Accommodation Bellagio

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Bellagio Travel Course

Exploring Bellagio

Situated at the intersection of all three branches of the picturesque Y-shaped Lake Como, Bellagio is a stunning city that is noted for its stunning views of the Alps. Known as ‘the pearl of Lake Como’, Bellagio has been famous since the Roman times and today is a popular destination for many celebrities. The city dates back to the Palaeolithic period and was used as a place of worship as well as a place of exchange. Bellagio became a tourist centre in the 18th century when its first hotel, Hotel Bellagio, was built. It is still receiving guests today.

Bellagio was one of Italy’s first famous resorts and tourism is now its main economic resource. In 1960 the Rockefeller Foundation opened the Bellagio Center (Villa Serbelloni), which operates a program that brings in and houses scholars, artists, musicians, writers and scientists from all over the world to work on projects. This is one of the most visited attractions in the city, though Lake Como itself is Bellagio’s main draw. Popular day trips include boat trips around the lake as well as to the lovely village of Menaggio on the west side of the lake.

Sights nearby

Bellagio truly is a beautiful place and there are a number of great hotels from which to enjoy the spectacular views, including the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and the Hotel Belvedere Bellagio. Attractions and activities here are plentiful and will easily fill the days.

Villa Melzi d'Eril
Built by the architect Giocondo Albertolli between 1808 and 1815, this beautiful building is perched right on the edge of Lake Como, with beautiful gardens and spectacular views of the Alps. Exotic plants, Egyptian statues, monuments and artefacts can be seen all over the property which is home to a chapel and a glass house as well as the villa itself. Walk along the Botanic Path and enjoy the entire picturesque property.

Vezio Castle
Located on the east side of Lake Como in the attractive town of Varenna, the castle of Vezio was built in the 11th century and opened its doors to the public in 1999. As you enter the property there are steps leading up to the garden of olives and in the spring the grounds are filled with colourful flowers. The Falconer of the Castle shows visitors the castle’s inhabitants, which include barn owls, hawks and other birds of prey. Enter the castle’s tower and see an exhibit about lariosaurus, one of the first reptiles to live in the area. The castle, which is known to locals as Castello di Vezio, is open from March to November and there are a few great hotels nearby such as the Royal Victoria and Eremo Gaudio.

Isola Comacina
This small island can be found in the western arm of Lake Como and is home to seven Byzantine churches, open views and secluded corners. The island gives off a mysterious feeling thanks to its long history and its important role in Como’s history. Today it is one of northern Italy’s most impressive archaeological sites, with sites dating back to the Roman times. The six-hectare island is covered in lush vegetation and walking paths allow visitors to admire its olive trees and its picturesque views of Bellagio, Lenno and Lezzeno.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

Ice cream and gelato is a must while in Bellagio, with cafés being found throughout the entire city. There are romantic Italian eateries dotted along the edge of Lake Como, with pizza being the meal of choice, while family-friendly restaurants offer a more cheerful environment. After a meal, enjoy sipping wine at one of the local wine bars or kick-back and enjoy the views from one of Bellagio’s many lakeside bars.

Public transport

The nearest airports to Bellagio are Malpensa International and Linate airports, both in Milan, or Orio al Serio International Airport in Bergamo. Getting to Bellagio can be done by private transfer, though public buses run between the city and other cities in the area. A hydrofoil links Bellagio to Como, while ferries also run to Varenna, Mennagio and Griante. Once here, walking is the best way to get around the city.

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