Bellagio, the pearl of the lake

The lakeside in Bellagio
The lakeside in Bellagio
Just 50 minutes drive from Como, along the lakefront, Bellagio is a wonderful village where time seems to stand still.

Located at the point where the two branches of Lake Como divide, for its beauty and uniqueness the town of Bellagio has been awarded the nickname of “pearl of the lake“. Reaching it is very easy and you will be spoiled for choice between train, car, bike with departure from neighboring countries and motorcycle, not to mention the boats and hydrofoil that connect the main cities of the lake. Intimate and colorful, the city winds on two different levels. The lower part includes the lakefront, a favorite place for an aperitif at sunset or for a lunch break with a view, boutiques, luxury hotels and beautiful gardens, while climbing stone stairs and cobbled streets you reach the upper part, which houses the old town.

Among the jewels of the historic center stands the Basilica of San Giacomo, a masterpiece of the 12th-century guardian of frescoes, chapels, mosaics and paintings, including the Deposition of Jesus in the tomb made by Perugino and flanked by a high bell tower. Not far away, near the town hall, there is the small medieval church of San Giorgio. A walk toward the ancient suburb offers the perfect occasion to do some shopping among boutiques and local artisan stores where to buy from precious silk scarves to leather goods, up to souvenirs. Not to mention that there is no shortage of restaurants in which to eat something, admiring the lake from a panoramic position.

Bellagio is also famous for the presence of historic villas of prestige. Among these, the 18th-century Villa Serbelloni, built on the ruins of an ancient castle and now transformed into a charming hotel owned by the Rockefeller Foundation of New York. Access is reserved for hotel guests, but you can still enjoy a walk in its beautiful park open to the public, full of paths, rare plants, statues and an incomparable view. Continuing along the path you can also reach the nearby Convento dei Cappuccini (Capuchin convent). On your way back be sure to stop and admire the beauty of Villa Melzi’s gardens, embellished with chapels, ponds with water lilies, an oriental garden, several botanical trails and a museum and open to the public from March to October.