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.
Sara – These photos of Bellagio are so inviting. How I wish I were going there this summer. It’s crowded, but for good reason. As your photos show, it’s a drop-dead gorgeous town. Love the photo of people walking in zig-zag directions up and down that path .
erin :: the olive notes says
Yeah, Bellagio is really beautiful…we loved the Lake Como area in general. But we were there in the empty winter time, which was gorgeous, but I’d love to be there when the gardens are full of blooms too (and the sun was warmer):)
Mike Coyle says
Nice article. Also very strange as last weekend I was at an Italian wedding in Verbania on Lake Maggiore and then visited Villa Taranto with its fabulous gardens. I planned to write about it this week!
Great photos and article. The town directly across the lake from Bellagio ( pleasant ferry ride)–Varenna is also lovely. There are gardens to explore and some excellent restaurants. it’s a bit more low key (and less expensive) than Bellagio.
I absolutely adore Bellagio, I was there in 2007 in November, it was beautiful and sunny..I think Lake Como is stunning, we stayed in Argegno..and we took the ferry across, I love the foot passenger ferry, and it was so reliable!
Nice article and photos of Bellagio! I’ve never been there, but it seems such the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing summer holiday.
My Wife Diane and i will be Holidaying at Cadenabbia this year for the third time we think the whole area is fantastic and cannot wait to go.
We are planning on visiting some gardens that we have not seen before and just taking in the amazing scenery that is all around.
Wonderful photos of a beautiful place.
I have not spent much time in Northern Italy, I should fix that soon.
Your entry makes me feel homesick to be in Italy. Thanks for sharing about this special place.
Bellagio, a really beautiful spot and the gardens at Villa Melzi as your photo’s show are magnificent. Such a beautiful walk. The day I visited I think I had the gardens to myself. So many lovely spots to sit and contemplate the view. A very special place