31 km From Como
Known as the ‘Pearl of the Lake’, this beautiful town enjoys a magnificent setting on the promontory dividing Lake Como from Lake Lecco.  It is undoubtedly the most famous resort on the lake.  For centuries its’ scenic location has enchanted artists and writers from around Europe.   The views from the lakefront, its’ colourful terrace cafes and tree-lined promenade, are simply superb.  With its’ mild winter and pleasant summer, its’ historical town centre, its’ lush and varied flora, Bellagio is the ideal place for those who like tranquillity and walks.  Whilst its’ elegant cafes, restaurants and charming shops provide an added bonus and attract visitors from all over the world.  During the summer, there is a whole range of sports to choose from like that which utilizes a bowstring, as well as a lake-side Lido, while in the winter there are ski lifts on Monte San Primo. 

Because of its’ location it has a great variety of views. Indeed, it offers a good view of the whole lake. On the northern horizon one can see the Pre-Alps.  Some of the best views can be seen from the park of Villa Serbelloni and from the top of Monte San Primo.  From the latter, on a particularly clear day, one can make out the Alps, from Mont Blanc to the Ortles, and the Madonnina on top of the Duomo of Milan.

Bellagio is served by an excellent ferry service, which gives you easy access to all other parts of the Lake.  The fastest means of transport is the hydrofoil, which also serves the whole lake.  There is also a car-ferry service, which links Bellagio to Varenna Menaggio and Cadenabbia.

Things to see
The Basilica of  S. Giacomo

This Romanesque church was built in the 12th century.  It has three naves with raised apses. Externally it is decorated by double-lintelled arches.  Inside there are some Romanesque sculptures and two fourteenth century tables, from the Umbrian and Lombard schools respectively.  There is also a sixteenth-century wooden altar.  The bell tower is from the 16th century and was modified in the following centuries.

Bellagio is famous for its’ villas and their parks.  Here, along with the local-flora, there are rare and exotic plants in splendid Italian or English style gardens.  The park of Villa Serbelloni is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Italy and it takes about two hours to see all of it.

The following are some of the most beautiful villas in the area: Villa Melzi, Villa Poldi Pezzoli, Villa Giulia, and Villa Belmonte.

Villa Melzi
Now called Villa Gallarati Scotti, it was formerly of the Melzi Family.  This building with neo-classical features was built between 1810 and 1815 and designed by G. Albertolli.  It houses many works of art, including paintings and sculptures by Canova. One of the tombs in the chapel is by V. Vela.  The extensive park, which runs down to the edge of the lake, surrounds the villa.  Among the trees there are Egyptian, Etruscan-Roman, Renaissance and neo-classical Sculptures.

Villa Poldi Pezzoli

Villa Trivulzio, formerly Poldi Pezzoli, manifests typical eighteenth century neogothic features. The Romanesque church of Santa Maria is in the park, in the locality of Loppia.  It belonged to a Benedectine monastery in the 16th century.

Villa Serbelloni
This was built in the 16th century and was practically remade in the following century. It has a big park that extends onto the promontory in the lake.  At present the villa has the air of an eighteenth-century building. It is now owned by the Rockfeller Foundation.  It incorporates a small Romanesque church with a small bell tower.

Bellagio offers a wide selection of trips and excursions that can be made on foot, by car or by boat. One of the most famous destination is the park of Monte San Primo, which can be reached by car (14 km). From here it takes about three hours on foot to reach the summit.   There is a scenic route, which can be taken on the way back from Lecco to Varenna, the mountains from the Corni di Canzo to Legnone, Val Bregaglia and Valtellina.

The Hamlet of San Giovanni

29km from Como

San Giovanni is a delightful, traditional fishing village approximately 2km from Bellagio.  It is a peaceful backwater with picturesque cobbled streets and alleyways, leading down to a small harbour and rowing school from where you have views of the opposite side of the lake, Villa Carlotta and Tremezzo.   There is one restaurant and bar in the village, but it is internationally renown and serves excellent fish and past dishes at very reasonable prices.  Indeed it has been featured in the New York Times.  Just a short walk from the village there is the hotel restaurant Silvio, which is well-known, not only for fish dishes, but also for game.

Things to see

San Giovanni Battista

A Baroque 17th century Church with a wooden alter dating back to ‘600.