Montreux to Bellagio – Switzerland Itinerary

| August 20, 2011
switzerland visit: bellagio, italy

From Montreux to Bellagio, Italy

Our amazing Switzerland visit ended in Bellagio, Italy

Ok, ok, I know Bellagio is not in Switzerland! When it came to planning our Switzerland visit, I did not want to take any chances on weather. So, I diligently checked Switzerland’s weather statistics to make sure we were visiting the Alps at the best possible time to see them in all their splendor. I was still concerned though. I had heard horror stories from folks that went to Switzerland in the summer only to see barely recognizable forms of the Alps in the distance due to bad weather. My insurance policy for good weather on the trip was a few days in Bellagio on Lake Como, Italy.

switzerland visit: lake como

A sun drenched September day on Lake Como

On our way from Montreux to Lake Como, we stopped in Milan for lunch. Although our stop in Milan would only last three hours, we needed lunch anyway and I wanted to photograph the Milan Cathedral. Not wanting to tow our bags on the brief stop, it was convenient that there was a place to drop our luggage for a couple of hours at the train station. It was only four Euro per bag and, since the service is provided by the station itself, it seemed like a secure place to leave our bags. If you ever use the service, please know that there is a strict 18-kilogram weight limit.

switzerland visit: stop in milan

A quick stop in Milan on our way to Lake Como

The square that the Cathedral sits on is enormous, was full of people, and had the classic laid-back ambiance that is wonderful about Italy. The day was also bright and sunny, making it the perfect setting to enjoy our panini sandwiches for lunch!

switzerland visit: stop in milan

Milan’s City Center

Now for the task at hand. I really wanted a set of photo brackets of the interior of the church. Being the rule follower that I am, I asked Donna to go check the sign to see if photos were allowed inside. From what she gathered the answer was no and there were armed police standing at the door checking bags. Not knowing what would happen in the end, I went ahead and applied the likely camera settings for interior shots and put the camera and tripod away before entering the Cathedral.

Once I got in, I was very pleasantly surprised to see all kinds of folks with their point and shoot cameras clicking away with security looking on like there were no rules at all. At that point I decided to pull out the tripod and shoot away without a flash of course. I figured that if I got spanked, I would point to everyone else and politely comply.

switzerland visit: milan cathedral

The awe-inspiring interior of Milan Cathedral

After lunch in Milan, we took a 35 minute train to the town of Como. Once in Como, you can walk or take a taxi from the Como San Giovanni train station to the boat depot for a ride to one of many towns that surround the lake. Lago di Como is huge and is shaped like the letter Y. Flip the Y over and picture Como at the bottom of the left leg and the town of Bellagio where all the lines meet in the center. There are many towns on the lake to pick from but the positive reviews and location led me to Bellagio for our few days of relaxing in Italian style before we headed back home. The best boat to take is the comparatively fast hydrofoil. A bus would take two hours to reach Bellagio from Como. The fast boat gets you there in about 40 minutes with a few stops thrown in for about $15.

A few steps from our hotel in Bellagio

We arrived in Como at about 4pm and made it to Bellagio by five. Just in time to check-in, have a beer on the terrace, and find a spot for dinner. The town is pretty quiet, not over run with tourists, and is host to great shopping along charming side streets and alleys. The shot above is from one of the best alleys in town. Just head down the path to the sun drenched road and make a right to reach our hotel.

The town of Bellagio, Italy

While in Bellagio, we walked down to the Gardens of Villa Melzi. For eight Euro, you can explore meticulously manicured gardens and walk around the impressive villa on the property. You can tell from the photo below that the weather was gorgeous. What a beautiful place!

switzerland visit: villa melzi

Villa Melzi

The photo below is of the interior of the chapel near the villa. It had a lovely patina and the ambiance was very relaxing. I could not resist photographing the geometric shapes  that made up the ceiling.

switzerland visit: bellagio chapel

A quaint chapel at Villa Melzi

Like all towns in Italy, Bellagio has a nice old church, charming architecture, and beauty that does not disappoint. Imagine sitting by the lake for dinner with a warm breeze passing over you as you look to the lake sparkling from the sun setting in the distance. I am not sure what about Italy keeps calling us back. Sure I could list a ton of great things to consider, but what is harder to define is the feeling that we have when we are there. It is really hard to describe. All I know is it makes me smile every time and plants itself firmly in my mind as a place to continue exploring.

Well, next we are on our way to our final destination of our Switzerland visit, Luzern. I may not get that posted before we leave for France. If not, I will see you when we get back! See you then!

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Category: Photography, Switzerland, Travel

Comments (2)

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  1. AutumnLeaves says:

    I’d be like you, Lee – not wanting to miss a beat. That second photo is especially exquisite!

  2. Lee says:

    That’s the spirit Sherry. I totally agree!