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Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

Dallas, Texas
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Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

My husband and I just got back from 11 days in Italy, arriving mid week on Sept 12. The weather was perfect.

We flew into Milan and took a private taxi to Varenna ($140E and well worth it after traveling from the US) which our hotel graciously set up for us. We stayed at Hotel du Lac in Varenna with a superior lake view room ($245E/night, room #35). We would have loved one of the rooms with the balcony but they were already booked. The hotel was great, very nice service, best views in town. I was very glad we booked it over any other hotel in town. I was also glad we stayed in Varenna as opposed to Bellagio which was crowded and packed with tourists. Varenna is a small, quaint town and it's absolutely gorgeous. We went to several of the recommended restaurants in town; the food was good, nothing spectacular, the service was very good everywhere we went. There are lovely views at La Vista at sunset if you have the hotel book a reservation for outdoor seating.

We spent the first three nights in Varenna (had 2 full days) and we would have liked to have stayed another few days. Lake Como far exceeded our expectations in beauty and things to do, we could have easily stayed a week. (This is if you dont go during high season in which case we would avoid Europe altogether.) You are surrounded by the alps! In addition to being able to take the ferry to the various towns, villas, etc., there are tons of hiking options, mountain biking and rock climbing in the area. We were ready to rent a car and head to Switzerland had we not already booked the rest of our trip.

We spent a day in Bellagio and had lunch at the Villa Serbelloni which had incredible views of the lake. Bellagio was pretty, but just ok for me. We elected not to see the other towns as we wanted to enjoy our hotel views. :) We spent an afternoon just relaxing and reading on the hotel balcony taking in the the lake view in the sun drinking prosecco and beer.

We then went by train to Venice (4 nights, stayed in lovely apartment in Dorsoduro) and Rome (4 nights, lovely apartment off Campo di Fiori).

If I could do it again, I would have stayed longer in Varenna AND spent several days in a small town in the alps to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, skipped Rome completely (the crowds, the noise), spent 2 days only in Venice or skipped it (I have been to Venice but my husband had not), and gone to Florence or Siena/some other small town areas.

Watertown, MA
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1. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

thanks for posting! I have heard Varenna is lovely.

Please post any reviews ie: restaurants when you get a chance.

Como, Italy
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2. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

I think you got the spirit right

Italy
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3. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

Glad you enjoyed Varenna, it's a lovely little town if you're looking for peace and quiet.

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

Just found your report as only recently discovered Varenna as a future travel destination for us. Thanks, very helpful.

Jacksonville...
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5. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

We will be staying in Varenna at the Hotel du Lac in April. It sounds like an amazing place and we cannot wait.

From Varenna we are traveling to Assisi. How difficult was it catching the train from Varenna? We are considering renting a car but a train may be the way to go.

I would appreciate any suggestions.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

Really nice report thanks. We are staying in Bellagio next October. I really wanted to stay in Varenna by my husband is worried that it will be too quiet that late in the season.

Will definitely go for a visit though and see what I missed :(

Your other comments are interesting too. We will be on our first trip to Italy but we will have four nights in Bellagio, followed by Milan and Venice, then Florence, Rome and Sorrento. What did you not like about Rome and Venice? We have seven nights in Rome, so I certainly hope we like it, although suppose we could cancel and go elsewhere if required.

Thanks again.

Deb

Wantagh, New York
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7. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

We loved staying in Bellagio over Varenna...(stayed in both)....Venice and Rome are both wonderful!!! Rome is busy, but it is a city....there is so much to see there....can't imagine saying to anyone to skip it....7 days may be a lot, but you could do a day trip or 2...maybe to Orvieto or Siena.....

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

Thanks soup-er, you have set my mind at rest a little. We definitely intend to spend a few hours in Varenna to have a look around.

As for Rome, we have seven nights, but it is split up with a trip to Sorrento. We are staying for five nights the first time, then Sorrento for six nights and then back to Rome for a last couple of nights before flying home. I really doubt we will be bored, we intend to spend the first stay seeing the major sights, but the last couple of days will just be for wandering. That is what we have always loved when we go to Paris, so hopefully Rome will be similar.

Deb

Antipolo
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9. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

Thank you for your report.

My family and I will be staying in Varenna early May (2014). I was deciding among Bellagio, Mennagio, and Varenna and chose Varenna because, as you described it, a quaint little town and would probably have a nice sunset view.

We will be staying at Agriturismo Castello di Vezio which is up the hills overlooking Varenna itself.

North of Boston, MA...
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10. Re: Trip Report - Varenna - Lovely town in Lake Como

Hi CalifGirlie -- I just found and read your trip report; thank you! I just learned of Varenna courtesy of a Rick Steves video. The location looks amazing, and your report paints an excellent picture. We also love beautiful scenery and aren't so interested in crowded cities (i.e., Rome). I think Varenna is now on our "list."

You mentioned Switzerland... I highly recommend Lucern and/or Wengen, also Chamonix (near the borders of Switzerland & Italy in the French Alps.)

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