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Cruise from Como to Bellagio

I am not a huge fan of tours, but our tour from Como to Bellagio was an amazing experience. It was one of the highlights of our Italy trip, and the weather could not have been better. It was the perfect time of year to soak up the early spring sun on the lake and still enjoy the distant Swiss Alps covered in snow. The Mediterranean climate allows exotic and rare plant species to thrive.

We took a bus to and from Milan and Como. Again, I am not a fan of buses, but not having to drive among the aggressive Italian drivers and windy roads was a blessing. The ride back through rush hour made us more thankful for our bus driver.


Como is located at the southern tip of Lake Como. The Lake Como region is mostly known for where Milan city workers go for holidays/weekends. There are tons of shops in the city center for pleasure and outside restaurants on the lake to enjoy the view. We spent about two hours walking around the historic district and grabbed brunch by the lake. The lake was busy with private boats, public ferries that are automobile accessible, and sea planes launching.

We stopped to view the last gothic cathedral built in Italy, Como Cathedral (Duomo di Como), which was constructed from 1396 to 1770. We also passed through Piazza Alessandro Volta and with its Alessandro Volta Statue. Volta, born in Como, was an Italian physicist who was the first to invent the first electric battery, the Voltaic pile.

Cruise on the Lake

The two-hour boat ride was where the magic began. The lake is lined with villas and luxury hotels. Every Italian with money has a place here. With our guide we were able to take notice of the larger more famous buildings and received a little history about each, which are mostly located on the west side. Arriving closer to Bellagio in the north, you get a grand view of the Swiss Alps, which were still covered in snow.

Villa Erba, a 19th-century villa in Cernobbio, was built by a brother of an Italian businessman in pharmaceuticals. It was used to film a scene in Ocean’s Twelve and Gwen Stefani’s 2005 music video, Cool.
Villa d’Este of the 16th-century in Cernobbio was once the royal residence of the Cardinal of Como. It is now a luxury hotel surrounded by 25 acres of gardens. Rooms go for over $1,100 a night.
Villa Oleandra, an 18th-century villa in Laglio, is owned by George Clooney. Villa Oleandra is located on the far left and Chiesa di S. Giorgio is on the right with the bell tower.
Villa del Balbianello is a 12th-century villa built on the location of a Franciscan monastery in Tremezzo. Its two towers remain. Several films have taken place here, such as James Bond and Star Wars.
Villa Carlotta is a 17th-century villa in Tremezzo. Built by the Clerici family of silk merchants, it is now home to an art museum and botanical garden.


Bellagio is a famous town where the two sections of the lake come together and meet to form an inverted Y. Standing on the point, the Swiss Alps are located front and center. There are several places to dine by the water, but we chose la Punta, at Bellagio’s most northern point. After we walked through its narrow streets and steps to browse the shops.

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