The Belvedere in 1880

The Belvedere in 1880

Hotel hall in the 1930s'

Hotel hall in the 1930s

The Belvedere terrace in the 1950s'

The Belvedere terrace in the 1950s

Old postcard of Pescallo

Old postcard of Pescallo

The Belvedere: five generations of perceptive and tenacious women (1880-1948)

In 1880, the year the Belvedere Hotel was established, Bellagio was at the apex of its splendour. In the milieu of Lombard and European aristocracy, it was called the “small Italian Versailles ", for the rich and sparkling fabric of villas and gardens built since the end of the 18th century.

In Bellagio royal families, artists and writers, politicians and scientists, nobles and entrepreneurs all convened for their vacations. While luxury hotels were being constructed in the town for all those celebrities, the Gilardoni family decided to build a small inn on a plot of land they owned on a hill top to accommodate the people who came to Bellagio from the countryside, for commerce or work. Initially, the inn was called "La Vignetta", for the many cool pergolas that surrounded it, and was entrusted to Maria, one of the daughters of the large family.

Maria was the true founder of the Belvedere. Married to Carlo Albertini, a young, enterprising craftsman from the Orta Lake area who had moved to Bellagio to construct the first gas lighting system for the town, she realised the great potential of the small inn. With patience and determination, the Albertinis transformed La Vignetta into a modern (for the times) and comfortable hotel, which was aptly named Belvedere.
Maria managed the Belvedere for over sixty years and even after the death of her husband in 1918, never stopped improving it, making it bigger and more modern.

As the first motor cars began circulating on the narrow lake side roads, the clientele attracted to the hotel kept increasing in quantity and quality. Maria was so foresighted that she even created parking areas and even a garage. In the 1930s, a saloon topped by the Belvedere sign was always seen waiting in front of the Bellagio pier to welcome the hotel guests.


Hotel Belvedere - Via Valassina, 31 - 22021 Bellagio (CO) Italia - P.I.01782150138
Tel. +39.031.950410 - Fax +39.031.950102 - -
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