Discover the treasures and the botanical wonders of Villa Carlotta, enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Como and explore Bellagio
The rare beauty of Villa Carlotta, the discovery of the quaint village of Bellagio and a cruise on Lake Como are the ingredients of this tour, and will give you the authentic flavor of the area! We'll begin the day on board a ferry that will sail slowly among villages, villas and gardens, introducing you to the atmosphere of Lake Como. I'll tell you about local traditions, old and new stories and it'll be possible to spot Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, Villa Oleandra (George Clooney's retreat!), Villa del Balbianello (Star Wars and 007 location), the mysterious Island Comacina and much more. Once in Bellagio we'll explore the steep alleyways full of shops and the lively lakeside. Then free time for a typical lunch or shopping: Bellagio is famous for silk, glass and olive wood items. With a 15 mnts ferry ride we'll get to Villa Carlotta, where in just one place you can enter a 17th century villa with original furniture, explore the botanical gardens and admire the art collection. Return to Como on your own
1 - Pick up at your hotel if in Como city centre/ train station/ meeting point in Piazza Cavour/ hotel on the lake if possible
2 - Departure for the 2 hour cruise: sightseeing of the most famous villages and villas. Drinks and snacks usually available on board.
3 - Arrival in Bellagio, visit (around 1 hr) of the village: lakeside, Salita Serbelloni, via Garibaldi, San Giacomo church, salita Mella. Free time for lunch/shopping (about 1. 5 hr, depending on the boat timetable. Suggestions provided)
4 - ferry transfer to Tremezzo/ Villa Carlotta (20 mnts)
5 - guided visit of Villa Carlotta gardens (the "Italian" one in front of the Villa and the Romantic one, with the azaleas, rhododendron, cactus and bamboo collections and many other species) and of the villa: museum (marble and plaster artworks collection, Eros and Psyche, paintings. . . ) and, if time allows, 2nd floor with Saxen-Meiningen apartments and furniture
6 - THANKS AND ARRIVEDERCI! I'll help you with timetables and tickets!
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: If you're arriving from Milan by train, I can pick you up at the train station: please feel free to ask me the infos about train lines!
I can pick you up in your hotel if it's located in Como centre (please let me know the address and I'll let you know), otherwise we can meet in Piazza Cavour in front of Armani store. If you're staying in one hotel on the lake, please contact me for a customized tour. We could also leave from Cernobbio, Moltrasio or most of the other villages in the lower part of the lake.
click here to see where piazza Cavour is and get the directions to get there.
End location: The tour will finish in Tremezzina, after the visit of Villa Carlotta. Then, if you're staying in Como or in Milan, you have the option to take the normal boat or the hydrofoil to get back to the city. If you're staying in an hotel on the lake I'll provide you with specific informations. It might happen that I'll come back with you, but in any case don't worry, I'll give you all the informations you need!
Duration: 7 hours
The tour might be a little bit (around 30 minutes) shorter or probably longer, depending on the Ferry Timetable that is not published yet and will change several times, from early spring to summer to autumn. Depending on the date of your tour, I'll give you the specific times for the ferries and the hydrofoil. Consider that the tour ends in Tremezzo, after the visit of Villa Carlotta: then you'll have to return to Como (almost 2 hrs by normal ferry, around 50 mnts by hydrofoil)
For the cruise, we'll use the ferry system of Lake Como. Details here: http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/c_flotta1.asp?ID=10
On our way to Bellagio we'll get on a normal ferry: a slow sailing is the best way to see the shores and have time to enjoy the landscape and the villas. To return to Como, you may choose to take the hydrofoil, which is considerably faster: instead of 2 hrs, only 50 minutes/ 1 hour maximum. Requires prebooking and a supplement (4.40 €).
My services as your Private tour guide, including the visit of the museum of Villa Carlotta.
If you're arriving from Milan, I can help you with timetables/ informations about the train lines and pick you up at the train station.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
60 EUR - Allow 23.30 € for the ferry DAILY PASS (11.70 € children 4-11); possible 4.40 € more for the hydrofoil (fast ferry) supplement.
Ticket for Villa Carlotta: 10 €.
If you're having lunch in Bellagio, the cost varies very much depending on what you'll eat: the average for a pizza, a drink and a gelato is about 25 €.
Daily pass for ferry transportation (Como- Bellagio / Bellagio - Tremezzo / Tremezzo - Como) 23.30 €/person - 11.70 € reduced for children 4-11 years old
If you want to get it, hydrofoil/ fast ferry supplement to return to Como faster: 4.40 €/person (you can choose to take the normal ferry and you won't pay this supplement)
Ticket to enter Villa Carlotta: 10 €/ adult ticket, for details look here http://www.villacarlotta.it/page.php?pag_id=14&sez_id=12&lang_id=2
Lunch in Bellagio, drinks and food are not included
I am not a driver. I can accompany you in your vehicle or I can arrange for a separate car and driver.
A Recent Review of this tour
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I had a wonderful day with Alessandra. She was a wealth of information ... the little towns, the villas around the lake, walk around Bellagio and the garden. Her "stories" were captivating. I especially liked what she shared when I inquired about island Isola Comacina and the restaurant. :) She also selected a really good restaurant and we sat outside to enjoy the sunshine and food. I really enjoyed the local fish served as a risotto. I made a great choice selecting Alessandra to be my guide.