Lake Como

Bellagio is a small jewel located on the promontory that separates the two southern branches of Lake Como, those culminating in the cities of Como and Lecco.

It is one of the most glamorous and romantic destinations in Lombardy and Italy. In fact, the well-known “Pearl of Lake Como” is home to a colorful historic center, beautiful gardens (parks of Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi), charming neighborhoods (such as Pescallo or San Giovanni), and much more.

❗Its central location makes Bellagio perfect for visiting beautiful surrounding towns such as Varenna, Tremezzina or Menaggio… where you can easily arrive by boat!

Discover the best things to do in Bellagio: most attractions are within walking distance, making Bellagio perfect even for a day trip 😉

Ready to hit the road? Here’s what awaits you in Bellagio, Lake Como!

Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy
Bellagio, Italy
If you can, visit Bellagio in the off-season!
Lake Como is a true corner of Italian paradise that attracts tourists from all over the world, especially during the high season (late May to late September). My advice is, if you can, to visit Lake Como during the low season (for example, in April or October) to have a more relaxing and authentic travel experience.
What are you looking for in Bellagio?
Sights & things to do

Colorful alleys, shops, and tradition

Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy
Salita Serbelloni, Bellagio

The narrow streets of Bellagio are so beautiful that a simple walk is worth the visit. Il Borgo, the name for the center of Bellagio, is traversed by the main street Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, which is reached by walking up the colorful and lively alleys (called “Salite“) that start from the lakefront Lungo Lario Manzoni.

📷 If you arrive in Bellagio by boat, you will probably reach the center of Bellagio by going up the alleys Salita Mella or Salita Serbelloni, two of the most photographed alleys in town.

The alleys in the town center are populated by dozens of shops and boutiques where you can find local food, leather goods, clothing, perfumes and more. If you want a list of all available stores, you can find it on the website of Bellagio Lake Como, a local tourist association.

❗The small alleys are full of steps, so it is best to wear a comfortable pair of shoes. If you have difficulty or cannot take the stairs, don’t worry: you can safely move along the streets surrounding the town and visit its most characteristic corners.

Going in the direction of Punta Spartivento, the tip of the village, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi leads to the quiet Piazza della Chiesa.

Here, one cannot fail to notice the fascinating Basilica di San Giacomo, a traditional Romanesque church built between the 11th and 12th centuries that preserves a valuable altar from the late 1500s and mosaics from the early 1900s.

Gardens you don’t have to miss

Path in the park of Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio
Path in the park of Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio

Gardens of Villa Serbelloni

From the very central Piazza della Chiesa, it is possible to access the vast park of Villa Serbelloni, a true natural park that covers almost the entire promontory of Bellagio for about 21 hectares (approx. 50 acres).

Despite its name, the park is not currently connected to the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. The latter is a luxury 5-star hotel located directly on the waters of the lake, whereas the area that includes the gardens is owned by the Rockefeller Foundation, which here houses a conference and a study facility.

The garden tour, which can only be accessed by reservation through the website of Bellagio Lake Como or at the infopoint in Piazza della Chiesa, will allow you to enjoy unique views of Lake Como and Bellagio areas and to discover the fascinating history of this magical place surrounded by nature.

The visit lasts about 90 minutes and costs €10.

Gardens of Villa Melzi

A walk through the gardens of Villa Melzi is definitely one of the best things to do when you are in Bellagio. If you have a couple of hours to spare, I absolutely recommend that you devote them to visiting this beautiful park that sits on the shores of the lake and is able to instill a unique tranquility.
Villa Melzi and its gardens, open from March to October and located at a ten-minute walk from the town center, were built between 1808 and 1810 under the commission of Francesco Melzi d’Eril (duke of Lodi and Italian politician during the Napoleonic era).
The vast botanical garden is home to a large number of exotic trees, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, as well as numerous items of artistic, cultural, and historical interest.
No reservation is required to access the gardens, and the cost of a regular ticket is €8. Read more about Villa Melzi!
Start planning your holidays!

A few tips for your stay in Bellagio

Two peaceful and scenic places to relax

Punta Spartivento

From the town center, take Via Eugenio Vitali in the direction of Punta Spartivento, the tip of the town.

You will find yourself in the middle of the three branches of the lake, where locals’ boats are moored and where you have the chance to relax in the park and take some truly breathtaking photos.


Another place not to be missed, especially if you are looking for the tranquility and authenticity of the past, is Pescallo, an old fishing village located southeast of the promontory.

A stepped pathway, which starts from the town hall of Bellagio, takes you there in about 10 minutes. Pescallo hosts a small beach where you can relax for a few minutes before resuming your tour, and is also a popular destination for water sports.

The less touristy side of Bellagio

The hamlet of San Giovanni, located about a 15- to 20-minute walk from the center of Bellagio, is very small and little known, but worth a short visit.

❗I recommend reaching this neighborhood by walking through the paths of the gardens of Villa Melzi, so as to avoid the road traveled by cars as much as possible. 

Past the hamlet of Loppia, just out of Villa Melzi, you will arrive in San Giovanni, a hamlet that is home to a few houses and you can still breathe the ancient traditions of the past, such as fishing or floriculture

Here you can admire the spectacular Chiesa di San Giovanni which, with its pure Baroque facade, dominates the small port in front of it, creating a unique landscape setting. 

If you visit the San Giovanni neighborhood, don’t miss the House of Flying Bicycles, located on Vicolo Pretorio: it’s a private house on whose facades are several bicycles restored by the homeowner, Ivan Gilardoni. A real gem!

In addition, San Giovanni is home to a rather large pebbly public beach, which in summer becomes a popular destination for many bathers (both tourists and locals).

Sit back, relax and enjoy the view!

Private boat tours

If you are looking for private boat tours from Bellagio, here are some options that may be right for you!

Venetian Limousine
2 hour boat tour with
Venetian Limousine
2 hour boat tour with
2 hour boat tour with Riva Ariston
2 hour boat tour with
Riva Ariston
Venetian Limousine
4 hour boat tour with stop
at a location of your choice

Public boat tours

❗Looking for information about public boat service? Read my guide to boats and ferries on Lake Como!

Bellagio’s main pier is located in Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini. Some routes or types of boats, however, call at the pier located at Lungo Lario Manzoni (a few minutes further south). Ask the ticket office or the attendants for all the information you need for your trip.

Note: The Bellagio vehicle dock will be closed for renovations for a period of about four months starting Monday, Nov. 6.

Public boat service is perfect if you are on a day trip and want to start your journey from Como, Varenna or other towns of the lake.

Beaches in Bellagio

If you are in Bellagio and want to relax on a beach, you can choose between the public stony beach of San Giovanni or the Lido di Bellagio, which is equipped with bar, wifi and gazebos.

Alternatively, you can also lie on the small beach at the Pescallo bay, but it is rather small and tends to get busy very quickly. Also, when the lake level is particularly high, the small beach is not accessible.

Discover the best beaches in Bellagio!

Stays & experiences

Experiences & tours

Make your trip a unique experience!​

Cooking class in Bellagio
Cooking class experience
in Bellagio
4h tour on a Venetian Limo with visit to Villa Balbianello
4h tour on a Venetian Limo with visit to Villa Balbianello
Villa Monastero, Varenna
5 hour boat tour with visit to three villas
Lake Como, Bellagio and Varenna: full-day tour from Milan
Como, Bellagio & Varenna: day tour from Milan
Tour Como
Como to Bellagio guided cruise with tasting

about Bellagio, Italy

Where is Bellagio in Italy?

Bellagio is a town located in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, specifically on the shores of Lake Como.

It is situated at the intersection of the Y-shaped lake, where the three branches of the lake converge.

Is Bellagio in Italy worth visiting?

Yes, Bellagio is widely considered to be worth visiting, and it is often regarded as one of the most beautiful and charming towns on Lake Como, if not in all of Italy. Here are several reasons why Bellagio is considered a worthwhile destination:

  1. Scenic beauty: Bellagio is situated at the tip of the promontory where Lake Como splits into three branches. This location provides stunning panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

  2. Picturesque old town: the town's historic center features narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and charming squares. Wandering through the old town is a delightful experience.

  3. Villas and gardens: Bellagio is home to several elegant villas, such as Villa Melzi and Villa Serbelloni, along with beautiful gardens. These historic sites offer both cultural and natural attractions.

  4. Lakeside promenade: the lakeside promenade in Bellagio provides a relaxing atmosphere with scenic views. It's an ideal place for a leisurely stroll along the shores of Lake Como.

  5. Upscale shops and restaurants: Bellagio offers a range of upscale shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Visitors can enjoy shopping for local products and savoring delicious Italian cuisine.

  6. Cultural attractions: In addition to the villas, Bellagio has cultural attractions like the Basilica of San Giacomo, which features notable artworks and architectural elements.

  7. Gateway to Lake Como: Bellagio serves as a central point for exploring Lake Como. Its strategic location makes it easy to access other towns and attractions on the lake, either by ferry or other forms of transportation.

How do I get from Como to Bellagio?

The towns of Como and Bellagio are connected by two means of public transportation: ferry and bus.

Is Bellagio expensive?

While not cheap, Bellagio isn't more expensive than other similar holiday destinations.

A good way to save some money is to book the hotel at least 3-4 months in advance, and avoid the highest season (July-August). Also, before entering a restaurant, remember to take a look at the menus displayed outside so you can see the prices of the dishes.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kate

    HI! Love this website – goofy question – what would be the easiest and quickest way to get to Milan from Bellagio? We have a flight leaving Milan at 10 a.m. on a Saturday.

    1. Alessandro - Lake Como Travel

      Hello Kate, I think that this article on how to get to Bellagio from Milan is for you 🙂 Feel free to ask if you need more information! However, since you have a flight at 10 am, I would exclude moving by boat: take a bus early in the morning and then a train. If you want to be sure to arrive a little early, take a cab!

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