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VarennaItaly

Discover the elegance and charm for which Lake Como is famous at this ancient fishing village. Find grand villas, shady piazzas and plenty of gelato. 

Enjoy the beauty of Varenna, where jumbled multicolored buildings are wedged between steep hilly slopes and the still waters of Lake Como. Appreciate the relaxed atmosphere and discover the culture, history and architecture of this lakeside haven.

The appeal of Varenna lies in its simplicity. Narrow lanes weave past old fishermen’s houses. The little strip of shingle beach is perfect for swimming during hot summers. Indulge in fun lakeside activities, enjoy a long leisurely lunch in a traditional restaurant. Visit the gardens of one of the two regal villas, Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi.

Like its Lake Como neighbors, Varenna has a charming waterfront, where a small harbor, a promenade lined with traditional gelaterie (ice cream parlors) and stunning mansions create a romantic Italian Lakes atmosphere. Head up the lanes into the town to find the leafy Piazza San Giorgio. Step inside the Chiesa di San Giorgio and the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista. Both churches have impressive frescoes.

Wander around the stunning gardens of the Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi and be amazed at the vivid blooms. Stretching along the shores of the lake, the gardens weave around ornamental statues and manicured lawns. Villa Monastero is open to the public daily in summer and on select days in other seasons. Visit the villa along with the Casa Museo museum.

Venture a little farther out of the main town to the nearby hamlet of Fiumelatte to see the tiny Fiumelatte River, which flows a bright white in summer. The word “fiumelatte” means “milk river.” For truly breathtaking views, climb up the hill to the ancient Castello di Vezio, the home of the queen of Lombardy many centuries ago.

Varenna provides an excellent base for exploring Lake Como. A direct train line links the little fishing town with Milan, which has several international airports. Spend a fun day aboard one of the ferries that cross the water and link Varenna to other lakeside towns and villages.

Top hotels in Varenna

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Olivedo
Hotel Olivedo
3 out of 5
Piazza Martiri,14, Varenna, LC
The price is £122 per night

Situated on a lake, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from San Giovanni Battista Church and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Bellagio Port. Civic Museum of Ornithology and Natural ...

4.2/5Excellent! (283 reviews)
Warm Welcome and Great Breakfast

"The Staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome even though we were practically the only ones there. This is a great family run hotel right next to the main ferry so side trips are super easy. The staff even made us a to go breakfast because we had an early train the next day. A great ..."…"

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2020

Hotel Olivedo
Elizabeth House Varenna
Elizabeth House Varenna
Contrada G.B Pirelli 12, Varenna

Located in the heart of Varenna, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Villa Monastero and Castello di Vezio. Bellagio Port and Villa Melzi are ...

Elizabeth House Varenna
Villa Monti
Villa Monti
via roma 9/11, Varenna

Located in the heart of Varenna, this apartment building is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Villa Monastero and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Bellagio Port. Civic Museum of Ornithology ...

5/5Exceptional! (34 reviews)

"A+ service, somewhat necessary due to location and access to parking."…"

Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019

Villa Monti

Popular places to visit in Varenna

Castello di Vezio
Image for Castello di Vezio

Castello di Vezio

4.5/5(4 reviews)

You can find out about the history of Vezio with a stop at Castello di Vezio. Stroll along the lakeside in this quaint area or seek out the local tours.

Villa Monastero
Image for Villa Monastero

Villa Monastero

You can spend time exploring the galleries in Villa Monastero during your travels in Varenna. Discover the mountain views in this quaint area or enjoy its local tours.

Lake Lugano
Image for Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano

4.5/5(72 reviews)

Enjoy the stunning scenery, Mediterranean climate and charming villages of this lake on the Swiss-Italian border.

Villa del Balbianello
Image for Villa del Balbianello

Villa del Balbianello

4.5/5(53 reviews)

As one of Lake Como’s most iconic landmarks, it’s easy to see why this historic villa has served as the setting for a number of popular movies. 

Swissminiatur
Image for Swissminiatur

Swissminiatur

5/5(5 reviews)

Enjoy a trip to Swissminiatur, a well-known attraction in Melide. Wander the lakeside or discover the area's mountain views.

Como-Brunate Funicular
Image for Como-Brunate Funicular

Como-Brunate Funicular

4.5/5(17 reviews)

Travel to the hilltop village of Brunate on a funicular railway that is more than 100 years old. Once there, enjoy gorgeous views and follow trails through the hills. 

Top things to do in Varenna

Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Full-Day Tour
Image for Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Full-Day Tour

Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Full-Day Tour

£229
Per adult
Dining experience at a local's home in Varenna
Image for Dining experience at a local's home in Varenna

Dining experience at a local's home in Varenna

£76
Per adult
Cruise and Dinner on Lake Como from Varenna
Image for Cruise and Dinner on Lake Como from Varenna

Cruise and Dinner on Lake Como from Varenna

£117
Per adult
E-Bike Experience on Lake Como East Bank
Image for E-Bike Experience on Lake Como East Bank

E-Bike Experience on Lake Como East Bank

£98
Per adult
Lake Como: Kayak Experience from Varenna
Image for Lake Como: Kayak Experience from Varenna

Lake Como: Kayak Experience from Varenna

£57
Per adult
Cruise and Dinner on Lake Como from Varenna
Image for Cruise and Dinner on Lake Como from Varenna

Cruise and Dinner on Lake Como from Varenna

£115
Per adult

Reviews of Varenna

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
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5 - Excellent 75%
4 - Good
2
4 - Good 25%
3 - Okay
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2 - Disappointing
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1 - Terrible
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5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

3 Oct 2019

Lovely lakeside location and easy access from the railway station as well as the ferries

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

10 Aug 2019

If there was one drawback it would be there wasn’t a pool.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

9 Aug 2019

We will definitely be returning to Varenna and to Hotel Olivedo. Stunning views, fantastic restaurants and lovely cobbled streets full of history.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

29 Jul 2019

Varenna is a beautiful idyllic town posted within a short ferry ride to Balbianello and Bellagio, with the added benefits of being easily accessible from Milan by train. If you are in the Lake Como region, pass by and visit the botanical gardens.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

5 Jul 2019

Really beautiful little town. The most picturesque of all the places we visited in Lake Como.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

22 Apr 2019

beautiful and peaceful and quiet :)

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