The Origins and the Geography
Bellagio is situated upon the extreme cape of the region that divides the Lake Como in two biforcations. The tourist centre occupies the extreme part of the promontory, while the numerous districts are disseminated both along the lake shores and upon the slopes of the hills. The great Pleistocene freezings with their imposing flows comig from the Valtellina and Vlchiavenna modelled the actual landscape of the Como lake: for at least four times the glaciers went as far as the Brianza in the South. From an only glacial blanket only the highest tops emerged, one of them was the mountain S.Primo, which obliged the glaciers to divide themselves into two arms: from this mountain you can see the Lariano Triangle upon which Bellagio rises.The place, which was frequented in the prehistory, became a settlement in roman times, when it was the seat , as a hypothesis says, of a villa of Plinio il Giovane. Iin longobard time it was a fortified place with walls , in comunal time it lined up with the adverse to Como faction, and then the Visconti subjugated it and planned the fortifications. Towards the end of the XV century Ludovico il Moro gave it in feud to the Stanga; after that it passed to the Sfrondati, who possessed almost all the East side of the lake, and in the 1647 partially to the Airoldi. These and other families built villas and buildin , creating restructured and amplified parks expecially in the XVIII century until when Bellagio became one of the most notorious holiday resort in Europe.
Bellagio, placed at the vertix of the Lariano Triangle, at the base of the promontory which divides the lake into two arms, the one of Como and the one of Lecco, is one of the most famous and distinguished holiday resort, with beautiful and noble residences and natural landscape features of notorious charm.
On the internal crest of the hill, protected from the winds which blow over the lake, is the building complex of Villa Serbelloni which is characterised by the simplicity of its architectonic lines. On the inside, elegant halls with vault and coffered ceilings follow one another accurately decorated in the style of the XVII and XVIII century. » Read more...
Villa Melzi is introduced by its English style garden which develops harmoniously along the lake’s banks, the last offshoot in the hill picture of the peninsula of Bellagio, to the south of the inhabited area. The realisation of such a garden implied notable interventions to the structure of the land and the realisation of outstanding supporting walls. » Read more...
At the end of the XVIII century the Count Pietro Venini made build a new sumptuous residence, called Villa Giulia, in his wife's honour. When the villa was erected, Venini bought wide lands, so his property extended from Regatola as far as Loppia.
The view of the two lakes, that nowadays you can enjoy from the villa, can appear obvious and natural; it was instead obtained trought artifices that in those times had to appear almost impossible. In front of the façade of the villa some paths and flowerbeds were built: they had a symmetrical design with in the middle a bath in which the noble façade was mirrored;
Far from the villa there is a wide flight of steps, surrounded by roof gardens full of fruit trees, which take to a small harbour and to a garden full of forest trees; it was a wonderful example of italian garden that then, during the XIX century was enriched by his successors with statues, fountains, esotic trees and precious essences.
The Villa is a neoclassical building which was built for the Traversa in the XVIII century and enlarged in the lateral wings for Poldi Pezzoli from Giuseppe Balzaretto. The big park, that at the time of the Traversa was in the Italian style, was transformed in a big park in the English style. In the upper part of the garden, the mausoleum of the Gonzaga was built.
Now in the park of the villa there is also the romanic church of Santa Maria di Loppia, that once was provided of a small closter that was destroyed during the construction of the wide path of Villa Giulia.
Villa Trotti is situated next to the Villa Trivulzio, beyond the torrent Perlo. It is an ancient establishment, but it was amplified at the beginning of the XVIII century and almost complitely rebuilt in the XIX century in the neogothic style with "Moorish"decorations. The botanic park is very interesting because there are some plants which come from Japan and China.