Varenna: The east side of Lake como

I never have the chance to visit the est side of Lake Como (Lecco province), but this time I decided to spend some time in Varenna and it’s really worth it. This is the part less known of the lake, normally tourists visit Bellagio or Menaggio.

 

Varenna from the lake
Varenna from the lake

HOT TO GET THERE

By car, it’s very easy from Como (duration 45min), during the weekend it’s busier, so people usually take de ferry to move from a place to another.

By train, the train line is Lecco-Bellano, you can take the direct train from Lecco, and then change to Como, Bergamo, or Milan. The station is located 5min by walk from the Hotel Olivedo.

By ferry + car, it’s possible at Bellagio, Como, and Menaggio. The other place is the only passenger boat.

 

The ferry
The ferry

WHAT TO SEE

Verzio castle was built in the late 11th-early 12th century and was restored several times in the following centuries. The Castle also had dungeons built during the First World War, as part of the defensive linea Cadorna planned by General Luigi Cadorna, to halt any German invasion southward from Switzerland. It became open to the public in 1999. You can reach it on a walk or by car. There is free parking to leave the car and start an amazing walk through nature.

The lake of Como is really amazing, my favorite after Lake Maggiore. Varenna is very small, you can visit it in one afternoon, but take it slow and relax lake it’s perfect for that. Villa Monastero is another place to visit. The Villa is surrounded by a spectacular and fascinating botanical Garden which extends for two kilometers from Varenna to Fiumelatte; it is visited yearly by about 80.000 people.

Botanical garden + house museum €10,00 for adults. From March to November open every day from 10am to 6.30pm.

 

The square
The square

WHERE TO EAT AND SLEEP

I choose the Hotel Olivedo for its view. Not expensive like Bellagio you can stay here and visit the best place of the lake with the ferry (that is in front of the hotel). The hotel is one of the oldest in the city but is very cozy. Book the Hotel Olivedo.

Have you ever heard about a Crotto? A Crotto, also called grotto in the Lombard language, is a natural cavity typical of the mountainous regions of the Alps, in particular of the areas of Lake Como, Valchiavenna, and Canton Ticino. We have been at the Crott del Pepott a beautiful place, where you can try typical food (polenta with grilled meat) in front of a waterfall.

 

Typical Crotto
Typical Crotto
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