Hello and welcome to my quick travel guide on the beautiful town of Bellagio. My name is Emily Jaine. Born and raised in Essex (UK), my travel journey came out of the blue. After studying history at university, I fell into social media marketing and that’s when I realized I had a flair for content.
After a year of being underpaid and underappreciated at my position, I came across a group tour for girls on Facebook. I spontaneously decided to quit my job and book a flight to Bali. This trip changed my life, and has led me to travel the world and create my own content ever since.
I’ve been lucky to travel most of Italy (it’s by far my favorite place for a weekend getaway, a large part of this being the food). To date I’ve been to Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Milan and Lake Como but my most recent trip was a six day city-hop where I visited Bologna, Venice and Lake Garda.
I love being on the water, so I was eager to visit a beautiful lake like Lake Como. I also wanted to go to Milan and it was easy to travel between both. I explored the lake by boat, taking the express ferry early in the morning up to Bellagio. The ferry itself isn’t overly scenic – as it’s an enclosed speed boat – but the smaller ferry that I took between Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna allowed me to see some of the most gorgeous parts of the lake.
Why Bellagio is a Magical Town
Bellagio is beyond beautiful. Since it’s on the Y junction of the lake, you have water views from nearly every part of town. The streets are filled with quaint gift shops, lake-view restaurants and picturesque vistas. The town is small though, so you only need a few hours. That is why I recommend getting the smaller ferry to some of the other towns while you’re there. It’s also expensive to stay – hence why I booked a hotel in Como for two nights.
Perhaps my favorite part of Bellagio was this little street up the center from the port, and at the top it has the loveliest view down to the lake past the prettiest old Italian buildings. I sat here and had a gelato with my mum, and it was so peaceful. You can find it by the sign that says “wine bar”.
How to Spend a Few Hours in Bellagio
- Explore the Streets: Start your Bellagio trip with a full walk around the town. Walk right down to each end and back (there is a clear walking path to follow), and you will be afforded with a full view of this part of the lake.
- Stop for Lunch: Next on the itinerary, grab lunch at a lake-view restaurant. The food in Italy is unmatched and Bellagio is a great place to enjoy that.
- Visit the Gift Shops: After getting refueled, wander the streets again and pop into all of the gift shops. There are so many lovely handmade trinkets and artisan food spots that you can stock up from to take home.
- Cruise to Menaggio and Varenna: Following this, jump on the mini ferry (at the second port) and head over to Menaggio and Varenna. You can visit all of these places in a day if you get up early, and they are just as beautiful.
Best Way to Reach Bellagio
You can book a private boat to Bellagio, which is a great thing to do if it’s a special occasion, but the ferries are the best way to get around. There are ferries which stop at different points on the lake, therefore you must check the timetable before you go and plan in advance. Most boats go up to Bellagio as it’s the most popular town on the lake but it’s a long journey.
It takes about four hours. For this reason, I recommend taking the express ferry which will cut your travel time in half. You can find all the details you need about catching the ferry over on my website or on my Instagram.
Need to Know Before You Go
- Visiting Bellagio requires a long day of travel, and it’s not exactly cheap, so it’s best to come prepared. The ferry costs around £25 each way, and the food and drink options along Lake Como aren’t cheap either.
- Do some research on famous villas on the lake (such as the Villa del Balbianello, AKA James Bond Villa) so you can spot them on your trip.
- The best time of year to visit Bellagio is actually spring or autumn, as the weather will still be nice but you won’t be fighting with hundreds (if not thousands) of other tourists as you would in the middle of summer.
- Apart from those things, have an amazing time in the charming town of Bellagio. It’s such a beautifully unique place which everyone will love.
One final note: I’ve just launched a website which features free travel guides, and shares tips and inspiration for anyone who wants to solo travel. I recently returned from Southeast Asia and I’m about to move to Australia on a working holiday – thus, there are lots of exciting blog posts to come. I post all of my favorite content over on TikTok too, so if anyone wants to see videos from Bellagio and the rest of Italy that’s definitely the place to visit.