"Today is the day" I tell my husband as we are getting ready to continue our eurotrip by car.
"Are you excited?" he asks as he passes me the car keys. "It's going to be pretty epic, driving by Lake Como. We have so many things to do in Bellagio."
As we begin our journey, I start feeling a little anxious about driving in Italy. I've heard so many stories, I don't quite know what to expect. Either way, all I can think of is how I always wanted to visit Bellagio, Italia. This remarkable place is located right by Lake Como which is known to be a photographer's paradise. In all fairness, I didn't know what to expect from our trip, but I knew I was most excited about checking out all the things to do in Bellagio.
How to get to Bellagio Italia
To get to Belaggio you most definitely need a car. The easiest option is to fly to Milan and then rent a car from the airport. In our case, we drove all the way from Hungary so we already had the car sorted. In Italy, you pay for the motorways at the gates when you use them, so you don't have to worry about buying a vignette in advance.
Note that in order to get to Bellagio, you will have to drive right next to Lake Como. Whilst the drive is incredibly scenic, drivers can be a bit pushy. There was quite a bit of pressure to keep up with the speed and drive faster than it felt safe. Try to stick to your own driving rhythm and ignore aggressive drivers.
The roads are quite curvy, so you do need to be a decent driver to enjoy the journey. The roads alongside Lake Como are quieter offseason and become busier during the summer. We visited during the end of March and we found Bellagio relatively quiet and pleasant but still a little cold.
On my way back from Bellagio, it was fantastic to drive, as I left relatively early in the morning. The roads were almost empty, which enabled me to relax and drive at my own pace. We also stopped several times for photo opportunities.
Top things to do in Bellagio Italia
Bellagio Lake Como
The best part about visiting Bellagio is grabbing your camera during sunset, setting up the tripod and photographing the splendid Lake Como. The lake is surrounded by the Alps, creating this fantastic and dramatic postcard-perfect landscape. Wander around the town and photograph all its colourful, narrow streets.
Walk around Lake Como
We love long walks, and after several hours drive, we couldn't ask for anything better than a romantic walk next to Lake Como. I strongly suggest taking the time to admire Lake Como and the majestic surrounding mountains. During March there were still wonderful snowy peaks, the perfect contrast to the warm and colourful little villages scatters around the area.
Drop the map and explore Bellagio, Italia
Ciao Italia! The best way to explore an Italian town is to leave the map at home and wander around the small streets. Simply go wherever your heart desires. Marvel at the colourful buildings, enter every single shop and sit down for coffee and cake every 10 minutes. Italy is meant to be explored on foot and no place is more suitable for fun walks than Bellagio's intricate streets. Every single stairway, narrow alleyway is fun and full of character.
Eat in Bellagio
We are both foodie travellers and no trip to Italy could be complete without trying several Italian dishes. We started the day with gelato because if there is one thing you can't miss in Italy, that's their fantastic ice cream. Dare I say, Italy has the best gelato in the world, and Bellagio is home to several ice cream parlours. I am crazy about pizza, so of course, I am going to tell you to try some Italian pizza.
For dinner, enjoy a delicious portion of cheesy pasta with truffles and why not order that tiramisu for desert? You know you want to, so forget about calories. When in Italy, you eat like a local, which means you eat a lot of wonderful tasting food. Bellagio has plenty of restaurants around, just make sure to remember that Italians have a break between lunch and dinner so no restaurant will serve you before 5 pm. You have to time your breakfast, lunch and dinner accordingly. In between meals, just eat more gelato, I promise, you will be happy.
Recommended Restaurants in Bellagio, Italia
Address: Salita Serbelloni, 34, 22021 Bellagio, Italia
Address: Via Melzi d'Eril, 1, 22021 Loppia, Bellagio, Italia
Hours: 12–2:30PM, 7–9:30PM
Address: Via Eugenio Vitali, 19, 22021 Bellagio, Italia
Address: Chevrio di Bellagio, 22021 Bellagio, Italia
Hours: 10AM–3PM, 7–9:30PM
Villa Melzi d'Eril, Bellagio
If you fancy enjoying a more cultural side of Bellagio, a trip to Villa Melzi d'Eril might be the right choice for you. You can have a lovely walk through the botanical gardens with statues, lakeside paths and an impressive looking villa. Best to grab a book and have a lazy afternoon around the grounds. Are you into photography?
There are some epic picture opportunities around the Villa Melzi d'Eril, Bellagio.
Address: Via Lungolario Manzoni, 22021 Bellagio, Italia
With so many parts of Lake Como awaiting to be discovered, it's best to take the ferry and spend a few hours enjoying various small towns, as well as gorgeous villas around the area. We wished we would have had more time to take the ferry to Varenna so we could visit Villa Monastero and Tremezzina for Villa Carlotta which is drop dead gorgeous. You can check information about the ferry in Bellagio here and make plenty of plans in advance. Don't forget to check the timetable and fares in advance.
For example, a one-way between Bellagio to Varenna costs 4.60 EUR per adult and it takes 12 minutes (updated June 2017)
Recommended hotels in Bellagio
In our previous article about our long drive in Europe, we created a pro and cons for all the hotels we used for the durations of the trip. In Bellagio, we stayed in Hotel Fioroni 3* which starts from £65 per night.
As a pro we loved the views and the breakfast. We also enjoyed walking from the hotel to the centre of Bellagio. In general, we enjoyed the hosts, the room was clean and relatively comfortable.
As a con, the shower head was not great which made it really difficult to indulge in our evening and morning shower. The room was a bit cold so we had to ask for an extra cover.
Overall we would recommend it, especially for the price given how expensive Bellagio is. We absolutely enjoyed the breakfast buffet and the coffee was a dream. Oh, and you get free private parking which was very much needed.
Reasonably priced hotels in Bellagio:
High-class hotels in Bellagio:
How to dress for Lake Como
It's well known that many celebrities visit Lake Como on a regular basis. Summer after summer, magazines feature models parading their awesome outfits in Bellagio. Italy is the perfect place for fashion and trend lovers, but dressing for a visit to Bellagio doesn't have to break the bank.
Winter in Bellagio
For her: Bellagio can get rather cold during the winter months. So make sure to dress warmly. Long boots, winter dresses, hats and scarves are a must in Italy. Wear a jacket with jeans, heels and an oversized sweater.
For him: Men should wear shirts and chinos, with a soft sweater and a scarf. Go for fitted jackets, gloves and suede boots.
Spring in Bellagio
For her: For spring, you should expect warmer temperatures but relatively cold evenings. Have a blouse with jeans, brogues, with a trench or blazer.
For him: Chinos or jeans with brogues, shirts and sweaters. Can also mix it up with a cardigan, Spring jacket and a beautiful scarf.
Summer in Bellagio
For her: Summers are to be enjoyed in summer skirts and beautiful sandals. Be creative! I recommend tailored skirts with heels or stylish flat sandals. Wear vibrant colours but don't pick more than two colours at the time. Italians love to match their bags with their shoes. Well, we all know Italians have style! Don't forget your sunglasses.
For him: Shorts with boat shoes, sunglasses and pastel shirts.
Autumn in Bellagio
For her: Autumn can get a bit wet so don't forget to pack a funky umbrella and have handy. Ankle boots, cardigans and darker colours are preferable. Tights with contrasting coloured dresses work like a charm.
For him: Time for chinos, t-shirts and a nice jacket. Don't forget your hat and your belt. Shirts, sweaters and cardigans look beautiful. Time to lose the boat shoes and replace them with brogues.
Bellagio, Italia for couples
Surprise your partner with a couple of days away in Bellagio and I promise, you will not regret your decision. We would recommend some flexibility with the dates, as weekends tend to get more expensive. End of Spring and Summer are way more expensive, but it's also warmer and more appealing. Being season, Bellagio can get a bit crowded so photography lovers might want to experience Lake Como during early Spring or late Autumn.
We definitely suggest booking the hotel several months in advance. Don't forget to rent your car in advance as well in order to get the best prices.
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Is Bellagio romantic? Oh yes! I honestly couldn't get enough of meandering through those amazing Italian streets, eating gelato and feeling the Italian passion we all love so much. Would I recommend Bellagio for couples? I think Bellagio is best spent with a loved one or a close friend who you can share with gorgeous landscapes, dramatic drives and delicious food. See you there. Ciao!