Bellagio is a stunning village located on Lake Como. The unique scenario, the beautiful Lake Como and the Alps in the background, contributed since the beginning to its fame.
The first known inhabitants of the area were the Insubres, a Celtic tribe that founded a city in the 7th century BC. After almost five centuries of peaceful livings the Romans conquered the region. Immediately Bellagio became a strategic city for the growing republic. After the fall of the Roman Empire Bellagio passed under the Lombards control. Then for centuries the village was disputed between two powerful cities of the area: Milan and Como.
During the Napoleonic dominion the city became extremely popular among the rich Milanesi. The Lombard nobility started to build here their summer homes. The area was quickly transformed: roads were built, stunning villas were erected, luxury shops were opened. Bellagio became so popular around Europe that numerous aristocrats crossed the borders to visit it!
In order to accommodate the growing number of tourists many elegant hotels were built. Today it is still possible to stay in one of the original resorts!
Bellagio has few beautiful churches that testimony its wealth. In particular are worth a visit the Basilica of San Giacomo and the Church of San Giorgio; both churches were built at the end of the 11th century in the Lombard Romanesque style. The Basilica’s campanile was erected on top of the ancient city walls.
Today Bellagio is mostly known for its beautiful Villas. Few of them are open to the public; it is a unique experience to visit them and their stunning gardens.
Villa Serbelloni, for example, was built during the 15th century on top of the remains of an ancient castle. When it became property of Alessandro Serbelloni it was transformed thanks to the beautiful decorations and pieces of art that were added. Visitors can enjoy its enchanting garden.
Things to see
Another gorgeous Villa is the one built for Francesco Melzi d’Eril; this villa was the first one erected in the area. It was thanks to Melzi d’Eril that Bellagio became so popular!
The village is also famous for its stunning surrounding. It is easy to explore the area with a bicycle or following one of the beautiful trekking routes.
The visit of Bellagio can’t end without trying the traditional dish called the Toch. It is a polenta based dish enriched with butter and cheese and covered with dried fish and salami!