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Bergamo/Bellagio - suggestions?

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Hey all…travelling with the family (wife and I, 5 year old daughter and 9 month old son) to Italy in late May. We are fairly experienced travelers (son’s first international flight but daughter’s fourth, along with many domestic trips) and already have a few things planned and with several other ideas on “things to do,” but we always welcome suggestions/opinions/feedback from others who have already been to the places we’re going.

Details as follows: Depart JFK to Milan Wednesday, May 28th. Upon landing transfer straight to Bergamo for two nights. On Saturday transfer to Bellagio and stay there seven nights before returning to Malpensa Saturday morning, June 7th for the trip back to JFK. Transportation between all locations is already taken care of. No car in either location (we spend half our lives in a car commuting in/out of NYC every day. Wanted to slow down, walk places, take ferries, etc).

Bergamo – we’re staying at Casa Mario Lupo (http://www.casamariolupo.it/pag.asp?l=UK&sez=home) in the Citta Alta. We wanted someplace a little bigger so opted for apartments/villas in both locations. We have nothing planned for the time in Bergamo as it is fairly short and we intend to use it to get on schedule/acclimate the kids and just unwind a bit. We tend to underplan when we travel, preferring to wander and linger at our own pace. Long walks and long meals work well for our family. So while we don’t want any commitments for this time, we would like to know what folks think are the highlights. Should we make it a point to visit the lower town? What is the area above Citta Alta like (San Vigilio I believe). Of course, restaurant suggestions or other secret tidbits also welcome.

Bellagio – we’re spending this week at Villa dei Fiori (http://www.villadeifioribellagio.com/index_eng.html), in the Pescallo section of Bellagio. We have arranged for a few things while we’re here - day trip to St Mortiz (we have a car/driver for that day), day on the lake cruising and visiting villas, walking tour of Bellagio, pizza making at local restaurant (my daughter is excited by this one.) We have also allowed for quite a bit of free time to explore on foot and also via ferry. In your opinion, what are the top few things to see/places to go? No doubt we will ferry over to Varenna once or twice (considered staying there), maybe hike up to the castle. Is Mennagio worth a visit? How about the city of Como itself? What of the area above Como at the top of the funicular (Brunate)? Any other towns you would make a point to seek out (by ferry, no car). Favorite places to enjoy the view? Anything you think would make our trip more spectacular.

As usual, thank you in advance for all of your help and input.

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