Photo Diary: Bellagio, Italy & My Most Memorable Dinner in Europe

Photo Diary: Bellagio, Italy & My Most Memorable Dinner in Europe

Bellagio Italy Evening-2

The petite, yet world-famous, town of Bellagio sits on very end of a peninsula jutting into the crystal clear Lake Como. A favorite of the Rockefeller’s, Madonna and Donatella Versace, we (Dan and I along with our dear friends, Lucas and Lisa) knew that our visit there would be a memorable one. What I didn’t realize though is that in 3 short days we’d all grow to love Bellagio so much that we’d cancel plans to go to Milan and see the World Expo just so we could stay another night longer. Bellagio is amazing and unlike anywhere else that I’ve ever visited.

While visiting I compiled 400+ images as I wondered the streets… and I swear, it’s not all that big! After our stormy start, lasting over 24 hours, when the skies finally cleared the town beamed to life with locals pouring into the streets along with tourists, all rejoicing with the sun. 

As I often do, I took a few solo ‘photography walks’ (read: not suitable for companionship while I painfully 1-2 step down the street) over the course of our stay. Vespas buzzed through the alleyways while along the lake sleek wooden water taxis zipped luxury travelers to their villas.

The scene in Bellagio is straight out of a James Bond movie, so you’ll have to pardon me while I unload a heap of photos that I’m convinced you all MUST see.

Bellagio Italy Evening-17Bellagio Italy Evening-4Bellagio Italy Evening-30Bellagio Italy Evening-21 Bellagio Italy Evening-14 Bellagio Italy Evening-12Bellagio Italy Evening-22 Bellagio Italy Evening-20 Bellagio Italy Evening-23 Bellagio Italy Evening-31Bellagio Italy Evening-25Bellagio Italy Evening-24 Bellagio Italy Evening-15 Bellagio Italy Evening-27 Bellagio Italy Evening-29 Bellagio Italy Evening-26Bellagio Italy Evening-32 Bellagio Italy Evening-33 Bellagio Italy Evening-35 After all the ooh-ing and aahh-ing in the town of Bellagio, we followed the guidance of a local up to Trattoria Baita Belvedere. With wine in mind, we took advantage of their free shuttle service from the town center to the restaurant high above.

As promised, the view from the terrace was REMARKABLE.

The oohs and aaahs continued right through our first bottle of wine. Our chatty waiter (who also served as the shuttle driver) explained that the entire meal was sourced within 5KM of the restaurant. Fresh cheese from the goats down the road, vegetables from the garden nearby, and lake fish from… exhibit A:

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…and of course, my fav, white wine from the rolling vineyards right there on the peninsula. Since Lucas’s birthday had been overshadowed the previous day by a long car ride from Heidelberg (with 2 delightful hours of standstill traffic at the Gotthard tunnel) we decided to celebrate his 30th birthday right then and there. 

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After immediate consensus, we sprang for the local cheese platter as a starter. Pretending to be somewhat civilized adults (aka life with finance/econ-major husbands), we worked clockwise around the platter, distributing each cheese into quarters, tasting then discussing.

This lasted for five minutes.

Sipping our wine between samples, by the end it was a heavenly, cheesy free-for-all. (I had to!)

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I went with the venison spaghetti for my 1st course and Lisa opted for the lasagna. Both were sooo tasty but I think Lisa might have made the better choice. 

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Flaky white ‘lake fish’ (as it was termed) with veggies and polenta for my main.

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…and a muffin-like elderflower cake with homemade ice cream for dessert. 

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As night fell we toasted to Lucas’s 30 years then agreed that this birthday meal would, in fact, never be topped. 

  • Those views of the lake are absolutely incredible!!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

    • totally agree! bellagio is such a treat!

  • Seriously drooling over that food! I’m hoping to cross Lake Como off my bucket list next year! Can it get any prettier??

    • ohhh yes! I’d love to see y’alls take on the lake (rhyming is fun?) – I know that you’d love it!

  • Ooooh…. first of all, yum. That food looks incredible! Second of all, I love that you went to a town in Italy that most first-time tourists don’t get to! I really want to visit one day. Do a guide! πŸ™‚

    • noted! I honestly didn’t really think of putting together a lake como guide so thanks for the suggestion, dear! πŸ˜€

  • I love the fact that the spaghetti and lasagna were only your 1st course!!!! Looks so good! I could think of worst ways to celebrate the big 3-0.

    http://www.freedupgirl.com

    • ha, so you’re saying you totally understand why italy crushes my waistline?! how on earth can a gal turn down fresh pasta as a starter? πŸ˜€

  • Oh my, that certainly is a view!! Bellagio looks like such a charming little place and I’d love to visit one day! πŸ™‚ Did you stay in an apartment while you were there?

    • We actually stayed at a hotel! Kind of a luxury for us to actually have the place cleaned every day! πŸ˜€

  • I love how the houses in Italy are so colorful! After spending a week there, I didn’t want to leave either.

    WONDERMENTARY @ http://blog.jessicapei.com

  • DandelionBlue

    Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. What a photogenic place. No wonder you cancelled your trip to Milan. This was so much more dreamy. I think it’s time for another trip to Italy. Thanks for sharing xx Dandy I http://www.dandelionblue.co.uk/

    • I think it’s time for another trip to Italy too! Where is your favorite place to visit?

  • I had to do a double take when I saw that Australian flag. Wouldn’t expect that in Italy!

    • Ha, good point Hayley! I noticed it when I was there but kind of overlooked it when I was going back through my pictures. Now, I have no idea why exactly it was flying there along the lake but perhaps this is the perfect excuse for me to go back and investigate? ;D

  • lou46130

    had our honeymoon there in 1967 and returned in 2003, it had changed quite a lot. lovely place. great photos too

    • Oh my, I can’t imagine Lake Como in 1967, I feel as though perhaps it must have been a lot more exclusive and luxurious? Either way, glad you were able to return – it’s definitely a very special place.

  • Wow… another perfect day on Lake Como. Seriously still swooning…

    • Ha, they should have a slogan “Ya can’t have a bad day here!” or something… because it’s true!

  • mirjam

    What a great post – I’ve been many times to the lake como but never to bellagio… definitely need to go there!
    bisou, mirjam

    http://www.jeneregretterien.ch

    • Thanks so much dear! Yup, Bellagio for the win – if you can make it feel free to bring me along in your suitcase! ;D

  • So very beautiful! I can’t wait to go one day soon πŸ™‚

    • Yay, do you have a trip to Italy on the books?

  • Ines Marques

    Nice pictures! =)

    http://www.thelisboners.com

    • Thanks so much Ines! πŸ™‚

  • Justtraveabit Blog

    Amazing photos! I’ve been to Italy 3 times and every time I fell in love with Italy.

    • Isn’t it amazing that way? As soon as you return it’s like “Oh, yeah, I remember why this place is so incredible..” as you dive into another bowl of gelato.

  • HandLuggageOnly

    This. Looks. AMAZING!!!

  • I just love Bellagio! Oh so charming!!! Hope you stalked George Clooney on Lake Como πŸ˜‰