Is there a better place for a romantic Italy honeymoon than Bellagio, one of the Italian Lake District gems? It is often called the prettiest town in Europe for a reason: it is surrounded by the lush green mountains, on the shore of Lake Como. Cobbled streets are lined with bright geraniums and bougainvillea, orchestras play at sunset.
There are only 200 residents in the village of Bellagio, however, it is far from being a quiet sleepy place. Scores of boats and buses arrive here during summer bringing tourists who want to bask in the beauty of this elegant resort. Yet, no amount of visitors can spoil Bellagio’s charm.
The best way to explore the town is to soak in its relaxed romantic atmosphere and ramble around. On the main street, Via Garibaldi, you will find smart fashion boutiques, pretty cafes and excellent restaurants. The beautiful Romanesque Basilica of San Giacomo with stunning frescoes and a belfry dominates the main town square, Piazza San Giacomo.
Bellagio boasts two enchanting gardens that are worth a visit. From the grounds of the Villa Serbelloni you can admire spectacular vistas over the lake. The estate belongs to the Rockefeller Foundation, which organises various conferences and retreats. Another great place for leisurely strolls if the 19th century Villa Melzi built by a nobleman Francesco Melzi d’Eril, who was one of the greatest allies of Napoleon in Italy. The villa’s English style gardens are full of exotic plants, there is a Venetian gondola on display, two stunning Egyptian statues. You will always find a quiet spot in the gardens: sit in the blue-roofed pavilion on the water edge, wander between secular trees and groves of azaleas.
The nearby pretty, low-key fishing villages of Pescallo, Loppia and San Giovanni are within a short walk. You can also take boat tour around Lake Como and explore other picturesque towns in the area, such as Menaggio, Varenna, Tremezzo and Cadenabbia.
Photos by: Laura Thorne, Paolo Margari, Cristina Corti.