Varenna: a hidden gem on the lake

in Pinmapple8 months ago (edited)

Varenna is a gorgeous medieval village on Lake Como, Italy. It was an old fishing village which is known for being sedate and relaxed.

the village from the ferry

It is a bit over 1 ½ hours drive from Milan. Visiting Varenna can be combined with other well-known towns - like Bellagio and Menaggio as they form the “Golden triangle” across the lake. It is also accessible by ferry (for visitors with or without cars).

Ironically, close to the ferry terminal, a lone hobbyist was spotted casting his fishing rod. A reminder that the village was established by fishermen.

From the ferry terminal, one can walk along Passeggiata degli Innamorati (Walk of lovers). It is a unique promenade which allows for romantic and scenic walks by the lake to admire the view.

It is recognisable by its red railings and arches.

It is shaded by many hanging green plants and trees. All along the path are spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

The promenade cuts into the side of the mountain and hovers above the water.

a part of the promenade over the lake

It passes ice cream parlors, wine and cheese shops and merges into stone arches.

Soon one arrives in the bay area.

It is great to hang out here by the riviera as there are many cafes, bars, restaurants and more ice cream parlors.

This is such a picturesque part of the village - it's postcard worthy.

It is tempting to sit here for the entire visit, to absorb the lovely atmosphere and scenery. However, it is time to see the other parts of the village. Varenna, like most of the other mountain villages have alleys with steps made of cobblestone. Comfortable shoes are advisable.

On the town’s central square, called Piazza San Giorgio,

is a 14th century romanesque/gothic styled church with a similar name - Chiesa San Giorgio.

Inside the church is a baroque styled altar.

The floor of the church is made of black Varenna marble. If you look closely, you'll see beautiful 15th century frescos adorning the walls. (People were praying - so no chance for photos).

Sculptures of Mary and child are embedded in the walls around the village - a reminder of the dominant religion.

Close to the church is Villa Monastero. It was a convent in the 14th century but it is now a museum and conference center.

Away from the riviera, it is less busy. There are many quiet narrow alleys leading down to the lake.

Some alleys are covered but have a framing window, from which the scenery can still be enjoyed.

There are restaurants with lakeside dining under green canopies.

Squares are shaded with trees providing cooling from the summer heat. They are charming and peaceful.

The inhabitants are still able to enjoy their town and not feel overrunned by tourists. This lady smiled at us. We greeted her with "Buona sera" - english translation - "good evening. Her smile brightened as she responded with the same.

old lady appreciating the solitude

Varenna has a calm vibe whilst being colorful and inviting.
It was time to say goodbye to this charming, photogenic village but I shall return again.

another view of the village from the lake

All photos are taken with my iPhone - please do not use without permission.


Very nice! The villages look a lot like the villages around the Garda lake.
It's such a nice and green environment too.

Thank you. I can imagine that they look similar because of the signature style of most italian villages.
I still have not been to Lake Garda but I have been to Lake Lugano.

There is also a ferry terminal close to this place
I love to go there often because the view is very nice
The pictures here are also lovely too.very nice!!!

Thank you @rafzat - I am happy that you enjoyed the post and the photos.

that place surely looks so calm eventough it is crowded in some part of it.
Also the place looks super clean with the cobblestone steps. so awesome.

Yes it was very clean everywhere. The crowds were at the waterfront - the rest of the village was very calm and nice to discover without crowds. Thanks for the tip.

great variety of shots, bring this place alive for us viewers, I could spend ages sitting in the Piazza San Giorgio, just people watching

Aww thank you @grindle. Just me and my iPhone. I did spend some time at the waterfront and the piazza - looking at people having a drink then eating ice cream.

nothing wrong with ice cream!

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I don't know what's happening to me, but I LIKE these towns on lakes! I live in a town by the sea, but when you see houses "on the edge" of the water, it gives a completely different dimension! You live ON the lake! You can't do that on the sea...😃

Thanks for sharing! I liked your photos and the story too!

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Many thanks for appreciating my story and for selecting my post and for the support.
I understand you - I also love these houses on lakes - the sea is and feels very different.

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A walk by this lake Will surely bring refreshing to the soul as the nature around looks so beautiful to behold. The shots are sharp and lovely. You had a great tour around the village. You would have endeavoured to caught some fish in the, just kidding ..

Yes it was refreshing and relaxing to be by the lake - although I did not catch any fishes. Apology for the late response.

I had great pleasure visiting the Italian village of Varenna with you. Last summer I traveled for one month in Italy. I visited Rome, the Vatican, Naples... The famous Positano. The ancient villages of Bassiano and Sermoneta. Foggia and Mattinata. But we didn't get to Milan. Thank you for sharing. Next time I plan to visit this wonderful village.

Aww you went to some of the really nice old villages/cities. There is so much to see in Italy. I am happy you enjoyed this short visit. If you would like to see a few more - I have linked Bellagio and villas by the lake and other villages from other visits. I hope you will like them.

This place is astonishing and amazing. I am smitten by how beautiful it is. Thanks for sharing.

What a beautiful place, the small stone streets, the church and the fact that it is on the coast makes it super special!

Aww yes it is lovely there and so picturesque. I have visted this region a few times. If you enjoyed this you might also like the village Bellagio - I hope u do not mind that I have attached the link.