How to get to Bellagio from Milan

>How to get to Bellagio from Milan

Getting from Milan to Bellagio is a quick, rather uneventful trip of about 1.5 to 2 hours, first following the signs to Como/Chiasso and then heading up the lake road from Como to Bellagio. Find all the details in our earlier post about How to get to Bellagio for other travel options like trains and ferries. If at all possible, avoid making this particular trip on a Friday evening in the summer, that’s when the Milanese flee the city heat for their vacation homes on Lake Como and travel times can quickly get a LOT longer.

Once visitors get to Lake Como, we have found, they are so taken with its distinctive beauty that they find it difficult to tear themselves away from the lake for daytrips further afield. That’s why we love to recommend stopovers on the way to and from the Palazzo that give guests some cultural highlights without taking time away from the lakeside holiday. Here are two of our favorites:

Getting from Milan to Bellagio is a quick, rather uneventful trip of about 1.5 to 2 hours, first following the signs to Como/Chiasso and then heading up the lake road from Como to Bellagio. Find all the details in our earlier post about How to get to Bellagio for other travel options like trains and ferries. If at all possible, avoid making this particular trip on a Friday evening in the summer, that’s when the Milanese flee the city heat for their vacation homes on Lake Como and travel times can quickly get a LOT longer.

Once visitors get to Lake Como, we have found, they are so taken with its distinctive beauty that they find it difficult to tear themselves away from the lake for daytrips further afield. That’s why we love to recommend stopovers on the way to and from the Palazzo that give guests some cultural highlights without taking time away from the lakeside holiday. Here are two of our favorites:

San Pellegrino Terme

The name San Pellegrino has become synonymous with the delicious – and stylish! – mineral water from the small town of the same name north of Bergamo. The mineral-rich San Pellegrino water is harvested from its natural source here, bottled in iconic green bottles with a red star and shipped to discerning customers across the world. While it is not exactly “on the way” to Bellagio from Milan, San Pellegrino Terme is only about 2 hours from Milan (considerably less if you’re coming from Linate Airport!) and the destination spa to reinvigorate travelers fresh off a long-haul flight. Just follow the A4 highway leading to Venice, exit at Dalmine and follow the Brembo river to San Pellegrino Terme along the SS470.

Once in the village, check out the art deco gems on either side of the mighty Brembo River, like the Gran Casino (now an event space for weddings and conferences) and the Grand Hotel (due to reopen in 2019!), both relics of the town’s glory days at the turn of the 20th century when aristocrats from across Europe came here to take the waters. The Terme baths themselves, which originally opened in 1901, have recently been restored to their former glory and offer indulgent treatments, healthy meals and over 30 “spa practices” from sensorial tubs to Kneipp paths, saunas to steam baths and outdoor hot tubs to deck chairs overlooking the Bergamasco Alps. Check the website for opening hours and prices as well as special package offers including treatments or meals. Suitably pampered, you’ll enjoy the trip to Bellagio from San Pellegrino, which takes about 1 hour 40 minutes, first along the country roads towards Lecco and then the lake road to Bellagio.

Varese

Approaching from the east, Varese and Lake Lugano make for a pleasant day trip on your way to Lake Como, particularly if you’re coming from Malpensa Airport. Not only will you witness one of Lombardy’s most beautiful gardens and a sacred pilgrimage site, you’ll also sample what may be Italy’s most delicious gelato on the shores of Lake Lugano. From Milan, the trip is about one hour to Varese (about half that from Malpensa airport): follow the A8 towards Varese/Gravellona Toce, look for signs for “Centro” and leave the car at the parking lot on Via Verdi.

Varese is a rather sleepy little town surrounded by the Italian lakes, including its own Lago Varese. Best known as the City of Gardens and as the home of the UNESCO-listed Sacro Monte heritage site, the city has a unique mix of Swiss sensibility and Italian chic. Visit the Palazzo Estense, a ducal palace from the second half of the 18th century that now serves as Varese’s Town Hall, and the surrounding Giardini Estensi with over 8 acres of lush plantings, fanciful topiary, fountains and waterfalls. The next stop is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Sacro Monte di Varese, about 15 minutes north of town. This sacred path has fourteen devotional chapels on a cobbled track about 1.2 miles in length, culminating in the sublime Santuario Santa Maria del Monte church. Beyond the mysterious power of the pilgrimage itself, the views of the lake and the Campo di Fiori mountains and the Alps in the distance from here are stunning.

Porto Ceresio

About 30 minutes northeast of the Sacro Monte lies Porto Ceresio, a tiny village on the shores of Lake Lugano that is renowned for its outstanding gelato. Gelateria Golosone, located on the main road through town Via Butti, has more than 20 flavors of handmade gelato and fruit sorbet, from the traditional (strawberry and pistachio) to the exotic (licorice and prickly pear), as well as homemade popsicles and cakes. Make sure you go to the cashier first and pay according to the number of scoops and cono (cone) or coppa (cup). When it’s your turn at the counter, show the server which flavors you want (if it’s crowded, tasting a sample will likely be frowned upon!). Walk down to the shore of Lake Lugano with your delicious treasure and enjoy the view as you devour it!

To get from Porto Ceresio to Bellagio, either follow the Italian backroads to Como and head up the lake road (about 2 hours) or take a short cut through Switzerland along the Lake Lugano road (about 1 hour 40 min) – but don’t forget to buy the mandatory highway pass, or vignette!

2018-07-10T18:03:03+00:00March 26th, 2018|Categories: Travel|0 Comments

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