At the end of your slow-boat ride on Lake Como is your destination: Bellagio.
Last week, I explained how one should approach Bellagio. This week, I present the town itself...bella Bellagio...the most romantic town in Europe.
The setting for Bellagio is unique, as it sits at the end of a spit of land which juts out into Lake Como, or Lago di Como. This location actually adds a good bit to its charm, as there is no through traffic to clutter up your visit...one has to either intentionally be driving to Bellagio, or one must be lost. Check out the map in last week's article to see what I mean about its location.
To learn more about how to get to Bellagio, see my article from last week, appropriately titled, "Getting There: Bellagio".
Here you can see a passenger 'slow boat' that I so espouse as it arrives at Bellagio.
Ah, the destination has been reached...we are now in Bellagio.
The 'Streets' of Bellagio
One of the things that makes Bellagio so unique are its 'streets'. These are no ordinary streets, as no autos can travel them. There are about a half-dozen of these ally-like streets that go from the lower, lakeside, outbound roadway of Bellagio, to the upper, inbound roadway.
In this photo is the lakeside portion of the auto roadway that leads out of town. The roadway makes a bit of a jog to the left at the Hotel Metropole, our hotel for this stay.
And here is the upper roadway...yes, that's actually the road coming into Bellagio, and we are driving it in a car that we rented for a day (see more in the article 'Stumbling Upon Something Magnificent').
In between these two portions of auto road are the pedestrian shopping streets, as you can see below. These streets echo the difference in elevation between the lower and upper roadways.
The Como area was once the silk capital of Europe. Mulberry trees kept the silkworms happily making silk, and the Italians were happily making silk cloth. Though this industry has all but vanished, there are still many items made of silk available in Bellagio.
Here we see some of the silk and its shoppers.
A tradition of days gone by was for young women to wear a bridal headdress made of intricately design hair pins -- I'm sure there is a more appropriate name for them, but that's how I know them. Just below is one of those hair adornments.
Today, these head pieces have been disassembled into its individual parts and they are available for purchase. Here you see Ellen and Debbie as they consider their purchase of serving pieces that have been fashioned from these pieces.
In the market for Italian-made shoes or shirts? You are in luck!
I always try to include photos of food from any place that we visit...this is important, don't you think? Here are a few selections from a number of restaurants we have visited on our trips to Bellagio.
And there are some beautiful settings for partaking of food. We especially like the lakeside setting of the first photo. And both of the ladies in our group thought that our waiter made the setting more attractive, too.
Our hotel on one trip, the Albergo Metropole, sits in a perfect location in town. We had a room with balcony overlooking the lake.
Our lakefront rooms were superb. You can see the ferry dock in the photo with Scott and Debbie, and across the lake to Menaggio in the photo with Ellen and me.
And the view at sunset left nothing to be desired. Here is an evening ferry from Menaggio nearing the Bellagio ferry dock.
Here is the link to the Hotel Albergo Metropole.
On a previous trip we stayed at the five-star Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. The guest register for this palace of a hotel is chock-a-block full of names of the past that you would recognize -- including yours truly, of course.
Here, you can see the layout of the GHVS, with the main portion of Bellagio being to the right. We swam in the pool -- brrrrr -- and actually found the lake to be a bit warmer!
Have you ever eaten in a more opulent breakfast room?
Lunch or dinner on the terrace is exquisite.
Here is my wife, Ellen, and me after a scrumptious dinner at GHVS. Did I mention that we danced to a small orchestra after dinner?
Here is the link for the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni.
Sights of Bellagio
It is interesting to note that, though Bellagio sits at the base of the alps, it is in a sub-tropical climate. You will find several palm trees, like this one, scattered around.
I will leave you with several photos of Bellagio and its environs. Here you will see the view of the lake and beyond from Bellagio, the beautiful flowers, buildings, etc. Enjoy.
And here is an interesting view of a Pringles dispenser! Have you ever seen one of these? But what a great idea for those emergencies when you feel you need something lite and a bit salty.
I will leave you with one final photo that sums it all up for us...
Want to make a trip to Bellagio? Drop me a line and I'll be happy to give you some more tips!
Ciao for now,