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Bergamo/Bellagio - suggestions?

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Mar 6th, 2014, 12:09 PM
  #1
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Bergamo/Bellagio - suggestions?

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.
uflecku is offline  
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Mar 6th, 2014, 12:23 PM
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HKP
 
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Be sure to walk all the way out from central Bellagio to the point where the two 'legs' of Lake Como diverge (colorful local nomenclature for that). We also considered just taking the ferry one day for the complete circuit of the lake - got distracted but very much enjoyed just the ride to Como (had arrive by train to Varenna, so had that ferry ride, too).

The funicular above Como is worth it just for the ride up and back - interesting to walk around but mostly to see life style, houses, etc. and truly feel the proximity to Switzerland.

If I were coming with you, I would make a point of seeing at least some of the lakeside villas - Carlotta, d'Este, Melzi d'Eril, Serbelloni, Balbionello and probably others, although you can only see George Clooney's from the boat.

Here's an oldie-but-goody thread here: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-lake-como.cfm
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Mar 6th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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W were in Tremezzo for 10 days and decided to leave the last night open and find a cute, out of the way place---wrong! Everyone laughed at us as it was Monza weekend and all was booked for 300 miles.

The helpful desk clerk asked if we had ever been to Bergamo? She found a place for us and off we went knowing absolutely nothing about the city.

What a delightful town. We were in some business hotel in the lower city. Not great but what could we do. As we walked around we found some pedestrian only streets that were just charming. A market was going on and there was also a fantastic carousel with lots of kids having a grand time. I'm sure your hotel can tell you where the carousel is located.

I can't pinpoint the location in Bergamo but I have to say that it was a very pleasant experience and we wouldn't hesitate to return and explare further.

As far as the lake goes, our biggest disappointment was Como itself. Unremarkable and full of grafitti.

Bellagio was great. Right across the lake, Mennagio was pleasant to walk around as was Villa Carlotta(close to Mennagio.) It had a huge garden with some outstanding and different paths that the kids might enjoy running around.

Isola Comacina--an island reached by a boat--was greak for hiking and had a small refreshment cafe.

Varenna had Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi, both with huge gardens and paths overlooking the water.

It was very easy to take the ferry to the little towns and go at your own pace.

I'm no expert by any means but we certainly enjoyed our time there.
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Mar 7th, 2014, 03:09 PM
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I would definitely visit Castello di Vezio above Varenna. The castle itself isn't much, but the views are spectacular and the falconry is really interesting. Time your visit to the birds of prey exhibition schedule.

http://www.castellodivezio.it/inglese/falconeria.php
Jean is offline  
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Mar 10th, 2014, 10:00 AM
  #5
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Thank you for the info. We'll be checking out a few of the Villas for sure, as well as Isola Comacina (that link was helpful HKP, thank you). Castle above Varenna is also on the list.

Thanks Again!
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May 9th, 2014, 10:00 AM
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bookmarking for future use
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