Discover the charm of Lake Como with a scenic cruise and explore Bellagio, with its buzzing centre and the peaceful Villa Melzi
Let's discover together Lake Como and Bellagio, "the pearl of Lario", visiting this lively village and the gardens of Villa Melzi! 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 anecdotes 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, Villa Carlotta with its botanical gardens and much more. Once we'll arrive in Bellagio we'll explore the steep alleyways full of shops and the buzzing lakeside. Then free time for a typical lunch (suggestions provided) or shopping: Bellagio is famous for silk and olive wood items. The highlight of the afternoon is the visit of the gardens of Villa Melzi, that stretch out along the lakeshore with an impressive collection of plants, antique sculptures and beautiful architectures. Return to Como.
1 - Pick up at your hotel if in the 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 (Cernobbio, Villa D'Este, Moltrasio, Villa Oleandra, Villa Pliniana, Villa del Balbianello, Comacina Island, Lenno, Villa Carlotta. . . ). 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. 5/2 hrs)
4 - Short walk (about 15 mnts) to reach Villa Melzi entrance
5 - guided visit of Villa Melzi gardens: the Japanese garden, the Moresque kiosk, the Villa (from outside), the private chapel and the museum (about 1 hr)
6 - THANKS AND ARRIVEDERCI! If you wish to spend more time in Bellagio, I'll help you with timetables and tickets
Meeting Point + Tour Duration
Meeting Point Options: Rail or Bus Station, Hotel, Monument/Building
End Point Options: Rail or Bus Station, Hotel, Monument/Building
Duration: 6 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 Bellagio, after the visit of Villa Melzi Gardens: 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 slow 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 €).
Estimated Local Cash Needed
60 EUR - Allow 20.80 € for the ferry tickets; possible 4.40 € more for the hydrofoil/ fast ferry supplement.
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 €.
The ticket for the Gardens of Villa Melzi is 6.50 €
I am not a driver. I can accompany you in your vehicle or I can arrange for a separate car and driver.
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Alessandra was a wonderful tour guide to introduce us to Como and Bellagio! Highly recommend her as she is personable, very friendly, and made a 6 hour tour fun for a 14, 11, and 9 year old!