How to Experience Bellagio Cheaper

Bellagio is a strikingly beautiful town on Lake Como, but very expensive to stay as it’s very touristy. On our final trip as residents of Europe, we scoured cheap Ryanair tickets from Dublin to Italy and realized we could fly to the medieval town of Bergamo very cheaply and be central to Milan and the Italian Alps. Here is how we planned our trip to experience Bellagio, Italy cheaper.

Bellagio is touristy, but you’ll still come across lovely alleys that are quiet and peaceful.
The ferry ride from Varenna to Lake Como offers some of the best scenery on Earth.
The ferry from Varenna to Bellagio offers some of the best scenery on Earth.

During our week long trip in the Lombardy province of Italy, we spent 2 nights in Bergamo, 2 nights in Milan and 2 nights in Lecco. In Lecco we had a beautiful room with a balcony overlooking Lake Como and the Italian Alps, for half the price we would have paid for the equivalent in Bellagio. The beauty of Lake Como lies mostly in the awe inspiring natural beauty of the snow capped mountains that mingle with many picturesque Italian villages on the lake. So it doesn’t matter which lakeside town you stay in, especially since the towns are well connected by trains and ferries.

Bellagio is a gorgeous town, but jam packed with American tourists (though some might find this comforting). When walking the narrow streets of Bellagio expect that for every Italian conversation, you’ll hear an equal number of American ones. So if you want to avoid this, do not stay in Bellagio, especially since it’s expensive. But Bellagio is absolutely worth swinging by for at least a few hours, as we did.

Bellagio features beautiful terraces to lap up striking views of Lake Como.
Bellagio features beautiful terraces to lap up striking views of Lake Como.

Bellagio cocktail
During summer, ferries run daily from Lecco all along wishbone shaped Lake Como. But on weekdays during the offseason it’s just a short train ride from Lecco to the beautiful town of Varenna, which would make for an amazing stay for a honeymoon, anniversary or special occasion. From Varenna it’s just a short ferry ride across the lake to Bellagio and Menaggio (which we unfortunately didn’t have time for, but it looked beautiful from the ferry). The ferries run regularly and it’s a stunning ride. If you rent a car while in Lake Como, which would be wonderful, the ferries are also equipped to transport your vehicle.

Lake Como is one of the most stunning areas we’ve ever visited and we highly recommend it if you haven’t been. If you access Lake Como via Bergamo airport, we also highly vouch for that town. Bergamo’s old town is fantastic and we enjoyed the best overall food of our trip there as it’s not touristy enough to warrant many restaurants serving overpriced and mediocre food. In Bergamo you can eat wonderful meals in the beautiful piazzas and have vistas overlooking the town and surrounding mountains for good prices!

It was pretty exciting to dock at Bellagio after a beautiful ferry ride across Lake Como.
The beautiful town of Varenna, from the ferry returning from Bellagio.
The inspiring town of Varenna, from the ferry returning from Bellagio.
Lecco, where we stayed in a beautiful lakeside hotel for half the price of the equivalent quality in Bellagio.
Lecco, where we stayed in a beautiful lakeside hotel for half the price of the equivalent quality in Bellagio.
Bergamo, the lovely town to fly into to cheaply access the stunning beauty of Bellagio and Lake Como.
Bergamo, the lovely town where cheap flights can be found, offering nearby access to the stunning beauty of Bellagio and Lake Como.

 

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