Lake and mountain views, little alleyways, ferry to Bellagio
Probably heaving in high season
Very pretty...and knows it is!
The Villa Monastero was originally a Cistercian convent dedicated to S. Maria. The establishment dates back at least to 1208, when the first documentary mention occured. In the mid-sixteenth century the last six sisters transferred to a convent in Lecco and the buildings were sold to the Mornico family. The Mornicos owned the villa for the next...more
Varenna is an interesting village to explore on foot. From the train station, it's a downhill walk. There is a pleasant pathway around the lakeside (pics 3-5) with interesting views, reached from the ferry port - part is on the flat - suitable for wheelchair users/prams etc, but then there are steeper parts I enjoyed seeing the narrow lanes winding...more
The passarella, the lakeside path from Olivedo to Varenna, is really very pretty indeed.It meanders its way between cliff and shoreline, under overhanging branches, across a little bridge, through restaurant patios and past little (very expensive) shops towards the main square. Numerous stepped and cobbled alleyways lead from it up to the road.It...more
The church of S Giorgio presides over the main village square (named after the church).It was started in around 1200, although it has no written mention until 1313, and has obviously undergone many changes over the centuries. But you can still see fragments of its earlier incarnations in the form of frescoes which have been uncovered and one or two...more
You could so easily miss this very ancient church.It's tucked away in the corner of Piazza San Giorgio, almost on the lakeside. No tower, and nothing to see from the piazza apart from a curving grey wall.S Giovanni dates from at least the 1100s, although was probably built on the site of an earlier Christian building.It's a small church, and you...more
If you are feeling energetic you could spend a lot of time going up and down the numerous stepped and cobbled alleyways which are indicators of Varenna's fishing-village past.I didn't feel very energetic on my visit, I'm afraid, but did very much enjoy exploring one or two and having a quick look up (or down) several more. I liked the glimpses of...more
A good way to spend the day on Lake Como is to get the all day ferry pass and hop around the lake, visiting the other towns. Bellagio is a short ride away, as is Menaggio and Lenno. At each place you will find opportunities to shop, eat, or visit villas.One of my favorite stops was seeing the Villa Balbianello. I took the ferry to Lenno and from...more
Situated along the eastern side of Lake Como, the garden is the result of age-long work which transformed the steep slopes into a scenic design.A very peaceful and relaxing place to wander or sit under the arbors and picnic.Please refer to my Lago di Como travelogues for more photos.more
Varenna is easily walkable from end to end, and the main square is home to Hotel Olived (pictured), and the ferry dock where you can catch a boat to Bellagio (regular departures several times a day). It's a quaint, old-fashioned town that doesn't shout touristy, but caters well to those who are lucky enough to stay here.more
Of all the places we stayed on my two-week trip to Italy, this was my probably favorite--a fabulous...more
Via IV Novembre 18, Varenna, Lake Como, 23829, Italy
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
I have stayed here several times and have found this one of my favorites in Italy. It is peaceful...more
After a hard day's sightseeing (and skipping lunch) we thought we had earned a gelato each. There are lots of places to choose from. We happened to choose this one, and definitely had no cause for complaint.Our extravagant ice-creams cost €7 apiece, but we thought they were worth it.This isn't just an ice-cream place. Whilst we were enjoying our...more
Il Bar Molo is a nice casual place to sit along side beautiful Lake Como and take in the views. A pretty walk along the lake takes you to several small cafes and shops, separated by narrow steps running steeply up the hill. Some wine, beer, fries, a capresse salad and we were happy campers. The service was friendly.more
During our second visit to Varenna, we took the opportunity to partake of a light luncheon and use this restaurant's free WiFi service to catch up with friends across the world.We walked along the lakeside walkway (see tip here) and, after encountering a small shopping area, we walked slightly up the hill and found this restaurant with a beautiful...more
Having arrived at Varenna train station from Lecco (where we changed trains from our train from Bergamo), we took the fairly easy walk down the hill to the ferry terminal and purchased our tickets. With spare time on our hands, we decided to have a light lunch. (Hotel) Ristorante Olivedo was conveniently situated opposite the ferry ticket office,...more
We'd visited Varenna for the 2nd day running, and had spotted some restaurants around the bay. A pleasant lakeside path, brought us to the restaurants, and we chose this one, for its lakeside terrace, and notices offering free WIFI - it also looked very nice, with a pleasant atmosphere - the terrace was filling, and we got a table overlooking the...more
Arriving by train from Bergamo, we'd arrived at the ferry port, and found that we had a couple of hours to wait until our ferry to Cadenabbia was due. So, having purchased our tickets, food was our next priority. The nearby Restaurant of the Hotel Olivedo enticed us - colourful tablecloths, beckoned us to sit for a while, enjoy a beer and a local...more
Once you have arrived at one of the many entry points to Lake Como (Como, Lecco, Varenna), you will find that each of them offer ferry services for travelling around Lake Como or for onward travelling to your ultimate destination.For Suvanki and I, we had arrived at Varenna from Bergamo (after a train change in Lecco) and we took a ferry from there...more
Saturday, June 2, 2012Along wih Kate (Goodfish) and Jerry, Hans and I took the train to Varenna via Lecco. Tickets for thw two of us return was 20,60 Euros. Our train was leaving around 9:00 a.m. The very first thing we did, was validate our tickets on the train - heavy fines if caught without a ticket or validation. First stop was in Lecco and...more
Saturday, June 2, 2012Soon after arriving in Varenna, we (Hans & I, Kate & Jerry), walked over to the Ferry Ticket Office and bought our tickets for the FERRY TO BELLAGIO - Tickets were 4,60 Euros each one way. We bought two return fares and it came to 18,40 Euros. I asked about a senior fare reduction, but it was not offered.Ferries run from early...more
When I first visited Lake Como in 1978, I remembered seeing these canopied boats, known as Lucia's bobbing around the lake. They were used as fishing or leisure craft, and were rowing boats, manouvered by oars, which the oarsman wields while standing, facing forwards. I was entranced by these vessels, and bought a silver charm of one of these to...more
53 Reviews and Opinions
......you can expect the railway station ticket office to be closed. And you may find, as I did, that the ticket machine isn't working either.To avoid problems you could, of course, buy a return ticket from wherever you started. But this wouldn't work for me, as I'd intended to stop off elsewhere on my way back.Fortunately, there were signs at the...more
With regard to the buying of train tickets and the problem if the station ticket office is closed and the ticket machine dead:As you walk down into Olivedo (the village adjoining Varenna) you will see the sign in the main photo. Don't be misled: this is *not* the 'last stop' for tickets. You *can buy them next door, at the Bar Beretta.I went into...more
Luggage and bags:
Travel as light as possible - The 10 minute walk from the train station to the ferry port is downhill, with some steps to negotiate, but your return may well take longer with heavy luggage on a hot day!
Day sac for guide book, camera, water bottle etc
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Although the weather was kind to us in early June, the area does have rainy days, and I've witnessed some spectacular thunder storms on previous visits.
Waterproofs and layers along with comfortable shoes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring essential medications and prescription. I didn't spot a pharmacy here - Belaggio or Menaggio might be the nearest choice.
Sunscreen and mossie repellent recommended.
Although I didn't have a problem with the ferries - travel sickness pills if you don't have sea-legs.
Photo Equipment: As much as you can carry - Varenna is very photogenic!
I didn't see anywhere selling batteries/SD cards - but one of the gift shops might have limited stock, at a price. Belaggio or Menaggio should offer a better chance of re-stocking.
Not necessarily off the beaten path, but a fun days outing anyway. I booked a day trip thru the local Varenna travel agency, Tiviano Tours, which was right across the street from where I stayed. It was a guided bus/train tour that left at 8am from across the lake in Menaggio, so first I had to take an early ferry across the lake. We drove north all along Lake Como then headed east on the route to Sondrio with a short pit stop there. Continued on to Poschiavo and changed from our bus to the Bernina Express train. What great views going up the mountain pass. Then back on the bus for the rest of the short ride to St Moritz. We had a couple of hours here, for lunch or shopping before heading back. This time a different route back down over the Maloja Pass with an incredible series of hairpin turns down many many miles. What an engineering feat to built that road. The pit stop on the way back was in the pretty town of Chiavenna, nestled in the foothills of the mountains. Lots of photo ops here. Eventually ending back in Menaggio at 5pm. Worth the money for the scenery and the no hassel of driving.
Realistically if you come by boat to the Centro Lago from Como, as we did, I think it's best to just visit a couple of villages and Bellagio would be on most people's list first.Although there are other places that would warrant inclusion we chose Varenna because of its more peaceful nature.The thing I liked about Varenna apart from it being...more
Saturday, June 2, 2012Hans and I, along with Kate (Goodfish) and hubby Jerry, enjoyed a day trip to VARENNA which is on Lake Como in the province of Lecco, in the Italian region Lombardy. It is located about 60 kilometers north of Milan and about 20 kilometers north-west of Lecco.more