My first glimpse of Bellagio was from the ideal approach: head-on, from the deck of the ferry from Cadenabbia, the village across the lake. It was love at first sight!

Steep alleys lead to the water

The center of Bellagio, the Borgo, is full of brightly colored buildings, steep cobbled staircases, narrow stone lanes, delectable patisseries and sprawling gardens.

Shades are lowered over arcades to keep out the bright afternoon sun

Bellagio’s total population hovers around 3,000, which includes the small town and the 22 surrounding suburbs. About half the shops and restaurants shut down over the winter.

Fishermen off Punta Spartivento

Bellagio is in a unique situation, at the crux of Lake Como’s Y. The best view is from Punta Spartivento, or “where the wind divides”, about a ten-minute walk from the town’s center. Look north and see the Alps.

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