12 Top Things to do in Bellagio, Italy (Lake Como) 12 Top Things to do in Bellagio, Italy (Lake Como)

12 Top Things to do in Bellagio, Italy (Lake Como)

Sitting on a peninsula in the deep waters of beautiful Lake Como, discover the charming town of Bellagio, Italy. Known as the ‘Pearl of Lake Como’, the town’s streets are made up of terracotta, dusky pink, and earthy yellow houses—with breathtaking vistas of the lake. Stay for a few days, soaking up the sunny atmosphere, sipping drinks on cobblestone terraces, hiking in the nearby mountains, or whiling away the day, drifting on a boat on the lake. Enjoy all the top things to do in Bellagio!

Things to do in Bellagio, Italy

Bellagio, Italy, is a popular choice for those visiting Lake Como’s glamorous shores. Not only is it beautiful in its own right, but it’s the perfect base to explore the rest of the area. You’ll find great ferry connections to other lakeside towns and some of the area’s most beautiful sights within walking distance. Whether it’s visiting opulent villas or enjoying inspiring lakeside walks, there are plenty of things to do in Bellagio.

1. Wander the Streets

Straight off the front of a quintessential Lake Como postcard, the streets of Bellagio live up to every traveler’s expectations. Discover a network of cobblestone streets, traversing across different levels and steps, with beautiful views. Many of the streets are bordered by various colorful houses in dusky pinks, vibrant terracottas, and sunny yellows.

One of the best things to do in Bellagio, Italy, is to wander for a few hours, taking photos of all the pretty corners, dipping in and out of the boutique shops, and stopping for a bite to eat. The atmosphere is warm and lively, with everyone enjoying the beautiful views, sunshine, and Italian hospitality.

Salita Serbolleni (Bellagio’s Most Famous Street)

The most famous street is located in the higher part of town on the hillside and is named Salita Serbolleni. Here, you’ll find the most famous view in Lake Como: colorful houses and green shutters with dark forested mountains in the distance. If you want to see all the best corners of Bellagio and learn a little bit about its history, consider joining a tour.

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Tip: Please note that in summer, many of the roads in Bellagio become crowded. Visit early in the morning during summer or in the shoulder seasons when it’s most peaceful. 

2. Punta Spartivento

Located at the end of the Bellagio peninsula (just a 10-minute walk from the town center) is Punta Spartivento. This small green park marks where the land splits in two, showcasing the branches of Lake Como.

Sit and watch the world go by, enjoying spectacular views of the lake and towns like Varenna across the water. There are picnic benches and a jetty where you can jump into the water; it’s the perfect place to take in the beauty of Lake Como. There’s even a tiny restaurant here where you can grab a bite to eat as the sun goes down. 

3. Waterfront Promenade

What better than a lakeside walk to enjoy the magic of Bellagio, Italy? Head south from the ferry terminal along the waterfront promenade, where you can enjoy spectacular views over the lake. It’s also a great perspective of Bellagio itself, with its colorful, regal buildings looking even more vibrant against the dark mountainous backdrop. In the winter, these mountains take on a new beauty with their snow-covered peaks. 

4. Villa Melzi Gardens 

Continuing along the waterfront promenade, you’ll discover the wonderful Villa Melzi, a neoclassical residence that sits majestically on the lakeside. Unfortunately, the residence is not open to the public, but its fantastic botanical gardens are!

Wander among the wonderful colors of the gardens, with vibrant hydrangea flowers, fountains, and even a beautifully maintained Japanese garden. There is also an orangery (now a museum) with some interesting artifacts that will help you learn more about this palatial villa.

Because Villa Melzi is one of the top things to do in Bellagio, Italy, we recommend booking tickets in advance. You should also consider visiting early in the morning or late afternoon when there are fewer crowds. 

Entry fee: 8 EUR per person. Open from 10 AM – 7 PM every day between the months of March – October (closed during the winter months)

5. Hire a Boat 

For a different perspective of Bellagio, Italy, hire a boat and cross the pristine waters of Lake Como! Whether you want to captain the boat yourself or hire a driver, enjoying a day out on the Lake is the top thing to do in Bellagio. Grab your bathing suit and jump off the boat for a refreshing swim, stopping off at secret beaches and small towns along the way. 

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There are various rental options for your time in Bellagio, whether you want to hire a boat for an hour, half day, or full day. You don’t need a boat license, but you will need some form of identification.

Private Boat Tour

We recommend hiring a driver if you want to relax and have the most stress-free day, particularly as it can be hard to moor the boat in some areas. It also allows you to meet local people who can tell you some unique things about Bellagio and Lake Como.

6. Pescallo Village

Just a short walk down the shore, discover the charming fishing village of Pescallo. The village has ancient fishing history and used to be one of the biggest fish suppliers for the markets in Como.

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12 Top Things to do in Bellagio, Italy (Lake Como)

You can still feel that today with the cute fishing boats bobbing on the shoreline. Best of all, it’s only a 10-15 minute walk from Bellagio, down narrow streets and steep steps, before you arrive among the colorful houses of the hamlet. 

Spend a few hours on the village beach, watching the fishing boats go by or enjoying some of the famed seafood. 

7. Villa Monastero

Just across the water from Bellagio, Italy, is the beautiful town of Varenna, one of the most picturesque spots in the area. It’s a little quieter than Bellagio and is also home to the jaw-droppingly beautiful Villa Monastero. The building was originally a monastery, and was later turned into a home. However, these days, it’s a museum showcasing furnished rooms of original decor and furniture.

The gardens are also exceptional, home to gorgeous terraces, fountains, ponds, and unusual plants. There’s something romantic about wandering in the villa grounds, taking you back in time to the glamorous history of Lake Como. 

There are regular ferries that make the crossing from Bellagio to Varenna, taking just 15 minutes, so if you’ve got more time, it’s well worth a visit!

8. Day at the Beach

There are endless great things to do in Bellagio, Italy, but a day at the beach must be the best! Become a part of the movie-like scenes of Lake Como, languishing on the rocky shores and jumping off jetties for a refreshing dip in the beautiful water. There are several beaches to choose from in Bellagio, each one great for sunbathing and swimming. Some of the most popular choices are:

  •  Lido di Bellagio (a beach club with a bar and cabanas on a sandy beach. Entrance is only permitted if you rent one of the beds or loungers).
  • San Giovanni (a pebble beach with crystal clear water just a 1.5 km walk from Bellagio).
  • Punta Spartivento (not technically a beach, but many people swim off the shore of this green park).

9. Cooking Class

Italy is home to some of the best food in the world, and Bellagio doesn’t disappoint either! Along with the usuals like freshly made pasta, creamy gelato, and flavorsome tiramisu, you’ll find that Bellagio offers excellent lake fish, polenta, and plenty of delicious regional cheeses.

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Taking part in a cooking class is a great way to learn more about Italian cooking. Take a visit to the local market, learn how to make some your favorite dishes with an expert chef, and meet other travelers in the process.

10. Enjoy a Luxury Overnight Stay

Lake Como has a rich history as one of the most frequented destinations for the rich and famous. As such, it’s no surprise that Bellagio is home to endless five-star hotels, luxurious boutique accommodations, and palatial villas. Whether you sit close to the shoreline or in the town center, you’ll have the chance to experience private beaches, relaxing spas, and fantastic restaurants. Some of the most popular luxury hotels in the area are:

11. Monte San Primo Hike

Monte San Primo is a beautiful mountain on Lake Como, only a 20-minute drive from Bellagio, Italy. In fact, if you’re feeling energetic, you can hike Monte San Primo all the way from Bellagio town. However, it’s around 8-9 hours round trip. Alternatively, drive to the nearby town of Magreglio and follow the signposts for a moderate 3-4 hour hike. 

The route is beautiful, taking you across rugged terrain and through dense forests and open fields of wildflowers. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of Lake Como and the Alps in the distance. It’s truly breathtaking and well worth the walk if you have an extra day in Bellagio. 

Tip: The public transport to Magreglio is complicated and requires several changes. For this reason, we recommend hiring a car in Italy if you want to have the flexibility to explore the area. Because of the mountain’s height, it can get snowy up here in the winter.

12. Wine Tour

What better way to enjoy the flavors of Italy than with a delicious glass of local wine and a beautiful view? The region around lake Como is known for its exceptional wines, with some vineyards dating back to Roman times. Because of the rich winemaking history, there are plenty of tours available from Como town and Bellagio, which take you out to the rural vineyards to learn more about the manufacturing process and enjoy multiple wine tastings! Wander the vineyards in the mountain shadows or explore the vast wine cellars, home to some of the oldest and finest wines.

Cafes and Restaurants in Bellagio

Bellagio, Italy, isn’t short of amazing ingredients, from lake fish to fluffy polenta and hearty pasta dishes. The restaurants make the most of having an abundance of fresh food at their fingertips, whipping up traditional favorites and more unusual plates. Some of our favorites are:

  • Ristorante Bilacus
  • Angolo DiVino Enoteca (Wine Bar)
  • La Grotta
  • Aperitivo Et Al (Wine Bar)
  • B-lake
  • Trattoria San Giacomo
  • Bistrot Antichi Sapori
  • Bstyle
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Where to Stay in Bellagio

As Bellagio is small, you can choose anywhere to stay, and you’ll still be within walking distance of all the best things to do. Most people choose to stay in the historic center where the most beautiful churches and ancient buildings are.

Alternatively, choose a place on the water’s edge, like in the hamlet of Pescallo, for the most peaceful side of Lake Como. 

How Many Days in Bellagio?

A day or two is perfect for enjoying all the things to do in Bellagio. However, if you’re using Bellagio as a jumping-off point to explore other towns in the area, like Menaggio and Varenna, we recommend extending your stay. During the summer, when temperatures rise, consider staying for up to a week to give you plenty of beach relaxation time.

How to Visit Bellagio, Italy

The nearest airports to Bellagio, Italy, are Milan Malpensa which is a 1-hour 30-minute drive away, and Milan Bergamo Airport.

Find flights to Bellagio ✈️

By Car

From the airport, the easiest way to get to Bellagio is using a rental car. This also allows you more flexibility to travel to the more remote things to do on your trip. Alternatively, book a direct private transfer. 

Public Transport

The cheaper option is to use public transport, but there are several changes. We recommend going via Varenna rather than Como, as there are more connections. Take the airport express train into Milan center, where you can find direct trains to Varenna from the main station. Once you’re in Varenna, take a ferry across to Bellagio in just 15 minutes.

Getting Around

Bellagio is small and is well connected by ferry to other towns on Lake Como, like Varenna and Menaggio. This means you can reach nearly all the things to do on foot, making it a very accessible destination. However, if you’d like to go hiking in the surrounding mountains, you may need your own transport to get around.

How Much Does Bellagio Cost?

Lake Como is known for glitz and glamour and is often a vacation destination for the rich and famous. With that comes higher prices, and Bellagio (one of the most popular towns on the lake) is no exception. However, if you look in the right places, it’s still possible to find reasonably priced guesthouses and hotels. We recommend choosing somewhere with self-catering facilities if you want to cook for yourself to keep your spending down. 

Costs of Traveling in Bellagio

Travel on a budget in Bellagio, from $650 − $880 USD weekly per person, mid-range $1490 − $2040 USD, and high-end from $2110 − $2930 USD. However, costs depend on factors like accommodation, transportation, and activities. We did not include flights. Check flight prices here

Best Time to Visit

The most popular time to visit Bellagio, Italy, is during the summer months when days are warm and sunny. This is also the perfect time to make the most of swimming in the lake and sunbathing on the shore. However, this season is also the busiest, when streets can become crowded, and prices rise. For this reason, we recommend visiting in spring or early fall, when the weather is still lovely but there are fewer people. 

Best
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Mixed
Poor
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5°C
Jan
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9°C
Feb
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12°C
Mar
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17°C
Apr
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21°C
May
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27°C
Jun
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28°C
Jul
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27°C
Aug
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22°C
Sep
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17°C
Oct
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11°C
Nov
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6°C
Dec

Tip: During winter, many of the top things to do and some of the restaurants in town close. Because of snow and cold temperatures, enjoying nearby hiking opportunities can also be problematic.

17/07/2023 https://www.saltinourhair.com/italy/bellagio-lake-como/
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