"Varenna, Lake Como's finest" Top 5 Page for this destination Varenna by slcook52

Varenna Travel Guide: 55 reviews and 244 photos

The town itself

The town of Varenna is so picturesque, sitting on a point jutting out into Lake Como. The buildings and houses are beautifully colored in shades of red, yellow, coral, and salmon. It has a nice little harbor with good ferry service to the other mid lake towns, and a cute little old town center around a Piazza San Giorgio connected to the harbor by the Passerella (a lakeside promenade). There are no streets in the old town, just what they call contrade, or characteristic stepped lanes. The population is only about 800, the town is small and easily walked, though there are some steep alleys.

Arrival in Varenna

Getting to Varenna from Milan was easy. There are frequent trains, the trip taking only an hour. Heading towards Varenna, the scenic side of the train will be the left. Be ready to get off quickly at the station, the train doesn't stop for long. There is one main street running down towards town from the train station. At the first cross street (where the Hotel Baretta is on your right), if you turn left and follow the street up the hill you will reach the center of town. If you continue straight toward the lake, you will be at the harbor. From there you can follow along the lake path and find your way to the town center via several of the very narrow streets up hills.

Around Varenna

You can hike up to Castello di Vezio, high on the hill above the town, with good views, about 20 minutes one way. There are two Villas and gardens, Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero, both an easy walk just beyond the main town square. Very pretty lakeside settings.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:small, quiet, picturesque, easy to get to from Milan
  • Cons:maybe not enough night life if that's what you want
  • In a nutshell:beautiful spot to base your Lake Como Vacation
  • Last visit to Varenna: Sep 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (2)

  • Manara's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    Lovely page and pictures! I am a fan of the Laghi.

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2008 at 7:18 AM

    Hi Sylvia! My friend and I will be in Lago di Como next month and I've been looking for some information about the area. Your tips were very helpful!

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