Lake Como, in Northern Italy, is famous all over the world for its beauty. And well, yes, it owes part of its fame to George Clooney, who bought a house there. But celebrities apart, this is really a piece of Italy you shouldn’t miss, as it’s incredibly beautiful and different from big cities like Rome or Venice.
And I swear I don’t say that just because this is the place I’m from! It’s really worth a visit, and indeed in recent years the area has seen a lot of increase in tourism.
The place I’ll be talking about in this post is a small village along the lake, Bellagio. The name literally means “beautiful” (bel) “comfort” (agio), and maybe for this reason there is also a famous hotel in Las Vegas with the same name.
As any other village on the lake, Bellagio has very narrow streets and very few cars get inside the centre. The picture on the right is actually one of the broadest streets you’ll see. Bellagio is also very small. This means you can lose yourself wandering around but at the same time knowing you can’t get lost too much.
What’s even better, Bellagio is full of amazing shops, some dedicated to luxury and very expensive, others more affordable. But you can rest assured you’ll be buying high quality Italian goods – be it food, leather, clothes, glass, or jewelry. I remember when I was a child we used to go there every winter before Christmas. I would choose a glass ball for our Christmas tree while my father usually bought a silk tie.
The view on the Lake
Bellagio is in a very privileged position and is perfect to get a good sight of Lake Como.
The best place to get the view is not in the centre but a little farther away. Go up the hill and you’ll see a church. Keep walking after the church in a street that apparently brings you away from everything. The truth is, after a 15 minutes walk you arrive to a garden and you get a wide view of the lake.
This is probably one of the broadest points in the lake, and yet the other bank is very close, almost resembling a river. Everything is surrounded by mountains, and being February you can still see some snow. You can also see other villages.
The other good point to see the lake is slightly less interesting to talk about. This is simply because you will be there first thing when you arrive, so you can be sure you won’t miss it!
How to get there
If you’re visiting Como city, I strongly suggest a day trip there. You can reach it by boat, which will take more than an hour and will cost you more (but you’ll have the chance to admire amazing landscapes).
Or you can choose the quicker and cheaper option, which is the bus or car. This takes around 45 minutes but the road is very narrow and basically a mountain road. But it’s definitely worth it.
Another tip: if you go by car, don’t park in the centre. Try to get a little farther away up the hill, where you find free parking lots. Besides, the village is so small you won’t have to walk too much!
When to visit
The best season to visit Bellagio, or any other village in Lake Como, is late spring or early autumn. Summer is also a good choice of course, but mind that it will be very hot! But even winter can’t hide the beauty of the place. I went there a few days ago, the weather was nice and there were fewer tourists.