Lake Como…Home to beautiful lakeside villages, Italian culture, food, wine and blissful relaxation. The perfect mix for a rad (and romantic) weekend getaway. Why? Because it’s freekin EPIC and freekin BEAUTIFUL too.
Yes I’m talking about Lake Como…you know, the place where George Clooney has a home, where Brad pit enjoys his vacays and where Madonna soaks up the sun. Surrounded by incredible mountains, Lake Como is a hub for the rich and famous but that DOES NOT mean us backpackers can’t get amongst too!
We stayed (in our van) in the picturesque town of Bellagio. Oh la la – this has got to be one of the most romantic places we’ve been to. Picture crystal blue waters, steep streets full of boutiques, restaurants and shops, beautiful pastel buildings and a flare of old history – you can’t not feel the love here. The town is located on the end of a long peninsula that sticks out in the middle of the lake and because of this, the views are out of this world!
Side note before we get into it: staying in Bellagio can be a little pricey, so I totally recommend staying in the town of Como (the biggest lakeside town) – and just catching the ferry each day to the towns you want to visit. That way you’ll have cheaper accom and more money to spend on pizza, pasta and gelato! (Only the best things ever, while in Italy) As always, Booking.com and Airbnb are our faves in booking cheap budget accommodation to suit your needs.
So – how to enjoy a rad (and romantic) weekend getaway to Bellagio?
1. Wander along the lakeside promenade
The blue of the lake, the green mountains, flora and pastel buildings will have you in love as soon as you arrive. Honestly the scenery you see here is pretty bloody epic. Sit on the steps leading to the water, sit on a park bench or walk along towards town, you don’t need me to tell you how rad it is.
2. Explore the streets of the town centre
Now these streets are hella steep (a way to work off the calories you’re about to load up on right?!) but they’re full of life. The cute cobbled streets house boutiques, restaurants, gelato bars, and stores, you’ll get yourself lost finding cool hidden gems.
3. Carb load on pizza & pasta
You’re in Italy, which means its totally okay to bulk out on epic food and god the Italians really have it going on. Remembering we don’t have Clooneys budget, we ordered the cheapest pizza or pasta on the menu, with a beaut glass of wine too. We recommend ‘Ristoro Forma & Gusto’ and ‘Far Out Restaurant’ because I can happily say our meals there were beautifully authentic, inexpensive and a little romantic too. (I wanted to have my Lady And the Tramp moment with Bryn but no…didn’t happen.)
4. Have a gelato or 5
Again…you’re in Italy, so a 5 scoop gelato, or 5 individuals a day it TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE. Try to taste all the flavours at ‘Geletaria’ along the lakefront. The awesome people working there will have you laughing your way to 200kgs.
5. Chill in the park
Grab a cheap bottle of red, grab something to lie on, grab a book and head to the park to chill. I feel like its hard for travellers to completely zen out – we’re always moving A to B, visiting new places and exploring new shit, but some of the best times are just sitting somewhere beautiful and doing nothing. So during an arvo in Bellagio, thats all you should do…getting a little drunk of course too.
6. Visit Tremezzo
The town of Tremezzo is just across the lake and for a short 10min ferry, this town is a cool shouldn’t be missed if you fancy a day trip. While you’re there, visit Villa Carlotta (a botanical garden/museam), walk through the archway of drooping wisteria and have a beer on the terrace at Pizzeria Victoria (a sort of American diner meets thrift shop feel restaurant with a beauuuuuutifil terrace sitting out over the water.)
7. Go for a swim
During your stay, dive into that fresh alpine water, you’ll be feeling fresh in no time. Too bloody cold for me (we we’re there in April) but that didn’t stop Bryn.
8. Visit ‘Villa Melzi Giardini’
For 6Euro each you can enter the grounds of Villa Melzi Giardini and wander around until your hearts content. So many beautiful colours it looks like you’re wandering around in a fairytale.
9. Go for a drink
If you’re on a budget like us, or if you’re rollin’ in the big bucks, whatever the buzz make sure you go for a drink or 5 while in Bellagio. The Boutique Wine bar is a cute wee spot, maybe a little fancy but totally affordable for a wine each. Or theres some beautiful terrace bars that sit right out over the lake. Otherwise get yourself some beers and sit along the lakefront.
10. Take stunning photos
Bellagio has got to be one of the most picture perfect towns we’ve been to. Make sure you have your camera on you every step of the way because theres so so sooooooo many photo opportunities to make everyone jealous AF of your travels. See for yourself…
11. Take a private boat ride
Not in our budget but if its possible for you – take a boat ride in one of the vintage wooden taxi boats. Find these along the lakefront next to the ferry building and spend an hour feeling like a boss in a gangster boat.
And I think we’re pretty much done! You really can’t fault Bellagio, Lake Como & its incredible beauty. For sure its not the craziest, most adventurous place we’ve been too, but it makes you relax, appreciate the beautiful surroundings and appreciate each other too.
Leah | free & addicted
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