Lake Como, in Italy’s north, is without doubt one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. The perimeter of the lake is dotted with quaint villages and towns where you’ll find cobblestone streets, beautiful buildings and scrumptious cuisine.
One of those towns is Bellagio, which known as The Pearl of the Lake. It’s an elegant and pretty town on the edge of this beautiful lake, and is known as a haunt of the well-heeled. It’s upmarket and there’s some rather ritzy shops along the waterfront which are a great place to window shop if your budget is limited, like most travellers!
Thanks to some research beforehand, we were reliably informed that the shops uphill from the harbour front are more affordable. So it was up, up, up the cobblestone stairs, checking out the shops along the way, until we reached the road at the top. We enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate and a pastry for morning tea, then set off to wander around the more affordable shops of Bellagio.
One of our great finds was a small boutique called Saraceno, on Via Garibaldi, where I purchased a beautiful soft leather handbag, pair of earrings and lovely bracelet for my daughter. The bag and earrings are still among my favourite pieces from the trip. We met the owner, Sylvia Saraceno, who designs most of the items herself. She was very stylish and provided us with good advice. It was well worth the walk up the many cobblestone steps to get there.
When we were exploring other shops, we heard a familiar Australian accent, and just had to ask where the couple were from. Incredibly, they live in Currumbin, Queensland, which is only 10 minutes from where I live! All that distance from home and we still managed to find some Aussie neighbours :-).
We had planned to walk out to the park at the point of the lake, but it was raining fairly heavily by this stage, so we abandoned that thought. As our time was limited, we wandered back to the ferry dock.
There are a lot of hotels in beautiful Bellagio, but when we were researching, we found that tariffs to be cheaper in nearby Varenna, which is smaller, quieter and a fair bit more affordable for accommodation. Despite the beauty of Bellagio, we were very happy with our decision to stay in Varenna, where we could afford a lakefront room with an awesome view.
Have you been to Bellagio? Did you stay there or just visit for the day? Did you discover any treasures there?
The Besties Do Italy series details how Seize The Day Project’s Lyndall and her long time best friend Jane ventured to Italy to celebrate a significant birthday – sans husbands and children. Shhh, don’t tell anyone they’ve gone!
Read related posts in this fascinating series here:
Linking up with Albom Adventures for #WkendTravelInspiration
Plus A Brit & A Southerner for #WeekendWanderlust