Bellagio – the pearl of Lake Como

Bellagio, the pearl of Lake Como, is a top lakeside vacation destination in Italy. Set in an ideal position where the two legs of Lake Como come together, Bellagio has panoramic lake views. There’s a pretty lakeside promenade that leads to Villa Melzi with its beautiful gardens. The village has picturesque stone lanes and stairways with shops, gelato bars, cafes, and restaurants.

Where is Bellagio?

Bellagio sits on a promontory near the center of Lake Como, about 30 kilometers northeast of the town of Como. The lake is north of Milan and near the Swiss border.

How to Arrive in Bellagio

Bellagio can be reached by bus or passenger ferry from the town of Como, on the Milan to Lugano (Switzerland) train line. By car it’s about a 40 minute drive along the lake from Como or Lecco. A car ferry connects to Mennagio on the western shore of the lake and passenger ferries and buses connect to other towns along the lake. The closest airport is Milan Malpensa, about 85 kilometers away.

What to See and Do in Bellagio

While the best thing to do in Bellagio may be to relax and enjoy the lakeside ambiance, there are several interesting sights in and near the village.

  • Villa Melzi, built in 1808, has a park with sculptures and garden known for its beautiful azaleas and rhododendrons. It’s open from the end of March through beginning of November and admission includes the museum and neo-classical chapel.
  • San Giacomo Church, built between 1075 and 1125, is at the top of the historic center. The church is Lombard Romanesque style and has mosaics, a 12th century cross, and a 15th century triptych.
  • Villa Serbelloni Park, above the historic center, has an 18th century garden and great views of the lake. It’s open April through November 2. A combination ticket includes admission to the Museum of Navigational Instruments.
  • Museum of Navigational Instruments, in the hamlet of San Giovanni, can be reached on foot in about 25 minutes, public boat, or in summer on the tourist train. It’s open daily, mornings only.
  • Walking paths go along the lake and over the hills to small hamlets and picturesque parts of the lake.
  • Boat tours, water sports, and a touristic train tour are available during the summer season. During summer there are many musical events and festivals.