Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:12 AM
Visit any of the towns situated around Italy's Lake Como and you'll be in the perfect place to have a relaxing holiday where you can take in breathtaking scenery. However, one place that really stands out as a beautiful destination is Bellagio – and when you book self-catering accommodation here you will quickly realise why this is the case!
Indeed, Bellagio is known as 'the pearl of Lake Como', so by choosing villas and apartments on the Italian lakes situated here, you can be sure you'll be staying somewhere that offers plenty of visual appeal.
Bellagio's origins date back to pre-Roman times, and while it has grown massively in the subsequent centuries you'll be able to find evidence of its past through its many pretty buildings.
This is particularly the case when taking in two of its most historic villas – Villa Melzi d'Eril and Villa Serbelloni – both of which are perfect examples of classic Italian architecture.
The former was constructed in the early 19th century under the orders of Francesco Melzi d'Eril, who at the time was appointed the Duke of Lodi by Napoleon.
Overlooking the lake, you'll find that the building has a wide range of features to capture your interest, including a Venetian gondola and a neoclassical glasshouse. However, it might be the English-style garden that has the greatest visual appeal. Here you'll be able to see a wide array of plants and flowers.
Villa Serbelloni is an equally captivating building to take in during the course of your Lake Como holiday. Set on the internal crest of a hill, the complex has seen extensive demolition and renovation work since the Middle Ages, although the building you see today is reminiscent of the popular Italian architectural styles of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Now owned by the Rockefeller Foundation, by taking a walk through the property's grounds you'll be able to admire ornate architecture and the pretty garden.
Another astounding building that contributes to Bellagio's reputation as one of the most beautiful places in Italy is St James Basilica.
Walk through the town's cobblestoned streets and you'll soon come across the imposing 12th century church. Featuring a gold-accented interior and Romanesque facade, the place of worship was declared a national monument in the early 19th century.
You should also make the effort to stop by the Piazza San Giacomo – the town's main public square – and the Villa Trotti. Dating back to the 17th century, this historic home was once owned by Marquis Ludovico Trotti and features an aquatic tropical garden and a Moorish-style exterior.
However, it is not just the fascinating buildings that make Bellagio an especially distinctive holiday destination. You'll find the amazing natural scenery also contributes to the town's appeal.
Indeed, the mountainous terrain that surrounds the region makes it the perfect place to go hiking or climbing. As you make your way upwards, you'll be afforded some breathtaking vistas of the olive trees below and Lake Como, in addition to the town's beautiful buildings.
The fact that Bellagio sits right next to Lake Como means that you can also see some stunning sights by water. Go for a boat ride on the lake – which is the third largest body of water in Italy – to take in views of the town and surrounding hills from a different perspective.
With so many charming sights – both natural and manmade – to see, a holiday to Bellagio is sure to be an experience that you will never forget.