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Bellagio is a small town on Lake Como, in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. Picturesque Bellagio is known as the “pearl of Lake Como” and visitors are quickly charmed by its cobblestoned paths, green-shuttered houses and enchanting gardens. The town is also famous for its stunning views that stretch all the way to the Alps. Lake Como itself is known for being one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, with key attractions being the elegant villas, historic churches and glamorous hotels that surround it. The Lombardy region also has a host of wonderful attractions, including the Italian Alps, the city of Milan and Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy.
It’s impossible not to be charmed by the cypress groves, sweeping stone staircases and pastel-hued houses of Bellagio. The town’s historical district is particularly recommended as an area to find accommodation, or alternatively, you could stay in a hotel with a lakeside view. Other nearby destinations to consider include the village of Visgnola, which is situated on a hill a mile or so from the town. Visgnola is known for its tranquil atmosphere and is a great site for walking, hiking and even horse riding. Also within walking distance of Bellagio is Pescallo, a small, postcard-pretty fishing village that includes a restored 14th century convent. Wherever you decide to stay, you’ll find a Bellagio hotel to suit you.
There are a range of Bellagio hotels to suit a variety of budgets and preferences. The majestic Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni offers 5 star luxury, including airport transfers, a full-service spa and a lounge bar. The 3 star Hotel Belvedere is a mid-price choice with an outdoor pool, two restaurants and a spa. For a budget option, consider the 2 star Hotel Bellagio, which has an outdoor pool, fitness centre and free Wi-Fi. Whichever Bellagio hotel you choose, you’re sure to be charmed by the breathtaking beauty of Lake Como.
Bellagio has a number of wonderful attractions to enjoy. Key sights include the 18th century terraced gardens of Villa Serbelloni Park, the Tower of the Arts performance and exhibition venue, the Museum of Navigational Instruments and the 11th century San Giacomo Church.
Other Lake Como attractions include the city of Como, which boasts the historic Piazza Cavour, the Villa Carlotta with botanical gardens, and Como Cathedral. The Villa del Balbianello is on the wooded peninsula of Dosso d'Avedo, and the Parco Naturale del Monte Barro is a park with woodland trails. The Castello di Vezio is a fascinating 12th century castle, and the Tempio Voltiano is an unusual museum dedicated to the inventor of the battery, Alessandro Volta.
Lake Como also offers a range of activities, including kayaking, rafting, canyoning, pedalos, paddle boating and boat cruises. And check out the Aerofune, where you can “fly” through the Alps strapped into a steel cable body-suit on a zipline – not for the faint-hearted! Or if you’d prefer a more creative pursuit, you could take a class in watercolour painting, cooking or even soap-making.
Milan is 53 miles from Lake Como and is a global capital of design and fashion. It’s also home to one of the world’s most precious works of art, Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, housed in the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent. Other key attractions include the breathtakingly beautiful Gothic Duomo cathedral, the Teatro alla Scala, which is the world’s most famous opera house, the Pinacoteca di Brera gallery and the designer stores of the Golden Rectangle shopping district.
Other notable lakes that you can visit in the Lombardy region include Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore and Lake Iseo. Lake Garda is known for its various entertainment complexes, including the Gardaland theme park, the Parco Natura Viva zoo and safari park, and the Canevaworld waterpark. Other attractions include the Grottos of Catullus which are the ruins of a Roman villa, the Isola del Garda which is the lake’s biggest island, and the Tremalzo mountain pass.
Regional cuisine to try in Lombardy includes risotto alla Milanese and desserts such as mostarda and panettone. Regional cheeses are gorgonzola, robiola and crescenza, while Lombardian wines include Lambrusco, Ranciacorta and Cellatica. Whatever you decide to do on your visit to Bellagio, you’re bound to fall in love with this enchanting haven on Lake Como.
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