Bellagio is a little town on Lake Como. Perhaps you’ve been to Las Vegas and seen the Bellagio hotel with its wonderful water fountain displays or their beautiful Murano-glass flowers in the entrance (which enchant me every time) and never really thought about the inspiration for the hotel.
On a spectacular day, like May 1st, for example, you’ll find it chock-full of tourists and locals looking for a little bella vista and a break from city life. Bellagio is a popular stop for motorcyclists and they have an entire parking lot dedicated to scooters, Ducati and Hondas!
But once you get to Bellagio, you’ll probably notice something: everyone else is there, too. It’s incredibly popular on a beautiful day. The small streets creep up like little vines away from the flat city “center” near the docks. But if you’re not in a climbing mood, you can walk down a kilometer or so along the water away from the docks until you get to the entrance of the Villa Melzi Gardens.
Villa Melzi’s gardens are considered more proper “English” gardens rather than Italian-styled gardens. There are a lot of different species and influences in the garden, however, like this Oriental-style garden spot.
The grass is meticulously trimmed and kept, with several reminders to “stay off” it. There are benches and places to stop and enjoy the beauty, though.
It’s only fair since I featured my dad in the Guinness post that I feature my other Dad in this one. Yes, I have two Dads (and a Mom), very California of me, no? Those are the Alps there in the distance.
Here some paths take you from the higher-ground paths behind the villa to the waterfront paths.
An iron gondola.
Make sure to take the “high” road behind the villa and the bamboo forest on the way back and get some spectacular views. I would share mine, but my camera battery died so they’re all in my head.
You can get to Bellagio several ways, the easiest being by fast ferry (traghetto) from Como city if you’re coming from Milan. The short trip takes about 50 minutes one way. The long ferry takes about 2 hours one way.
Giardini di Villa Melzi – Villa Melzi Gardens
Tickets are 6 euro each. George Clooney not included in ticket price.