With its spot on a panoramic peninsula hugged by the two arms of Lake Como, Bellagio is one of the prettiest towns on Lake Como – and everyone knows it. Celtics, Romans, Greeks, Lombards and Saxons have all wrestled over its enviable position. Even Virgil waxed lyrical about Bellagio back in the day, along with a host of Romantic artists who made the villas and gardens here their summer retreats. Walking holidays in Bellagio follow in the footsteps of the Romantics, taking the time to soak up sublime views, stories and scenic paths both in town and the surrounding villages.
From popular palazzos to Borgo’s backstreets
Bellagio sits on the Lario peninsula, balancing churches, eateries, shops and winding cobbled streets between the water’s edge and the hills behind. Boats arrive at Piazza Mazzini, spilling day-trippers into the waterfront square and streets. When it gets busy, dive into the old town of Borgo, following the backstreets to San Giacomo’s petite piazza. The parks and gardens are also breath of fresh air. Villa Melzi lays out avenues of trees and rhododendron displays in its waterfront gardens, while Villa Serbelloni’s park – owned by the Rockefeller Foundation – paints a swathe of the peninsula with forest paths.
Walking at great heights and views of Lake Como
Even a stroll in Bellagio usually involves some climbing, with staircases – or “salite” – leading past houses with balconies overflowing with flowers and ivy. Plenty of nature trails wind their way through the Lario Peninsula, threading together pine forests, meadows and farmhouses. If you fancy a bike ride with a spectacular lake view, pedal up (and up) to the sanctuary and museum dedicated to Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of cyclists… who, of course, are blessed with free entry.
Dining off the beaten track
It’s very tempting to follow the crowds to the waterfront restaurants in Bellagio. However, the best food is found in the backstreets, where tiny cantinas and courtyard enotecas serve traditional dishes and excellent house wines. It’s rare to see tóc on the menu these days, but if you do then grab the chance to try this Bellagio special of cheesy polenta – usually shared between families on feast days. Salami, stuffed chicken and lake fish (salted missoltino is the Lake Como favourite) more commonly pop up on menus.
Visit Varenna and other lakeside villages
With the long and winding roads of Lake Como, it’s best to ditch the car and stick to ferries – both an easy and enjoyable way to travel, thanks to Bellagio’s seat in the middle of Lake Como. Visit Varenna, on the eastern shore, to admire the fishing village’s sunset-hued houses and waterside restaurants, gelato shops and market stalls. A hike up to Castello di Vezio offers views across the lake. Alternatively, take the ferry to Como Town, Tremezzo or Menaggio, or putter all the way north to the age-old village of Domaso.
Why book a summer holiday in Bellagio with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of Bellagio's best activities at your own pace.
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Bellagio include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.