Where to Rent a Boat in Bellagio

>Where to Rent a Boat in Bellagio

Nothing can quite compare to cruising Lake Como – and the thrill is that much greater when you pilot your own boat! We have partners all over the lake who rent self-drive boats by the hour or the day and many of them provide a drop off service directly at the Palazzo del Vice Re landing stage just steps from our centuries-old palace. We’ve put together this handy guide to renting a boat on Lake Como, with all of the details you need to make your cruise more convenient plus a few tips on sights and eateries to check out on your way. After all, Lake Como’s true charm – its elegant villas, wooded slopes and colorful lakeside villages – are all best experienced from the water.

The Nitty Gritty

Renting a boat from our loyal partners could not be easier. As slots can fill up quickly during the busy summer months, we recommend reserving your boat well in advance. Our friendly staff and our partners at IC Bellagio would be happy to take care of those arrangements for you – just say the word! We recommend at least a 3-hour rental, if not a full day, to get the most out of your cruise and explore as much of the lake as possible.

In selecting the boat that best fits your needs, there are a few things to consider. First, don’t worry if you are not an experienced boatman. Even amateurs – provided they are over 18 years of age – can rent a wide range of 40 horsepower boats that are as easy to drive as any automobile and don’t require a special boating license. There are various models on offer in this category, from rubber “Greenpeace” boats with a rigid hull to runabouts with a center console, and they generally can accommodate from 5 – 7 people (though the maximum number can be a tight fit!) Depending on the boat, you may have a cushioned deck on the prow for sunbathing and a cushioned seat or bench for the pilot. Many models are outfitted with a retractable awning that can be a real blessing in the summer sun and a convenient swim ladder at the back. Of course, if you have a boating license, there are several (more expensive) options – like a motorboat with 100 or even 250 horsepower.

On the day of the rental, you’ll be required to provide a valid passport and driver’s license, fill out some paperwork and possibly provide a security deposit. Depending on the rental company, insurance (in some cases included, in others available for a small fee) covers any damages less the relevant deductible and a full tank of gas is included. The staff of the boat rental company will give you a briefing on the operation of the boat, the safety features on board and the relevant rules of navigation before you set off. Remember to always give the public ferries the right of way, to stay at least 150 meters/500 feet from the shore (protecting the privacy of lakeside residents and preventing erosion!) and to respect the strict speed limits in certain areas, including the canal by the Isola Comacina and the bay of Piona. Sections of the shore by Lenno and Bellagio are also dangerously shallow and marked by white poles with red stripes.

What to see and where to eat

The best part about renting a boat on Lake Como is the chance to see the lavish lakeside villas, the quaint villages and the staggering landscape from the water. Many – if not most! – of the villas hugging Lake Como’s coastline are virtually invisible from the public roads and not accessible to the public, so cruising in a boat is the real ticket to discovering the treasures of the region. But without a heads up, boaters often don’t know what they’re seeing!

We hope you’ll enjoy the following guide with some not-so-known sights to look out for as you cruise the Como branch of the lake south of Lezzeno. For more information on other areas, check out our blog posts on Lake Como’s villas and boat tour ideas! And although boating is a popular pastime on Lake Como, not all restaurants offer boat slips for guests to park. We’ve included in our list of sights a few restaurants that welcome boats.

Cascata di Nesso

The charming waterfalls of Nesso are made even more charming by the presence of a Romanesque bridge that connects the two halves of Nesso on either side of the falls. It’s a scene that has been painted countless times by local artists and is utterly instagrammable!

Trattoria del Porto

Via Al Pontile 22020 Nesso

Traditional food and fresh lake fish served in the ancient stone dining room or under leafy vines on the lake-view terrace. (Ask Antonio or Loredana to show you the sweet little church next door after your meal!)

Trattoria del Porto

Via Al Pontile 22020 Nesso

Traditional food and fresh lake fish served in the ancient stone dining room or under leafy vines on the lake-view terrace. (Ask Antonio or Loredana to show you the sweet little church next door after your meal!)

Villa Pliniana

Villa Pliniana, tucked in a little inlet before Torno, is named for Pliny the Elder, who wrote about the natural spring here that falls 230 feet from the cliffs into the lake in the 1st century AD. Originally built by a 16th-century Count, the Villa Pliniana was expanded and improved by a long line of illustrious owners and welcomed writers like Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, composers like Rossini, as well as potentates from Napoleon to Joseph II of Austria. It is now owned and operated as a vacation rental and event space by the Le Sereno hotel group, whose new, ultra-modern Lake Como hotel is just a few miles down the shore.

Hotel Ristorante Vapore

Via Plinio 20 22020 Torno

Local specialties, fresh fish and a lakefront terrace shaded by chestnut trees.

Hotel Ristorante Vapore

Via Plinio 20 22020 Torno

Local specialties, fresh fish and a lakefront terrace shaded by chestnut trees.

Villa Taverna

Just south of Torno, Villa Taverna is one of the lake’s most unusual properties. Its horseshoe layout with a central body and two wings on each side is unique on the lake and its almost 10-acre garden includes some rare botanical treasures. Francesco Melzi d’Eril stayed here while his eponymous villa was being constructed in Bellagio and so could you – some of its apartments are currently for sale!

Villa Maria Taglioni

Continuing south along the eastern shore, look out for Villa Maria Taglioni and its sister property Villa Maria Serena. These two decidedly feminine structures were upgraded by Maria Taglioni, the 19th century’s most celebrated ballerina. So great was her fame, that Maria longed for a secluded retreat to escape her adorers, but didn’t shy from lavish parties attended by composers like Liszt and Bellini. Today, guests can relive Maria’s luxurious life by renting both properties.

Villa Erba

Crossing the lake at Blevio, you can see lovely Villa Erba in Cernobbio, which you may recognize from a scene in Oceans 12. Originally built in the 19th century by the Erba pharmaceuticals dynasty, famous filmmaker Luchino Visconti (who directed The Leopard) lived here until its death in 1976. It is now a conference center and home to the annual Orticolario flower show.

Villa d’Este

Just north of Cernobbio is the Villa d’Este, the Grand Dame of Lake Como’s luxury hotels with its tree-lined promenade and floating pool. Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio originally built the property as a summer retreat in the 16th century, Queen Caroline of England escaped here in 1815 after being exiled by King George IV and it became a luxury hotel in 1873 for aristocrats on the Grand Tour.

Villa Fontanelle

Heading north towards Moltrasio, keep an eye out for the neoclassical yellow façade of Villa Fontanelle. Built in the early 1800s by an eccentric Englishman, it came to fame in the 1980s as the home of celebrated fashion designer Gianni Versace. His raucous parties with rock stars and supermodels are the stuff of legends…

Crotto dei Platani

Via Regina 73 22010 Brienno

Charming, romantic restaurant with a natural grotto and 3 outdoor spaces to choose from. Elegant cuisine beautifully presented and a stellar wine list.

Crotto dei Platani

Via Regina 73 22010 Brienno

Charming, romantic restaurant with a natural grotto and 3 outdoor spaces to choose from. Elegant cuisine beautifully presented and a stellar wine list.

Villa Oleandra

In Laglio, just before the little port is one of the most famous dwellings on the lake, George and Amal Clooney’s Villa Oleandra. Sightings of the movie star and is famous friends are rare, but you never know!

Hotel Villa Aurora

Via Sossana 2  22025 Lezzeno

Fish, pasta and some of the best pizza around served lakeside by Lake Como’s champion watersports dynasty. A great place to stop on your way back to the Palazzo in Lezzeno!

Hotel Villa Aurora

Via Sossana 2  22025 Lezzeno

Fish, pasta and some of the best pizza around served lakeside by Lake Como’s champion watersports dynasty. A great place to stop on your way back to the Palazzo in Lezzeno!

2018-07-10T18:02:44+00:00April 16th, 2018|Categories: Lake Como|0 Comments

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