The territory of Bellagio is quite vast and varied. From the most famous lakeside hamlets, such as Borgo of Bellagio, Loppia, San Giovanni and Pescallo, the town extends as far as the top of Mount San Primo, the highest mountain (1,682 mt) within the Larian Triangle.
The historic centre, with its many small shops located along narrow stepped lanes, passageways and porticos, is renowned all over the world and attracts thousands of tourists every year.
The great Pleistocene glaciations, with their imposing flows from Valtellina and Val Chiavenna, shaped the present landscape of Lake Como: at least four times the glaciers went south to Brianza. Only the highest peaks emerged from the glacial mantle, including Mount S. Primo, which forced the glacier to divide into two branches: from this mountain you can see the extreme point of the Larian Triangle on which Bellagio stands.
The site, frequented since prehistoric times, became a permanent settlement in Roman times, when it was the seat, as an undocumented hypothesis would have it, of a villa of Plinio the Younger.
A fortified place with walls and rampart in the Longobard age, in the communal period it sided with the adverse faction against Como, then it was controlled by the Visconti family who flattened its fortifications. Towards the end of the 15th century Ludovico il Moro gave it as a feud to the Stanga family; later it passed to the Sfrondati family, who owned almost the entire shore of the lake, and in 1647 to the Airoldi family. These and other families built villas and palaces there, creating parks renovated and expanded especially in the eighteenth century, until in the nineteenth century Bellagio became one of the most famous holiday resorts in Europe.
Our guide to Bellagio unmissable attractions: villas and gardens, charming hamlets, sacred places
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