Varenna

Varenna is a fairly sedate, attractive lakeside village in the central part of Lake Como in the Lombardy region of Italy. It is traditionally a fishing village and has colorful houses and villas built close to each other on a little piece of land just below a mountain. With staircases and steep paths, the historical centre of Varenna is nicely cozy and has bars with terraces and a pedestrian walk along the lake shore. The village has some nice hotels and restaurants (some of the best on the eastern shore of Lake Como), a conference centre for physics (Villa Monastero regularly hosts the national Italian research conference) and two botanical gardens worth a visit in Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi.

Get in

Varenna viewed from Lake Como

By train

Varenna is on the line that runs from Milan to Lecco, up the eastern side of the lake through Varenna and on to Colico, then to Morbegno, Sondrio and Tirano. Express trains leave from Milano Centrale station, stop at few stations, and reach Varenna in approx. 1h. Regional trains leave from Milan Porta Garibaldi, stop at all stations (including Fiumelatte, a southern subdivision of Varenna), and reach Varenna in 1h30 or 2 h. The trains are a convenient way to move along the eastern shore of Lake Como, but the service finishes quite early in the evening (the last train leaves Milan at 21:20).

By air

The nearest airport is Orio al Serio International Airport (sometimes referred to as Milan Bergamo) in Bergamo, which is served by several low-cost airlines. Driving distance is around 70km (1hr 10mins); by public transport the easiest way is to take a bus from the airport to Bergamo railway station where you can catch a train to Lecco and then change to a train to Varenna.

Milan Linate Airport and Milano Malpensa Airport are relatively close, although the latter is further away, being on the west side of Milan. Drive time from either of these is around 1hr 40 mins. Public transport is more comfortable than from Orio al Serio; from Milano Malpensa you can get to Milan central station with a bus or train and from there you can take the train to Varenna; from Milano Malpensa there is a public bus (the ATM shuttle takes you directly to Milan central station) and from there you have the train to Varenna.

By boat

Boat trips across Lake Como are an essential part of any holiday in this region. Varenna is directly served by the lake's ferry network which provides connections to/from several towns and villages on the lake shore.

Get around

A flight of steps on one of the old alleyways

Varenna is a small, compact village best visited on foot. It's on a steep hill with lots of steps, but there is a fairly level and very attractive waterside path along most of the shoreline. The village has one frazione (subdistrict), Fiumelatte, which is south of the main village, past the Villa Monastero garden.

If you want a taxi, you can probably find one at the Varenna-Esino railway station.

See

Do

Eat

Drink

There are a few bars around, especially on the lakeside. L'Orso is last one to close (at 2 am).

Sleep

Passenger and vehicle ferry docks in front of the Hotel Olivedo

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, September 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.