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!

Bellagio, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

An elegant villa at Bellagio on Lake Como

Bellagio, Lake Como, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Bellagio ferry dock, Lake Como – even the wharf is pretty!

Welcome to Bellagio, Lake Como, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Welcome to Bellagio. This mosaic was on the floor of the wharf – pretty fancy!

Bellagio, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

The bronze sculpture at Bellagio wharf

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.

Bellagio, steps, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

One of the many elegant stepped lanes of Bellagio

Bellagio, Lake Como, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

More steps in 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.

Sraceno boutique, Bellagio, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Saraceno boutique, Bellagio – worth a visit

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 :-).

Bellagio street scene, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Iconic street scene in Bellagio, with the lake in the background – just gorgeous

Bellagio, Lake Como, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Rainy Streets of Bellagio, Lake Como

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.

Bellagio, Lake Como, Ferry, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Ferry on Lake Como

Lake Como, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Clouds on the Swiss mountains at the northern end of Lake Como

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:

Exploring Lake Como: The Greenway Walk – A memorable dinner on Lake Como – A Day Trip to Switzerland on the Bernina Express

Linking up with Albom Adventures for #WkendTravelInspiration weekend-travel-inspiration-600x600

Plus A Brit & A Southerner for #WeekendWanderlust Weekend-Wanderlust-Logo-V21