Things to do in Varenna, Lake Como

Things to do in Varenna, Lake Como
Varenna, I would say is the second most popular town around Lake Como. It is situated on the eastern coast of the lake overlooking Menaggio on the other side of the water. If you get here by boat you get a perfect view over the colorful houses of the town. It is a popular destination for visitors to Lake Como, either for a day trip or for staying a couple of days. This is a short guide on what to do in this beautiful town, and I’m gonna let the photos do most of the talking.

The town centre

The town centre is pretty small but very genuine and beautiful. The center is the where you find Piazza San Giorgio with its old church. The square is surrounded by small alleys with cobblestones. It’s like walking around in a movie or a postcard everywhere here.

Villa Cipressi

Just a short walk from the main square lies Villa Cipressi. It is a four star hotel with a very beautiful garden and view over the lake. It was really peaceful to walk around here and watch the lake.

Villa Monastero

Another short walk from Villa Cipressi is the Villa Monastero. Before it was a monastery but is now a conference center and has a beautiful bothanical garden. The yellow building in the photo below is actually Villa Cipressi that you have a view to from here.

Riva Grande

Riva Grande is what the lake promenade in Varenna is called. Here’s where you find the beautiful and colorful houses you see from the boat. Here are some restaurants as well and this is where we had lunch on our visit. It’s a really cosy place and we could have stayed there all day just watching the view.

Varenna’s walk of lovers

Walk of lovers is the name of the trail connecting Riva grande and the harbour. This is really only a promenade along the water with a fancy name. I’m sure you’ll pass it at least once on your visit.

Castello de Vezio

Just next by the harbour there’s a small road that leads to Castello de Vezio. It’s a medieval fortress on top of a mountain with the best view over the lake. The road up here is very steep, but takes about 30 minutes to walk. Most of the road is in the shadows, but it’s a sweat anyways so water is recommended.
Just before you get inside the fort there’s a small restaurant where you can have some refreshments before entering the fort. As soon as you enter the area you get to see the view. In the garden they have placed some sculptures of ghosts that you can see on the photo below.

Your legs might be sore after walking all the way up the hill, but don’t miss to visit the tower and climb the stairs to the top. It’s from here you get the most amazing view!

Varenna truly is a nice destination to visit while you’re in the area. I especially liked the great view from the tower! Well worth the visit. And if you’re choosing between visiting Varenna or Bellagio for a day trip, I’d say Varenna is the better choice!

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