main attractions in Bellagio is the old, small town with its hilly, narrow cobblestone streets. You will find plenty of cafes and small boutiques that sell local products.
The most popular spot here is probably the street of Giuseppe Garibaldi – this very photogenic street can become crowded. When you look at the view, you‘ll know why.
Another main sight in the old town is the Basilica of San Giacomo, which is centrally located. There is no entrance fee and since it is quite small, it is just a short stop on your Bellagio itinerary.
- Since it is a church, dress appropriately.
My favorite place in Bellagio is actually the promenade – it stretches more or less from Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni to Giardini di Villa Melzi. This one-kilometer-long stretch is the perfect place for an easy walk with amazing views, and if you need a rest, you can just sit down on one of the benches along the way. Unlike the promenade in Como, you‘ll find this one beautifully decorated with flower pots.
On market days, you will also find small stalls selling cute and unique stuff, as well as fresh food and essential items.
You will find an abundance of parks and villas at Lake Como. Bellagio won’t disappoint you here because here are some as well – Melzi Garden is a popular botanical garden and park area with a villa as a main attraction.
The villa itself, built in a neoclassical style between 1808 and 1810, is not open to the public, but you can walk the long stretch (on different levels) and enjoy splendid views of the lake and the flowers.
It is a nice garden, but if you are on a budget, you can skip it and visit the park in Varenna instead.
- Tickets can be bought on the spot for 8€, with children under the age of 11 free.
LA PUNTA SPARTIVENTO
A popular place outside the town center is the Punta Spartivento. This famous bridge situated in a park on the Bellagio peninsula is just about a 10-minute walk uphill from the ferry terminal.
The bridge gives you some panoramic views of the lake, but there is also a meadow where you can just chill and rest. You will also find a restaurant there. While I have not dined there myself, it seems to be a popular place that easily fills up during the high season (so a reservation might be good if you want to eat/have a drink there).
The urge to spend some time in the water would be totally understandable – which you can do at the lido in Bellagio. It is located between the harbor and the gardens of Villa Melzi. This private beach club has a sandy beach area with a pool, offering drinks and food during the day and at night.
BELLAGIO TOURIST TRAIN
Do you rather enjoy sitting on a small tourist train while seeing Bellagio? This is the perfect way to get around for those who cannot or do not want to walk to all the sights. Families with children in particular love this cute train.
The small train takes you to some of the main sights in Bellagio during its 25-minute long ride. The train departs at the square in front of the ferry dock. Tickets are valid for a full day, which allows you to hop on and off at several stations if you want.
- A ticket for the train ride is just about 5€ for adults, and children under 3 years ride it for free (children 3-12 years old pay 2.5€).
There is the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and the Villa Serbelloni – both are probably well worth a visit (especially if you can afford to stay overnight in the luxury hotel). But this section is all about the park garden. The park belongs to the Rockefeller Foundation and the villa was built in the 15th century.
These days, it includes a botanical garden that is home to native and exotic species, as well as several statues and terraces. Make sure to book a guided tour prior.
- From March 12th to November 1st: guided tours every day except Mondays at 11 am and 3:30 pm
- Closed: from June 19th to June 24th
- Prices: €10 for adults, €5 for children between 7 and 13 years old, free for children under 7 years old
MADONNA DEL GHISALLO / GHISALLO MUSEUM
Madonna del Ghisallo is a hill in Magreglio at 754 meters above sea level (2,474 feet) and about 10km from Bellagio. Cycling fans will enjoy a visit to the Ghisallo Cycling Museum. It is a museum dedicated to the men and women who have biked both in everyday life and in competitive sports.
If you are not into cycling, then you will at least enjoy another great view of Lake Como as the museum in Madonna del Ghisallo is adjacent to the chapel of the La Madonna del Ghisallo – the patron saint of cycling – offering specular views of Lake Como.
- Opening hours for the museum: First Saturday in March to early November from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
- TICKETS: 5€ for adults, 3€ for school children, and children up to 10 years old are FREE.
DINE WITH A VIEW
There is no shortage of nice restaurants with a view in Bellagio. But for a great panorama that comes with local food, I recommend having dinner at Trattoria Baita Belvedere“.
It is seriously the best place to eat in Bellagio (I’m just guessing since I have not tried all the restaurants there) and the prices are quite affordable (organic and regional food are offered).
A boat cruise from Bellagio is the perfect way to explore Lake Como. You’ll feel like you’re sailing in paradise as you take in the beauty of this unique landscape.
From Bellagio, you can choose to head east on a cruise into bustling Varenna or north to some of the most exclusive resorts on the lake. Along the way, you’ll get to visit picturesque villages, admire Alpine villages, and explore secluded coves.
As you make your way around the lake, you can also stop for lunch or swim in the crystal-clear waters – perfect for a summer day! With its breathtaking views and gorgeous scenery, a boat cruise from Bellagio is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Bellagio makes a wonderful place to explore, but it is also great for a couple of day trips.
Varenna, located on the eastern shore of Lake Como, is a great place to visit with plenty of things to do. Explore the old town with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings, or take a stroll along one of the many lakeside promenades that offer incredible views of the lake.
Varenna has some fantastic villas – Villa Monastero is especially worth a visit.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities, try kayaking in Varenna’s picturesque harbor or take one of the many boat tours around the lake.
From Bellagio, it is just a 15-minute ferry ride, so it is a must-see place whenever you are in Bellagio.
FAQ: BELLAGIO TRAVEL TIPS
Here are some quick tips for your Bellagio itinerary, that will help you make your trip smoother!
How to Get to Bellagio
Lake Como´s arms form an inverted Y, and Bellagio is located halfway between the two southernmost branches of the lake at 229 meters above sea level.
- Bellagio does not have a train station. So, if you get there by public transportation, you most likely will get to Como first by train and then take a bus or boat to Bellagio.
- To get from Como to Bellagio, it takes about 1 hour by bus/car.
- If you take the boat, it will take about 2 hours (there is a fast boat service, too, which takes only about 1 hour).
- You can also get to Bellagio by car – driving there is quite time-consuming because of its narrow roads and streets.
How to Get Around
- The best way to get around in Bellagio itself is on foot. The sights are all located within walking distance and you just have to wear comfy shoes to walk those cobblestoned and holey streets.
- There is a tourist train that will take you to the main attractions as well, if you cannot or do not want to walk all day.
- If you want to discover the surroundings, I highly suggest getting around by boat/ferry. The ferry station is just at the foot of the old town and there are regular connections to Como, Varenna, and many more places.
Where to Stay in Bellagio
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni is the most luxurious hotel you can find in Bellagio. This 5-star property is located at the end of the Bellagio promontory, with views of Lake Como and the Alps just at the shores of Lake Como.
If you are looking for an apartment with a kitchen, then you might want to check out Diamonds Apartments, which is just a few minutes‘ walk away from the Bellagio harbor. You are close to the main attractions and have wonderful views of the lake – perfect for those who want to cook their own meals or stay with a larger group (up to 7 people).
For a more affordable option, check out Agriturismo La Derta, which is located about 1 km from Villa Melzi Gardens. You can book beds in a dorm and have breakfast included. It is a bit farther from the main sights, but if you are fit, you can still walk to see them.
Best Time to Visit Bellagio
The best time to visit Bellagio, Lake Como is during the late summer.
The summer months, especially July and August will be crowded and most likely also unpleasantly hot and you might not be fully able to enjoy the best things to do in Bellagio.
In spring – April and May – the weather should be pleasant and the area experiences beautiful weather and lush blooms in its gardens.
During this time, you can also take advantage of outdoor activities such as kayaking, boat tours, and swimming. Plus, with its longer days, you’ll have more time to explore the lakeside towns like Varenna or take a leisurely stroll through Bellagio’s old town.
All in all, spring, late summer, or early October are the best times to experience all that Lake Como has to offer!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST BELLAGIO ACTIVITIES
Bellagio at Lake Como is an amazing place to visit in Northern Italy that offers a unique blend of beauty, culture, and activities.
From taking in breathtaking views of the Alps to exploring old-town cobblestone streets and gardens, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out or an action-packed vacation, Bellagio is sure to have something for you – a must-see on any
So whether you visit Bellagio for one day or longer, you should make sure to add this place to your Italy bucket list.