Varenna Lake Como

Varenna what to see in one of the most evocative villages of Lake Como

On the Lecco coast, in front of Menaggio, we find the cozy Varenna, favorite place for a romantic weekend on Lake Como.

Located about 20 minutes from Lecco, reaching it is very simple and over time the village has become one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in the entire Como area, giving a hard time to the equally famous Bellagio.

The village of Varenna it stands out on a promontory near the mouth of the Esino stream creating a picturesque conformation of houses that rises upwards, embellished by the bright colors with which these have been painted. The context gives to photographers and enthusiasts really impressive shots.

An almost millennial history

In addition to its incomparable beauty, Varenna hides a thousand-year history, whose origins date back as far as 769 with a past linked to fishing, the construction of barrels and the extraction of the characteristic black marble.

It was under the domination of the Visconti and later of the Sforza that its historic center flourished enormously and was enriched by what is now its vast artistic heritage.

St George's Square

The heart of the town is Piazza San Giorgio, which overlooks the church of the same name, dating back to the XIII century and built on the foundations of an ancient Roman temple.

It is a splendid example of medieval Lombard architecture in which works dating back to the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are preserved.

Piazza San Giorgio is also the highest point of the town, from where the steep pedestrian alleys branch off that lead to the lakefront and from which you can admire the centuries-old entrance doors of what are now homes, hotels and restaurants.

Villa Monastero Varenna

Once close to the lake, a visit to Villa Monastery, an architectural complex dating back to the 1500s which was once a convent of Cistercian nuns and which today houses a house-museum and a congress centre.

Its peculiarity is the huge botanical plant (which extends for almost 2 kilometers) made up of terraced gardens leaning against the mountain, rich in tropical and Mediterranean plants.

© Photo by Larius Way

Villa Cipressi Varenna

Adjacent to Villa Monastery, is found Cypress Villa, whose name originates from the beautiful and secular cypresses that live in its garden.

The villa is actually a group of buildings built between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, and they too are embellished with terraced gardens that reach the shores of the lake in a truly unique botanical path.

A perfect and harmonious union between the ancient and the modern functionality.


It is located a few kilometers south Fiumelatte, fraction of Varenna which takes its name from the stream of the same name, one of the shortest in Italy with a length of 250m.

Flowing from a cave (partly still unexplored), it supplies water from March to September and due to its conformation it creates an impetuous movement of the water which becomes white and milky in appearance.

A curiosity?
The small stream intrigued Leonardo Da Vinci so much that he included it in his Codex Atlanticus!

Walk of Lovers in Varenna

The most romantic place in Varenna it is undoubtedly there Riva Grande promenade, called not by chance Walk of Lovers: a short arched metal walkway, clinging to the bare rock and covered with climbing plants which, especially in the summer period, turns into a riot of colors and smells.

The walkway leads to the clearing where the ferries and the passenger boat dock.

Vezio Castle in Varenna

And that's not all: for those who love walking, you can follow the path that retraces the river Esino, reaching the village of Perledo and the Vezio Castle, an impetuous fortification that overlooks Varenna.

Its central tower offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.

If you continue along these roads you will reach the village of Esino Lario at an altitude of 900 metres, an excellent starting point for exploring the Grigne group, the Lombard Pre-Alps with an unmistakable shape.