The travel year 2020 went by a lot different than expected, we had planned many exotic trips to new countries, but by the time we were able to take our summer vacation Italy seemed to be one of the only easy options. We therefore decided to visit an old-time favorite on our way to Tuscany: the Bellagio at the iconic Lake Como. We previously visited this town in 2016 and luckily it hadn’t changed much and was still as lovely as we experienced before. We did learn from our mistake in 2016 and booked a better accommodation. In this blogpost you will find our recommendations for a trip to Lake Como.

Where to stay at Lake Como

Surrounding Lake Como you will find several villages where you can decide to stay for your Lake Como experience. The biggest villages are connected with a boat service, making it easy to visit several villages during your stay. Como itself is the largest town and I did not find it as charming as Bellagio when we visited in 2016, so we opted out of staying here. In 2020 I wanted to explore Varenna so we looked for accommodation at Varenna, but I also wanted to book as late as possible due to COVID, which meant that all good options had already sold out by the time we drove into Italy. As we liked Bellagio so much the last time we visited, we decided to stay the night in Bellagio again. When you are short on time, it is always nice to stay at a place you have already been before, so you do not have to do any research, but can start enjoying your time as soon as possible.

We ended up booking an apartment at Albergo Restaurant Silvio, which turned out to be a quite big hotel and not the quaint experience we expected. We paid € 120 for our gigantic and comfortable apartment and were able to enjoy the extensive breakfast at the main hotel. Parking in Bellagio can be quite of a hassle, so it is worth it to book a hotel with a parking lot. We were able to leave our car at the hotel and visit Bellagio on foot, which was about a 15 minute walk. Definitely make sure you stay within walking distance of Bellagio when you want to visit the Aperitivo bars in the city center and don’t want to drive at night. I found driving at Lake Como much scarier than the Amalfi coast (which is famous for its winding roads).

Hielke enjoying prosecco from our hotel terrace with Lake Como view

Things to do in Bellagio

Visiting the Lido: The Lido in Bellagio is some kind of beach club at the waterfront, from which you can easily access Lake Como. When you want to do a beach day this is your perfect option, it is not super fancy but you can rent beach chairs, umbrellas, use the changing room and take a shower. We brought our own prosecco when we visited, but you can also buy drinks at the bar. We paid € 22 for two chairs and an umbrella, but it is probably more expensive to visit now.

Enjoy the gastronomy: Bellagio offers many wine bars and small eateries. It is best to venture off the main square when you are looking for a place to dine. I would recommend visiting “Enoteca Cava Turacciolo” and “Aperitivo Et Al” for the wine, cheese platter and some local dishes.

Search for hidden gems: From Albergo Silvio we walked to the nearest water front so Hielke could go for a swim during sunset. In Bellagio it is still possible to wander around and find hidden gems, even though it has gotten very popular over the years.

Get up early: When you want to take nice pictures at more popular places such as the town viewpoint or at the Salita Serbelloni street I would recommend to come early. Even during a pandemic it was already pretty crowded on the stairways of Bellagio at 10AM.

Visit the gardens of Villa Melzi: Villa Melzi is a townhouse just outside of the city center of Bellagio. For € 6,50 you can enter the gardens and enjoy a super quiet area at Lake Como. We visited late in September, but I am sure it is even more beautiful in spring time!

Take a boat: We accidentally ended up taking the car ferry to Bellagio and we were surprised how easy and affordable it was. The ferry definitely is the perfect way to visit other towns at Lake Como and as a bonus you get to enjoy the views from the boat!

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