When we visited this part of Italy in 2012, our holiday involved travelling from Lecco to Como. I remember that I'd originally planned for us to make the journey by bus but that when we visited the local tourist information office in Lecco, the lady there had recommended that we travel by boat instead. It sounded like a brilliant idea, but on the day we were due to travel we woke up to find that it was cold and rainy. We took a boat from Lecco to a place called Bellagio, which we knew was supposed to be beautiful. We arrived there in a torrential downpour and I remember sitting on a covered terrace and shivering, while we drank a coffee and waited for our onward boat to Como.
This is what our approach to Bellagio looked like in 2012.
Our plan for today was to try and have a better experience and finally see Bellagio in better weather. Things got off to a good start this morning when we woke up and found it was a beautiful sunny day There is a regular boat service between Lecco and Bellagio, but the service is quite reduced on Sundays so there was basically only one boat which we could get, at 10am. We set off for the landing stage, stopping off on the way to get breakfast with a view of the lake.
Vast quantities of other people seemed to have had the same idea for a day trip, and so there was a pretty big queue for the boat. Luckily we were there early enough to get comparatively near the front of the queue and so, even with all the Italian pushing and shoving, managed to get good seats with a view
The boat pulled away from Lecco promptly and we were soon out in the middle of the lake.
It seems to be a popular place for watersports, and we were soon sailing past people doing some pretty extreme windsurfing.
They were going incredibly fast and at times it looked like they were going to crash into the boat!
Luckily no one did, and we continued to make progress towards Bellagio.
Some of the scenery we passed was incredibly rocky.
At one point we could make out holes in the side of the mountain; it looked like there must be a tunnel through it.
We definitely hadn't seen views like this last time we came!
The boat trip between Lecco and Bellagio takes an hour and a half, and the boat stopped briefly at a succession of other small villages along the lakeside.
They all looked like really pretty places too
Eventually we could begin to see Bellagio in the distance...
...and the approach to it was definitely a lot sunnier than last time we were here
We got off the boat and began to explore the town.
We soon found a lovely promenade along by the side of the lake.
After we'd walked for a while we had some great views back towards the centre of Bellagio.
The views in the other direction were amazing too.
The town of Bellagio itself is quite small.
From the lake there are some rather steep staircases which lead up to the rest of the town.
Once you get to the top, there are some very pretty and colourful streets to explore.
We followed the narrow main street...
..which eventually opened out into a square, which was home to the church we had seen from the boat.
From there we walked back down to the level of the lake, following a road which took us to a little harbour area.
The views from there were fantastic.
There was also a pier you could walk out onto....
...and the views from there were possibly even better
After we'd spent a while enjoying the views, we turned around and headed back to the square with the church. We found a restaurant there where we were able to sit outside with pasta and wine
We followed it up with pudding and coffee. I had tiramisu and Tim had some sort of local cake, which apparently tasted like a bakewell tart!
Our boat back to Lecco didn't leave until 16.40, so even though it turned into a long lunch we still had plenty of time for another walk around the town...
... and back along the lakeside promenade.
Then it was time to join the scrum for the boat back! There was a lot more pushing and shoving, but we made it on and even managed to get window seats again so we could enjoy the views on the way back.
It was hard to get tired of views like these
Eventually we could see the church tower of Lecco looming on the horizon; we were almost back.
It's been a great day and Bellagio is a beautiful place... when it's not raining