Where We Be
Bellagio -- Lake Como, Italy
Even with all the good things we've heard about
Lake Como over the years, we were surprised
by just how much we liked it. It didn't hurt that
we splurged on the best rooms at the Bellagio
Hotel: they offered panoramic views of the lake
and surrounding mountains from huge picture
windows that automatically rolled up and down
at the press of a button. These rooms (#403 and
#404) were worth every penny. The views were
the best we've ever experienced from any hotel
room.

The well-heeled and yet somehow quaint town
of Bellagio (after which the hotel in Las Vegas is
named) occupies an enviable position at the
junction of Y-shaped Lake Como. It's virtually
car-free – ferries are definitely the way to get
around here – and so chock-full of shops and
restaurants that it's a pleasure to explore.

On our second day we bought an all-day ferry
pass for 12 euros each and had a fantastic time
tooling around the lake. First we visited
Varenna with its charming cobblestone streets.
We walked to nearby Villa Monastero, a former
convent (lucky nuns!) turned private residence
in the 17th century. Here we explored the
gardens and terraces along a sizable chunk of
primo Lake Como waterfront. Crossing the lake
to Tremezzo, we had a memorable pasta lunch
at the Red and White Bar. Close at hand is Villa
Carlotta, one of the must-see villas on the lake
with its elegant interior and extensive gardens.

Late that afternoon Robin and I took a ferry to
Lenno and tried to see Villa Balbianello, another
must-see sight, but it was too late in the day and
we missed it. (Oh well, we'll have to come back!)
But we enjoyed a peaceful walk and drinks on a
lakeside terrace in Lenno instead. The ferry ride
home was particularly pleasant – it putted along
at an extra-slow speed as the sun set, making
for a very romantic journey along Lake Como.
The idyllic town of Bellagio on Lake Como is the namesake of the Hotel Bellagio in Las Vegas
This was our view looking straight out the window of Room #403
What a wonderful room! We loved looking out the big picture window at the lake and mountains.
My mom and dad had Room #404, a corner room with even more amazing views
The hotel is located up steep stairs -- a challenge with heavy luggage!
You can see our panorama windows on the top floor of the Hotel Bellagio on the right-hand side (160 euros per night but remarkable given Bellagio pricing)
Bellagio is perfectly situated at the junction of Y-shaped Lake Como -- so it's central to all the other towns on the lake
Be sure to get an all-day ferry pass to explore other towns on the lake. Here we're visiting Villa Monastero at Varenna.
Mom & Dad and Robin all look wonderfully happy -- and why not?! -- as we explore Lake Como by ferry
Half the fun is taking pictures from the ferry as you pass by quaint towns and elegant villas
This is Villa Carlotta, one of the must-see villas on Lake Como. Both the building and the gardens surrounding it are worth a visit.
Lake Como is a garden paradise that far exceeded our expectations. Go there now!
Enjoying the gardens at Villa Carlotta on a picture-perfect day. It just doesn't get any better than this -- one of those days we'll always remember.