Bellagio is a name that recalls luxury, wealth, and splendor. It is no coincidence that it is considered the most exclusive town on Lake Como.
Its location on a promontory right in the middle of Lake Como, at the tip of the Lariano triangle, which lies between Como and Lecco, makes it one of the most popular destinations in Italy.
In this post, I will highlight 12 of the best and fun things to do in Bellagio, Italy. Read on!
Things To Do In Bellagio, Italy
1. Stroll Through The Historical Center
Without a doubt, what makes this town a unique place is its historic center. Therefore, one of the first things to do in Bellagio is to explore its historical center.
This historic center of Bellagio is filled with buildings in pastel tones and many shops located along narrow stepped alleys interspersed with endless passages and arcades.
The atmosphere in these streets is that of a very lively and elegant town with a rich historical past, made up of high-profile cultural, artistic, and social events.
High-quality craft workshops have made the history of this town, and you’ll find numerous souvenir shops spread across the center.
Although it is best to wander and get lost, there are two streets I suggest you must visit.
The first is known as the Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, a narrow cobbled street surrounded by colorful buildings. It is located in the upper part of the town.
The next street is the Salita Serbelloni, which has one of Bellagio’s most beautiful climbs (or descents).
This is because it features cobbled steps with picturesque buildings. And in the background, you can see the beautiful lake and mountains that surround the town.
In order not to miss any of the most interesting points of the historic center of Bellagio, I recommend you book a walking tour.
2. Take A Lakeside Walk
Once you have visited the town’s narrow streets, you go to what, for me, is the next important thing to do in Bellagio.
The promenade along the lake seems to be one of the most beautiful that exists in Italy.
So if you don’t have problems walking, I suggest you take a long walk to both sides of the town, always following the promenade along the lake.
Of course, always keep in mind the time of year. I know very well that the hottest days make this task difficult.
One of the things that most draws the attraction of this place in Bellagio is how serene it is.
The beautiful flowers, the shining streets, and the crystal clear water of the lake are breathtaking.
3. Pay A Visit To The Beautiful Melzi Gardens
One of the most beautiful attractions in Bellagio is the Villa Melzi and its fascinating gardens.
This villa was the summer residence of Francesco Melzi d’Eril, who had the villa and its furnishings built by the best-known architects and artists of the time.
Francesco Melzi was the Duke of Lodi and vice president of the Italian Republic under Napoleon.
The only entry allowed is the gardens which are filled with flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs, where many different species can be seen.
In addition to the important botanical heritage, you can see various sculptures and interesting buildings along the way, including a neoclassical chapel and a small museum with some archaeological finds and some paintings.
For me, two places stand out from the rest. The small Japanese lake with aquatic plants, nymphs, and a magical environment.
The second is a gondola from Venice. It is one of the unique monuments to see in Bellagio since it came to this town at the will of Napoleon.
4. Punta Spartivento
One of the points of interest in Bellagio is the Punta Spartivento, the point that separates both sides of Lake Como.
Observing the view on the left, you can see the Como area, and on the right, you’ll see Lecco.
I don’t have to tell you that the views are breathtaking. And also, if you get hungry, you can go to the restaurant “la punta,” one of the best-valued places to eat in Bellagio.
If you follow the path on foot, keep in mind that with a pleasant walk of about 15 minutes, you will have reached Punta Spartivento.
If you go by car, I advise you to go before sunset, because although there are car parks, they are few, and they can be full during the summer.
Therefore, if you want to appreciate one of the most incredible panoramas that can be had among those available on Lake Como, then this is one of the best places in Bellagio to visit.
5. Tour The Historical Churches In Bellagio
As in any Italian town, the churches are the main monument of the town, so you should include them in your list of cool things to do in Bellagio.
Here are two of the famous churches in Bellagio that I recommend:
a. Basilica of San Giacomo
The imposing Basilica of San Giacomo was built between the 11th and 12th centuries and is undoubtedly one of the oldest monuments to see in Bellagio.
Of the temple, the bell tower stands out, and also the large dimensions of the entire structure.
b. Church of San Giorgio
If you have time, you can add the church of San Giorgio to your list of places to visit in Bellagio.
Like the previous one, it was built in the 12th century. Personally, I found it quite simple, but that does not diminish its importance.
Inside it is a wooden statue representing the Virgin Mary giving the belt to a monk. It is the religious symbol of Bellagio, to which the inhabitants of Bellagio offer great devotion.
During the town festival (in September), there is a procession in which the statue is carried through the streets of the town.
6. Take A Scenic Ride On The Bellagio Express
Riding the Bellagio express train is a fun and convenient way to explore the beauty and sights of the town.
In short, this is the perfect way to enjoy the sights of Bellagio if you’re short on time.
The train departs from Bellagio’s municipal park and drives past Ghotic Villa, Hotel Belvedere, the garden of Villa Giulia, and along the avenue to Loppia, where you can see the last example of Larian Gondola and also tour the Villa Melzi Garden.
The train stops at several points of interest along the route, allowing you to disembark and explore on foot if you wish.
The train rides start in mid-March, so plan yourself accordingly and book in advance.
7. Visit The House Of Flying Bikes
A particularly pleasant and carefree place in what to see in Bellagio is located in the hamlet of San Giovanni.
Here the local carpenter and vintage bike enthusiast, Ivan Gilardoni, has transformed his home into a real tourist attraction that is now highly appreciated by those who go to Bellagio.
It is the so-called “house of flying bikes,” an almost magical place that allows you to be truly enchanted by the particularity of an unexpected place.
The arrangement of the bicycles along the facade of the house involved a conservative restoration of these period objects.
Over the years, the collection of the “house of flying bikes” has become increasingly substantial, so much so that today there are over a hundred bicycles.
All were bought at flea markets and fairs or even recovered from landfills.
Ivan’s collection also features racing bicycles and also bicycles used in the past by firefighters or Milanese street cleaners.
8. Take A Scenic Boat Ride
You cannot leave Bellagio without taking a boat trip. This is perhaps the best way to avoid missing anything and enjoy a pleasant trip without lifting a finger and avoiding the traffic!
You will be able to admire all the villas and villages overlooking the lake, which form a fairytale setting.
The tour will also take you past some of the small towns that are located around the lake.
I suggest booking a tour with Central Lake Tours, which starts from Bellagio.
The ride will take about two hours, with a stop at some of the most beautiful spots.
If you want, you can also choose a private tour, which costs more but will give you an unforgettable experience.
So if you’re looking for exciting things to do in Bellagio, why not take the opportunity to enjoy some of the breathtaking sights from the water?
9. Stroll Through Villa Serbelloni Park
The Villa Serbelloni is one of the most luxurious hotels to stay in Bellagio, which has a beautiful park of about 18 square kilometers, one of the town’s main attractions.
The building dates from the 14th century, and before being a renowned hotel, it passed through the hands of numerous noble families.
Surely you have heard of the current owners of the complex, the Rockefeller Foundation of New York.
I strongly advise you to visit the exterior part, which is open to tourists and comprises several gardens. These gardens are part of the best things to see in Bellagio, not only because of
how well-kept they are but also because of the number of different types of plants.
Walking through the maze of paths surrounded by flowers, statues and nature is a mystical experience.
It is also possible to access the small Cappuccini Chapel from the park. Finally, you should also know that the views from this area are worth admiring.
10. Enjoy Shopping
Do you love shopping? If yes, then this is what Bellagio is famous for. Here, you’ll find everything from gift shops and local arts and crafts to pricier designer boutiques.
In fact, Bellagio is said to be the best place to buy silk in Europe, if not the world. Production of silk in Como began in the early 15th century, which attracted many famous artists and other imaginative designers to the area.
So you’re sure to find the design you love here. A silk scarf is a really nice souvenir or gift.
Of course, you can’t visit Bellagio and not sample some of its wine. I recommend visiting the Enoteca Principessa, a little wine bar tucked away in a narrow alleyway of Bellagio.
Here you can sample some of the best wines in Italy, grab a bottle for dinner or buy one to take home.
11. Spend A Day At The Beach
If you travel during the Italian summer, it is possible that the heat will leave you without energy.
So, this is the ideal time to take advantage and take a good rest at the private beach club Lido di Bellagio.
When the weather is good, it fills up quickly, so if you want to live the experience, go early to take a seat.
Another alternative is the public beach in San Giovanni. This is a nice beach to swim and rest from the city’s hustle and bustle.
However, it’s good to note that this beach is made of stones, but it can boast of having clear and very cool waters.
So you take advantage of the occasion and spend some time enjoying this wonder of nature if you’re looking for the best things to do in Bellagio!
The last suggestion of the itinerary on what to do in Bellagio takes us to the Museum of Navigation Tools.
Once again, we find ourselves in the village of San Giovanni in an ancient tower house where over two hundred objects are exhibited.
These tools allowed the man in past centuries to orient himself on the sea, thus taking advantage of the safest and most valid navigation possible.
The exhibition of the Museum of Navigation Tools of San Giovanni in Bellagio came to life from the private collection of Gianni Gini.
He was a writer and navigation expert who dedicated at least forty years of his life to research in this sense, guided by a very strong passion.
Among the objects inside the Museum, you’ll find sundials, compasses, eighteenth-century Venetian telescopes, marine chronometers, as well as nineteenth-century ship’s diaries.