An ancient fishing village set on the shore of a majestic lake, colorful houses, steep alleys, cypress climbing to the sky, mountains reflecting in the water, majestic villas and their lush gardens, the back and forth of boats slowing down the time, the lapping of the lake… A place, an atmosphere. The setting is set for a romantic weekend, let yourself be guided: I take you to the north of Italy, on the shores of Lake Como, in a small romantic village that already makes you sweet eyes ! Let’s make the introduction : Varenna.
Steep lanes and colorful houses
This name probably doesn’t tell you anything and yet this village hides many treasures of beauty and charm. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Como, Varenna offers an ideal setting for a romantic weekend. Nestled on the shores of this majestic lake, this small village is discovered through its steep alleys and colourful houses. Less touristy and known than its neighbour Bellagio, Varenna has retained a certain authenticity even if many tourists come to discover this labyrinth of alleys and old stones that invite romance.
It must be said that Varenna has all the assets to charm the visitor with a mixture of natural and cultural beauty: a piazzetta facing the lake for a drink or for a romantic dinner, a small adorable port, a tiny romantic beach to admire a sunset, a beautiful walk by the water, the ruins of a castle to admire the panorama and of course the enchanting gardens of these period villas, true invitations to daydream and romantic walks. All that remains is to be transported by this timeless atmosphere and to take full advantage of this romantic delight that overwhelms the traveller.
A stage of the Grand Tour
Lake Como in the shape of an inverted y reveals all its charms in its center. This is the most beautiful and interesting area as it concentrates the most sumptuous period villas and the most beautiful villages like Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna. Located north of Milan, Lake Como is the quintessence of a romantic destination and should be on the agenda of any traveller who loves beauty and romance. Already in the 18th century, the lake was an obligatory stop on the Grand Tour, a journey that all the sons of good families had to make in Europe to discover the richeness of European heritage. Then in the 19th century artists came to be captivated by its charms and to find inspiration. Since that time, Lake Como has enjoyed a certain prestige that its neighbours, Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda, do not possess.
Charm, beauty, elegance and Italian lifestyle are on the agenda for visitors to Lake Como and Varenna offers the magical setting of a cozy nest to shelter her loves for an extended weekend. To put your luggage there, it’s let yourself go to the contemplation and romantic charm of the place.
Lovers, at your luggage !
The Monastero Villa
She’s Varenna’s star ! A former convent of cistercian sisters, the Monastero Villa is especially worth a visit for its gardens. Bordering the lake, the villa’s gardens stretch along the shoreline for more than a kilometer with cypresses, palm trees and exotic plants. A magical place for a romantic walk surrounded by lush vegetation. A marvel not to be missed under any circumstances !
The Cipressi villa
Now transformed into a hotel, Villa Cipressi has a beautiful botanical garden that spans several levels and offers a superb panorama of the lake. Must-see !
Castello di Vezio and Fiumelatte
A short escape to the remains of a medieval castle, Castello di Vezio offers a superb panorama of the village and the lake. The more adventurous can extend this walk on a walking trail, the Sentiero del viandante, to discover the source of Italy’s shortest river, the Fiumelatte and the freshness of its milky water.
Walk on the lake
While Varenna is without a doubt the most beautiful village, Lake Como offers many other treasures to visit. Bellagio, Bellano, Menaggio, Tremezzo, as many villages located near Varenna to visit especially for those who have beautiful period villas decorated with gardens where you can take romantic walks. Then head to the pier to explore the charm of the surrounding area and let yourself be carried away by the rhythm of the boat sliding on the water.
Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo
Sumptuous neo-classical villa surrounded by a botanical garden that is worth a visit.
Villa Balbianello in Lenno
Probably the best known thanks to film shoots, this Renaissance-style villa offers an enchanting setting with its magnificent jardins.
Villa Melzi in Bellagio
After visiting the charming village of Bellagio, don’t miss a romantic walk through the english gardens of villa Melzi.
#When to go
As with other destinations, i recommend going to Varenna off-season. Spring, autumn or even winter will allow you to walk quietly and avoid the hordes of tourists in summer. The best seasons are spring (May-June) for flowering gardens and autumn with beautiful colors in october. Beware, many establishments close from mid-november to march and there is less transport. Weather in Varenna
Nearest airports located in Milan. Prices generally the cheapest on Easyjet from Paris, London, Brussels and Berlin. Varenna can then meet by train from Milano Central station or by car. It takes just over an hour to get there. Flight search :
Whatever the destination, i advise travellers to book accommodation in the center to take full advantage of the charms of the destination. Varenna offers a range of accommodation to its visitors : superb hotels, charming guest rooms and apartments of all price ranges. Nevertheless, know that Italy is a relatively expensive destination, especially the North.
The must ! Beautiful hotel with its large botanical garden terrace facing the lake. Favorite villa magnolia, a small house on the water’s edge at the bottom of the gardens of Villa Cipressi. Beware of the price all the same, it is a very high-end hotel. Basic double room from 240 euros.
Also many rentals on Airbnb and other seasonal rental platforms. A favourite for the beautiful Villa Monti, located facing the lake, above the gardens of Villa Monastero. This art nouveau villa offers several apartments for rent with access to the garden and swimming pool. Preferred for the Hydrangea duplex apartment located in a tower with breathtaking 360-degree views. Apartment from 248 euros.
For a search for guest rooms :
Map : © Google Maps and OpenStreetMap Contributors licensed by CC-BY-SA / Photograph : Bigstock ; Pixabay ; neil.inglis, David Spender, Ray in Manila, Brad Coy are licensed by CC BY 2.0 by Flickr / Icon and logo: divider by Stan Diers and map of italy by Randomhero from the Noun Project, by Smashicons, by Roundicons, by Vectors Market, by Freepik, by Icon Pond, from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY