Destination Inspiration: Bellagio, Lombardy, Italy

Destination Inspiration: Bellagio, Lombardy, Italy

Want to find a nostalgic rendering of traditional Italy? It’s a 90-minute drive north of Milan to the beautiful town of Bellagio. Consider this a prime destination for a mini-break or a stop-off on a road trip through Italy’s prettiest towns.


Bellagio, Lombardy, Italy.

Why now?

Located on Lake Como, the teeny-tiny Italian town of Bellagio is
settled at the tip where the famous lake is cut into two. Here,
backed by the dramatic Rhaetian Alps and sprawling hilly
hinterlands, its villas with rust-coloured roofs and forest-green
shutters curve around steep cobblestone staircases. With a
full-time population of just 4,000 residents, this sleepy
neighbourhood is the sort of place where everyone knows

A day in picture-pretty Bellagio can begin gently with an early
morning stroll through narrow passageways, where you’ll find locals
carrying baskets of freshly-baked goods and owners of independent
boutiques opening up for the day. Before the crowds arrive, visit
the 12th-century church of Chiesa San Giacomo to find mosaic work
dating from 1900.

Don’t miss

You don’t need us to tell you that Bellagio is best explored
from the water, so after you’ve enjoyed hours of sun-soaked
cruising, skip to Lido di Bellagio. A beach club restaurant
located on the waterfront, it’s also known as the coolest spot in
town to sing and dance from dusk till dawn. For a slice of culture,
swing by the Melzi Gardens, where the villa – once the
summer residence of the Republic of Italy’s vice president,
Francesco Melzi d’Eril – is now a museum and the gardens are home
to exotic plants, walking trails and plenty of shaded picnic

Bellagio, Italy
Bellagio, Italy Sunset

Where to stay?

For an intimate retreat, make Villa Mojana
your base. Sitting pretty in a garden of olive groves and overgrown
palm trees, the six-key stay oozes Italian chic. Picture
four-poster beds, private balconies offering undisrupted views
across the mesmerising lake, and abstract artworks. We’re starting
our day with seasonal fruits on the terrace before slipping into
our cossie for a paddle in the infinity pool.

Where to go for dinner?

When it comes to al fresco dining, visitors to Bellagio are a
little spoiled for choice. There’s the family-run Antico
in the centre of town, where a pizza menu so extensive
demands you to order at least three, and Trattoria Baita
by the lake’s edge, where seafood platters are so
fresh you literally watch the fisherman sail in. Also in town,
you’ll find La Fontana Restaurant whose pasta dishes are some of
the finest in Italy – and that comes straight from the mouths of
fervent foodies. Wherever you choose to bag a table, your tastebuds
are in for a treat.

And for a drink…

Aperitivo Et Al. Tucked halfway down a cobbled street,
you’ll no doubt hear distant sounds of glasses clinking and
whispers of Italian gossip before spotting the bar’s peach-coloured
facade. Inside a striped-back decor makes for a gritty yet glam
drinking den – picture bare-brick walls, black-matte tables and low
arches. Wine, of course, is the focus here and, with 500 different
labels and an impressive nibbles menu to try, it’s difficult not to
make a daily visit here come 8pm.

Bellagio Italy
Outdoor Pizza Oven

Who to take with you

That friend, who’s been eyeing up a trip to Lake Como for as
long as you’ve known them, will appreciate seeing its good looks in

When to go

October. As the rest of the UK starts digging out their winter
woollies, escape to Bellagio and squeeze in one last hit of late
summer sunshine.

Essentials to pack

We’ve all been bothered by a sunscreen that leaves us covered in
a white, greasy film. Say hello to faff-free UV protection with
Supergoop!, the sunscreen brand that promises a water and
sweat-resistant consistency. We’re packing a tube of the Unseen Sunscreen SPF30, partly for its glowy
finish but largely for its stellar, makeup priming performance.

How to get there

There’s no airport in Bellagio. Take a direct flight from London
Gatwick to Milan’s Malpensa Airport, from where Bellagio is a
90-minute drive or a three-hour train trip away.

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