The small village of Varenna with less than 1000 inhabitants is one of the 5 most visited places on Lake Como. Varenna is a picture-book town, easily accessible by ferry and train. Highlights are its beautiful promenade along the lake, narrow streets with great houses, an old church and its location under a large rock on the eastern shore of Lago di Como (Lake Como).
The village lies on the shore to the east of Lake Como. The ferry dock is about 200 metres north of the centre of Varenna. Along the shore is a great footpath over the water of the lake to the ferries.
In the village itself there are a few shops and restaurants directly on the path along the lake. Behind it, the path goes steeply upwards. Several paths go away from the shore as stairs.
After a few dozen steps, you reach the main road that runs parallel to the shore at the top of the slope. Between the main road and the shore there is no car traffic thanks to the stairs and narrow alleys. This gives Varenna a great character. You get the feeling that time has stood still.
Our tip: Day trips to Lake Como
Very many holidaymakers take a trip to Lake Como, especially from Milan. There are several providers. Below are some recommendable day tours with very good reviews from participants:
>>> Very good tour from Milan to Lake Como: Click here
>>> Great tour from Milan to Lake Como and Lugano (Switzerland): Click here
>>> Great tour by e-bike (electric bike) Lake Como: Click here
If you walk north on the main road at the top, you will come to the train station after about 10 minutes. There are many trains heading south to Milan via Lecco and Monza. Going north, you can also take the train further along Lake Como.
Down at the ferry dock, there are frequent boats that can also carry some cars – including to Bellagio and Mellagio on the other side of the lake. There are regular passenger ferries to Como and other places on the lake. In summer there are many ferries. But there are also plenty of boats outside the main season. For longer distances, fast ferries are an advantage. For example to Como town the fast ferry takes about 1 hour, normal ferries over 2 hours.
Places of interest Varenna
For us the whole village is a sight to see. In our opinion, it is the most beautiful village on Lake Como, even more beautiful than Bellagio, which has become very touristy in the meantime. Of course, Varenna also has a lot of tourists.
If you want to spend your holiday on Lake Como, you should consider staying in Varenna. There are many family guesthouses, holiday flats and some hotels. The place is very nice, and the restaurants are also good. In addition, you can get everywhere quickly and often from Varenna by train and ferry (day trip to Milano by train, etc.).
The church of San Giorgio at the top of the main street in Varenna is a must-see.
You can also get lots of useful information at Varenna’s good tourist information centre at the top of the main road. There are some great cafés and restaurants downstairs. You sit outside with a wonderful view of the lake. A very good place to stay in Varenna is the Albergo Milano in the centre of town.