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Shopping Bellagio on Lake Como, Italy: What Souvenirs to Bring Home

I had this romanticized idea of the Italian Lake district for years– narrow stone lanes framed by blooming flowers, grand terraces along the water, and of course, the home of George Clooney. With expectations sky high, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the reality was a let-down. But after an all-too-brief visit, I can happily confirm that Lake Como is all that. Even in the drizzly rain, I couldn’t stop snapping photos. Every adorable bar beckoned me to stop for a glass of wine. The shops were mostly independently run, filled with cute things and fairly priced.

My Lake Como experience was limited– as I was day tripping from Milan, I only had time to see one village, and I couldn’t help but choose storybook Bellagio.

Bellagio is small enough that you can easily wander all its lanes on a day trip, making plenty of stops for shopping, cocktails and gelato. Since my visit was so brief, and most of my time was spent meandering its streets, I can’t write a comprehensive post on all the shops and souvenirs on offer– but I can offer you a glimpse of what’s out there.

My Photo Tour: Shopping Bellagio on Lake Como

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The ferry ride to Bellagio isn’t just transportation– it’s a great way to enjoy the views of the tiny villages along the lake.

barchetta lake bellagio italy como snack eating food restaurant bar

We headed up the stone stairwell right off the ferry and walked past this adorable spot, Ristoro Forma & Gusto. I just had to stop.

lake bellagio restaurant local food where eat

Can’t go wrong with bruschetta and a crisp local white.

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A typical picture perfect alleyway in Bellagio, lined with shops, restaurants and bars.

Arte e Moda

Arte e Moda’s window display caught my eye– it was filled with unique, gorgeous designs imprinted on silk and leather items. I popped in and learned the shop is entirely the creation of master artisan Pierangelo Masciardi (he is often in the shop, I was able to meet him when I was there).  While Masciardi is best known for his silk ties (worn by both celebrities and certain US presidents), he also creates plenty of female-friendly items like pouchettes, caftans and scarves. I spent a lot of time in this shop debating what to buy (so many options!) and ended up with the dragonfly bag below.

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Local Bellagio Cheese

Like most regions of Italy, the Lake District has its own delicious local cheeses. I found a deli on the main road on the very top of the village that seemed to have a wide selection of regional cheeses.

DSC05130Local cheeses that aren’t widely exported make great souvenirs.

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Every stone pathway presented yet another photo opp.

Local Silk from the Italian Lake District

The Lake District (in particular Lake Como) is well-known for its silk production. A souvenir made from local silk (scarves, dresses, ties) is easy to find in the local Bellagio shops. Prices range from ridiculously affordable to stratospheric, depending on quality and design.

Pasticceria Bar Dal 1919

A pasticceria is an Italian pastry shop, serving pastries along with coffee and other beverages.

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This pasticceria is over a hundred years old.

vintage candy tins lake como bellagio italy souvenir

I loved these vintage look Lake Como and Bellagio candy tins

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The charming owner proudly shared a photo of his grandfather with me.

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Leather

I’m not sure if all the leather I saw was locally made, but when I spot checked it seemed like most is from Italy, with a range of styles and prices.

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Other Independent Shops in Bellagio

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Just one example of local paintings. I loved the easily packable and affordable handpainted bookmarks– a great souvenir.

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I’m a sucker for anything vintage or even vintage inspired– loved these t-shirts.

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Lake Bellagio gelato best

In case you wondered if Bellagio has any good gelato.

Have you been to the Italian Lake district? Share your favorite spots!

Disclosure: I visited Milan as part of the Blogville program sponsored by Lombardy tourism.

4 Responses to Shopping Bellagio on Lake Como, Italy: What Souvenirs to Bring Home

  1. Shepard C Willner 06/26/2016 at 11:30 pm #

    Kristin, if you bought that cheese, I hope you ate it because you can’t take into the USA, right? But you can bring in anything else, e.g., jewelry. leather, perfume, candy tins, etc. I hope you had a good time in the Lake District. I haven’t been to either Milan or to the Lake District yet, but I’m sure it’s on my bucket list.

  2. John @ Pretravels 07/06/2016 at 2:36 pm #

    Lake Como is one of the wonders of Italy and attracts each year thousands of tourists. Honestly, I’m sorry you didn’t get the chance to stay for a while and fall in love with the atmosphere!

  3. Jill H 03/29/2017 at 11:59 pm #

    Loved this post– we ate at that same restaurant & I bought a lovely watercolor at that art shop! My husband found cool biking kit/clothing at an old fashioned sports shop and I found unique jewelry and cute hat in Bellagio…. lovely place to shop & explore.

    • Kristin Francis 04/04/2017 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks Jill! The old sports shop sounds great, I didn’t see that.

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