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Varenna Lake Como

The romantic and evocative village of Varenna on Lake Como, one of the most fascinating places in this area just 20 minutes from Lecco.
Varenna Lake Como

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

On the Lecco coast, opposite Menaggio , we find the welcoming Varenna , a 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 the equally famous Bellagio .

The village of Varenna stands out on a promontory near the mouth of the Esino stream, creating a picturesque conformation of houses that rise upwards, embellished with the bright colors with which these were painted. The context offers photographers and enthusiasts truly evocative shots .

An almost thousand-year history

In addition to its unparalleled beauty, Varenna hides a thousand-year history, whose origins date back to 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 Viscontis and later of the Sforzas that its historic center flourished enormously and was enriched with what is now its vast artistic heritage.

St. George's Square

The heart of the town is Piazza San Giorgio, overlooked by the church of the same name, dating back to the 13th 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 streets branch off to the lakeside and from which you can admire the centuries-old entrance doors of what are now homes, hotels and restaurants.

Villa Monastero Varenna

Once you reach the lake, a visit to Villa Monastero , an architectural complex dating back to 1500 which was once a convent for Cistercian nuns and which today houses a house-museum and a conference centre.

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

Photo by Larius Way

Villa Cipressi

Adjacent to Villa Monastero, there is Villa Cipressi, whose name originates from the beautiful and centuries-old cypresses that live in its garden.

The villa is actually a set 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 route.

A perfect and harmonious combination of the ancient and modern functionality.

Fiumelatte

A few kilometers to the south is Fiumelatte , a hamlet of Varenna which takes its name from the stream of the same name, one of the shortest in Italy at 250m in length.

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

Lovers' walk in Varenna

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

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

Photo by Larius Way

Vezio Varenna Castle

And it doesn't end here: for lovers of walking you can follow the path that follows the Esino river, reaching the town of Perledo and the Vezio Castle , an impetuous fortification that overlooks just above Varenna.

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

vezio castle

Photo by Larius Way

If you continue along these roads you reach the town of Esino Lario at 900 meters above sea level, an excellent starting point for exploring the Grigne Group, the Lombard Prealps with their unmistakable shape. 

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