Also known as “the Pearl of Lake Como” Bellagio is situated on the peaked headland that divides the two branches of the lake. This enchanting position, the superb villas, the clusters of small houses, the lush vegetation and the mild climate made this place a destination privileged to visits from many distinguished men, from Plinio the Young to Stendhal, from Manzoni to Parini, from Liszt and to Toscanini.
In the XIX century the economy of Bellagio saw a sharp rise in tourism, making it one of the most internationally known vacation destinations.
The town is divided into twenty-two fractions that offer to the visitors varied landscapes. The most known is the fraction of Borgo that develops around the landing place for boats. Here it is possible to go through stairways, small piazzas, shops and workshops in which the craftsmen show the visitors their art. Going up the street that moves away from the pier, it is possible to reach two very interesting points: the panoramic Punta Spartivento and the church of San Giacomo. The first is located on the northern side of the town and offers a view of all three branches of the lake, framed by the mountains.
The basilica of San Giacomo on the other hand is situated in the church square. It was built in the XI century and although extensively refurbished, it is a clear example of Lombardian Romanesque style.
Going up “Via Garibaldi” we travel through the heart of Bellagio, at the end of which is the extremely famous Salita Serbelloni, with shops and ancient walls running either side.
On the shores of the lake there are the ancient villages of Pescallo, San Giovanni and Loppia, with their small harbours and gardens from the patrician villas, two of which are the Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi with their stunning gardens open to the public from March to October.
The other Bellagio fraction rising above the lake at 1686 metres is the mount of San Primo where the view goes up to the Alps and the Padana plain.