Enchanting. Romantic. Beautiful + Gracious. Friendly. Welcoming= The Hotel Florence and it's owners and staff.
My husband stayed in room 43 at the Hotel Florence and it was everything that other Trip Advisor members said and more. The room reminded me like it was right out of "Under the Tuscan Sun" movie and the view from both balconies was breathtaking.
Upon arrival from the Ferry, which is 2 minutes walk to the hotel, our luggage was whisked to our room before we even reached the front desk. The hotel location is absolutely perfect and offers everything you could possibly wish for. They have an indoor bar/lounge which looks out onto the lake, a sidewalk cafe in front of the hotel and a waterside dining area. There are shops galore along with numerouse restaurants and cafes all along the walkway in varied prices ranges so you will definitely find something to fit your tastes and budget. In addition to the terrace in front of the hotel, they also have a beautiful garden in the back which is a perfect place to sit and relax and stay out of the sun. There is plenty to choose from in the included breakfast buffett and the fresh croissants, cheeses and fruit were among my favorites.
My favorite shop was Saraceno next door to the Hotel Florence. Michol, the owner, was so helpful and he offers gorgeous clothes, shoes, handbags and other items made by local artists and craft persons along with beautiful imported items from Paris and other areas.
* Bring a converter with you. The hotel used to offer them, but as some guests forgot to leave them behind, they are unable to do that now. We forgot ours, but were able to buy one for 4 euros at the sporting goods store just around the corner.
* The food at the hotel is excellent, but try the Veruccio Borgo restaurant at the top of the hill for excellent Pizza, Minestrone soup and people watching.
* Try every flavor of Gelato while you are there! There is a restaurant near the car ferry, right on the water, that has gelato for 1 euro per scoop. Best price!
* Shop for silk scarves..they are gorgeous and well priced.
* Book lunch or dinner at the Locanda dell'Isola Comacina restaurant. They have a website, so you can make reservations two weeks prior to your arrival. It was, without a doubt, our favorite part of our trip to the Como area.
*Spend a day checking out Menaggio, Varenna and Lenno with a Ferry day pass. It's about about 11 euros per person and you can take the ferry to each city and shop, eat and sightsee. Varenna is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. While in Varenna, go to the Monastery for a gorgeous walk thru botanical gardens. Please note though that the Monastery itself is only open on weekends and during the week your entrance fee will only allow you into the gardens.
*Plan your shopping accordingly, in Menaggio the shops all close during the lunch hours for two hours.
*While in Bellagio, walk to the Villa Melzi to learn more about the history of the region. The gardens are beautiful and you will see former livery stables, the family chapel and artificats from when Napolean lived there. Please note that the actual villa is not open for viewing.
*Bring comfortable walking shoes as eveything is cobblestone and you will be going up and down stairs for everything. Explore each and every stairway as each offers wonderful shops and restaurants with gorgeous handcrafted items ranging from Christmas ornaments to paintings.
*There are a couple of banks, but they open late and close around 3pm. Use your debit/credit card for purchases or exchange cash as the fees on traveler's checks are a bit hefty, but that is common everywhere.
*If you are a tourist, ask each store for a VAT receipt. This is a pain at the airport, but you can get quite a bit of money back. Allow an extra hour at the airport to deal with VAT refunds and have patience because they do make you jump thru hoops. If you want to mail it in, do not forget to go to the VAT office and have them stamped because you won't get a refund without those.
*The locals are absolutely lovely and a smile will get you far!
*Bellagio is quite windy, so for the ladies, be aware if packing sundresses. Maxi dresses seemed to be quite popular.
* There is a small gift stand near the car ferry on the way to Villa Melzi that offers tshirts, postcards and souvenirs for more than 1/2 off of what the boutiques were selling them for.
* There is a tourist office at the ferry terminal and they offer several brochures that will self quide you on walking tours..from just around the main area to the hills and towns East of Bellagio. My husband and I did this and we had a wonderful time exploring churches, seeing villas and towns and meeting people.
*The hotel is a hot spot, but you need to bring your own computer if you need it (why you would I don't know!!), but if you do not have one, there is an internet cafe just around the corner where you can buy time.
*Go to the cafe at the top of the stairs, just outside the hotel, for the most wonderful cappucino and people watching in Bellagio.
* Plan on being in one of the most romantic and beautiful areas in Italy!
We will definitely come back again!!
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- Also Known As:
- Florence Hotel Bellagio
- Hotel Florence Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy