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THINGS TO DO IN BELLAGIO, LAKE COMO

WHAT TO DO IN BELLAGIO, ITALY + TRAVEL TIPS

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.

Known for its cobblestone lanes with cute restaurants and cafes, a beautiful promenade, and different villas and parks, it is one of the top places to visit at Lake Como. 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. Here you will find what to do in Bellagio along with important travel tips for your Bellagio itinerary.

Bellagio, lake Como attractions
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BELLAGIO TRAVEL TIPS

Here are some quick tips for your Bellagio itinerary.

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).

How to Get Around Bellagio

  • 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.

How Long to Stay in Bellagio 

Bellagio is a small town, though it has quite a bit to offer given its small size. In one day, you can see all the attractions – in half a day you can manage to see the main attractions. However, Bellagio makes a good base to visit some of the other stunning areas along the shores of Lake Como. So you can make it your base and stay in Bellagio for a couple of days.

Is Bellagio Worth Visiting? 

Yes, Bellagio is worth visiting! It is actually well worth visiting. The old town and the promenade with its park and gardens make it a great place to visit for a day or so.

Bellagio, Lake Como and the main things to do
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BEST THINGS TO DO IN BELLAGIO, LAKE COMO

Okay, here are the best attractions to visit 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.

Bellagio staircase
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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.

Basilica of San Giacomo in Bellagio
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Church in Bellagio, Italy
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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.

  • TIP: Since it is a church, dress appropriately.

PROMENADE

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.

Bellagio top things to do, Lake Como
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Promenade at Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy
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Unlike the promenade in Como, you‘ll find this one beautifully decorated with flower pots.

Promenade at Bellagio, Lake Como, is a must
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Stalls at market day in Bellagio
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On market days, you will also find small stalls selling cute and unique stuff, as well as fresh food and essential items.

bellagio promenade in lake como
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MELZI GARDEN

One thing you might find in abundance in Lake Como are parks and villas. Bellagio won’t disappoint you here – Melzi Garden is a popular botanical garden and park area with a villa as a main attraction.

Villa Melzi in Italy
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Botanical garden in Bellagio is a must see
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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.

Villa Melzi at Lake Como
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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. 

LA PUNTA SPARTIVENTO in Bellagio is a main attraction
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The bridge gives you some panoramic views of the lake, but there is also a meadow where you can just chill and rest.

Views from LA PUNTA SPARTIVENTO 
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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).

LIDO

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.

Bellagio Train for Tourists
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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€).

VILLA SERBELLONI

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.

Madonna del Ghisallo
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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 great views that come with local food, I recommend having dinner at Trattoria Baita Belvedere“.

where to eat in lake como Trattoria Baita Belvedere
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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 offered).

VARENNA 

Bellagio makes a wonderful place to explore, but it is also great for a couple of day trips. 

Varenna has some fantastic villas (Villa Monastero is especially worth a visit), beaches, a charming promenade, a cute old town with historic buildings, and lovely restaurants.

Highlight in Varenna, Villa Monastero
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From Bellagio, it is just a 15-minute ferry ride, so it is a must-see place whenever you are in Bellagio.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST BELLAGIO ACTIVITIES

Bellagio is probably the prettiest village/town along the shores of Lake Como – the old town, the promenade, and its vibe, Bellagio knows how to impress. So whether yo stay in Bellagio for one day or longer, you should make sure to add this place to your Italy bucket list.

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