We three ladies were so pleased with our stay at Laconda della Maria, Via Ludovico Loreta 5, San Giovanni, Bellagio,+39 031 414 74 48; email@example.com. Being in Bellagio is like living in Heaven on earth. The views from our three bed suite windows were breath taking and so spectacular as you can tell from the photos.
This bed and breakfast haven was a place of refuge from the tiring first leg of our trip in Italy. After many hours in an overnight flight from Florida and the long drive with a driver from Milan to Bellagio, we were ecstatic when we first saw our hotel which was to be our resting place for 3 nights. A lovely hostess greeted us, showed us to our suite which was up some steps to the top floor. For those who cannot do steps, the proprietor, Bruno Tagliapietra has some villas which can be rented. The kind person who was working the desk, took a few minutes to drive us to the center of downtown Bellagio as we did not yet, know our way around.
In the early afternoon, as we sauntered along the main area, near the Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini, we were inundated with the sounds, fragrances and sights of the clear blue, calm waters, the ferry stations, boats, side streets with steps taking pedestrians from sea level to roads higher up in the hills, the visual display and array of so many flowers, shops, hotels and cafés near the sea with humanity strolling along this main stretch.
We took time to celebrate our first day in Italy at one of the many cafés along the sea with a drink of Prosecco to toast each other, a snack and our first gelato which quickly became a daily treat.
After about a couple of hours of exploring, one friend who claimed exhaustion, asked us to call our hostess for a ride back to our lodgings. I did call the bed & breakfast and we were quickly picked up and driven back. Luckily, there was a nearby market, so we were able to purchase some food to eat later.
The next morning, we three ladies were greeted by the smiling, charming, proprietor and host, Bruno Tagliapietra of Locanda della Maria at breakfast which was a huge spread of fresh made croissants, cheeses, meats, cereal, fruit, yogurt and many other choices. Bruno took time to chat with us and to make suggestions as to which islands and attractions to explore. He explained how we could take a short cut through stunning nearby gardens, Giardini di Villa Melzi, to reach the ferry in the downtown area. He presented us with a schedule of the downtown ferries, and so we were on our way.
The Giardini di Villa Melzi (Gardens of Villa Melzi) was a delightful surprise. One of the benefits of visiting Italy in May is that this allowed us to admire all the variety of flowers in full bloom . This short cut became something to look forward to each day. The fee for a ticket is 6.50 euros per person for one day, a two day ticket is 8.00 euros and for each added day, it costs 4.00 more euros. That first morning it took us an hour to take this route which led us to an exit onto Via P. Carcono which becomes Lungolario Marconi which is downtown and where the ferry stop is located. If you continue on this street, it turns into Lungolario Manzoni and then into Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini and then it curves into Via Roma.
We three ladies were able to quickly catch the ferry to take a leisurely ride to the island of Tremezzo at a nominal cost of less than $10 for a round trip ticket. We were excited by being able to tour Via Carlotta. According to the guide given to tourists, “It was built in 1690 by the Marquis Giorgio Clerici.The villa got its name from “Carlotta,” the Prussian Princess, who received it as a dowry in 1848 at her marriage with the duke of Saxen-Meiningen. This is also a splendid park with some rare plants, famous for the azaleas and rhododendrons. In the villa itself there are sculptures of Canova and Thorwaldsen.”
After taking a couple of hours to look at everything in the villa and the gardens, I wanted to eat lunch at a vey fancy hotel which was supposed to be close by. Unfortunately, we headed in the wrong direction by turning to the right as you face Villa Carlotta. We did have a very satisfactory lunch but at the wrong hotel. Eventually, we decided to check out the other side of the island and you couldn’t miss this ornate, massive and stunning hotel, Grand Hotel Tremezzo. Of course we had to have another snack, drink and gelato within the palatial hotel’s terrace overlooking the sea.
After we returned by ferry back to Bellagio, we decided to take time to buy some gifts. We window shopped at stores with silk scarves, purses, ties, and jewelry stores. I returned to the shop with the fascinating silk creations at Pierangelo Masciadri’s, Arte & Moda, Salita Mella, 19/ Salita Plinio, 6 Bellagio; Tel.: +39 031 950067; firstname.lastname@example.org.
I finally closed my eyes to splurge on a Pierangelo Masciadri tie for my son and an eyeglass purse for my daughter in law. Mr. Pierangelo Masciadri, himself who has created ties worn by our U.S. Presidents, was solicitous in assisting me with my selections. And in the end, this very debonaire man with the Italian grand style and chivalry, hugged me and my friend, with good bye kisses on both cheeks.
By chance in the Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini area, we bumped into our Proprietor, Bruno who happily directed us to a nearby family owned restaurant, La Lanterna at Salita Serbelloni, 15, Bellagio, Italy; Tel:+39.031.951.786. Also, this trattoria came well recommended by another couple from Florida who had eaten here in 2014. I was enchanted by all the handcrafted labeled wine bottles on the walls. Who ever created the drawings has to be a very a gifted artist.
The lovely couple Ida & C Di Mazzea were very welcoming in accommodating us to their restaurant.. Everything that the waiter suggested was mouth watering and scrumptious. We toasted some Prosecco to ourselves in celebration to our wonderful time in Bellagio. We enjoyed our meal so much that we returned the following evening.
The next morning we were spoiled by another appetizing breakfast with the freshly baked croissants, fruit, yogurt and a cappuccino from Bruno’s fancy coffee machine. We then took our daily winding trek through the gardens next to the water to catch the ferry downtown.
We were on our way to Varenna, a typical older fishing village. The site we put into our itinerary is Villa Monastero. According to our pamphlet guide book, this is an ex-Cistercian monastery built in the 13th century. It was transformed into a splendid noble residence in the 17th century. Since 1936, it has become a center of scientific and cultural studies of an international level. The museum itself is open to the public on the weekends and everyday in August. After sauntering though the grounds of sprawling gardens surrounding the impressive, ostentatious Italian villa, we did venture on some of the side streets to grab a snack and to do a a few purchases.
Eventually, we returned by ferry back to Bellagio to do some last minute purchases and to eat our last supper in Bellagio at La Lanterna. Then on our 4th morning in Italy. we three ladies were on our way to Milan.
If anyone wants to celebrate their wedding anniversary, their honeymoon or any special event in an unforgettable way, look no further than booking your stay in the fairy tale setting of the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Via Roma, 1, 22021 Bellagio CO, Italy. It makes for a much more extravagant expenditure than at other hotels but this is the price for sleeping in a palatial villa.