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“Approach Verenna By Ferry for the best photos”
Review of Varenna

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High Wycombe
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
10 helpful votes
“Approach Verenna By Ferry for the best photos”
Reviewed 7 June 2008

Varenna is a mountainside town on the east side of Lake Como and in my humble opinion is the prettiest of all the lake side towns accessible by ferry. The best photographs of the beautiful brightly colored Italian buildings can be captured from the ferry as it approaches the harbour. The footpath running along side the lake takes you past some typical Italian Cafe's and bars where you can sit and watch the ferries come and go. The sun rises over Varenna so the best time for photos is in the afternoon. The walk up to the town square and the various gardens is well worth the effort and locals will tell you that May is a good time for the flowers. I walked round Varenna in a long morning then caught the ferry to Belaggio where there is a better choice of restaurants.

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7 Thank glynthephototaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
8 helpful votes
“a view with a place”
Reviewed 13 August 2007

what a beautiful, quiet, scenic town. quite hilly, but what views. stunning lake views, quite a few reasonable eateries if you are not too fussy and like your meat and fish (my partner is veggie and unfortunately not terribly well catered for). excellent ferry services to lots of the other towns around lake como. friendly and welcoming locals. NOT for rowdy, out-all-night, disco-loving-party-people! but if you appreciate excellent views, scenery and peace and quiet, then this is ideal.

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8 Thank nowtsoqueer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new jersey
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
57 helpful votes
“a must see”
Reviewed 23 June 2007

Varenna is a town that is on Lake Como. We took the train from Milan to Varenna - It is very convienent to take the ferry to Bellagio.

We just spent our time walking and having a relaxing lunch in Varenna.

There is a nice walking path, shops and restaurants along the lake with great views.

Next time we are in Italy, we plan on spending a few days relaxing on Lake Como exploring the other areas around the lake.

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4 Thank jacers1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chislehurst, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
61 reviews
245 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting”
Reviewed 13 June 2007

We stayed in Varenna for 1 week in June. This small town is beautifully positioned on Lake Como with excellent ferry connections to many parts of the lake. There are stunning views of the lake from many positions. There are also several hotels in the town. The town has a small car park which also makes up part of the town square. The local residents are friendly and polite and seem to readily accept tourists as a welcome addition to their daily lives. The town centre is within a 10-12 minute walk of the train station. This is slightly uphill there and back. Or less than a 5 minute taxi ride. Varenna is a town of medieval times. Some of the streets are uneven with many steep steps leading from them. They can be navigated , so it’s just a friendly word of advice.

ARRIVING.

We took the MALPENSA EXPRESS BUS from the airport Terminal 1 or 2 to MILAN CENTRAL STATION. ( 5 Euros Tickets on the bus or office.) From there we took the TRANITALIA TRAIN to VARENNA ESINO.(4.85 Euros - Simple to use ticket machines downstairs. Cash/credit cards. Make sure you stamp your ticket next to ticket machine.) Look for the trains going to SONDRIO/TIRANO. The journey from Malpensa airport can take upto an hour. The train to Varenna takes about 1 hour 15 minutes.

There is also a train from Malpensa Terminal 1( Shuttle bus between T1 and T2) to CADORNA station then metro to Central Station. Train to Varenna.

There are also options to travel via Como and pick up a ferry to Varenna.

We arrived at the airport at 1025 and reached Varenna at 1315.

TRAIN STATION.

At Varenna train station there were several taxis. The walk into town is slightly uphill. The walk to the ferry port is easier and on the flat. The ticket machine at the railway station doesn’t work. Tickets can be brought on the train. They may charge you a few cents more for this. There’s no announcements, but the trains seem to run pretty much to the timetable.

EATING.

There is a good choice of places to eat considering the size of the town. All of the bigger hotels offer various menus. We stayed in an apartment so prepared our own breakfast. The town was not busy at this time of year. The only place that we could not get into was IL CAVATAPPI. It was booked each night. We were told the food was very good.

There is an opportunity to take cooking lessons at CORSO DI CUCINA . I believe they pick you up from your hotel. Thursdays. 27 Euros and you need to book.

Restaurants may use frozen ingredients in some dishes if produce is out of season. Check the menus.

We ate in the following .

PIZZERIA DEL SOLE - Fine pizza, friendly service, excellent value. Also try the Perch Risotto if available.
VECCHIA VARENNA - More expensive, regional dishes.
NILUS - Pizza ,crepes ,sandwiches. Friendly service. Watch out for the Ducks!
LA CAMBUSA- Some pasta, coffee and Ice cream. Lunch maybe.
IL MOLO - Snacks, Ice cream.
LA GIAZZERA - Quality Ice cream shop.



SHOPS.

These are the shops in the main square.

BANK - Banca Popolare di Sondrio. Cash point and service.
CHEMIST- (Farmacia)
TRAVEL AGENCY - Viaggi del Tivano
GARAGE - F.Lli Sala
TABACCONISTS - Sweets, maps, cigarettes etc. Small bar with food.
DELI - Lillia Pietro Matteo - Cheese, meats,pasta,sauces, fresh bread. Roast chicken on Sunday.

Just up from the chemist there is a general store selling fresh fruit/veg, milk, tinned goods, toothpaste etc.

Around the town you will find art shops, jewellers, gift shops etc.

FERRY.

The ferry port offers services to the main towns on the Lake. Many departures to Como, Bellagio and Mennagio. There are several stops in between. The trip to Como can take over 2 hours on a slow boat.
We took the car ferry to Mennagio, had a 40 minute wait for the fast boat (Hydrofoil) walked around the town and then went onto Como. 12.10 Euros single.

VARENNA SIGHTSEEING.

CASTELLO DI VEZIO - This is a medieval fortress overlooking the town. The towers and faults are open to visitors. There is a bird of prey flight display about 4pm April to October. The castle is well worth a visit and the photo opportunity is excellent. 6 Euros. Closed if raining. We walked to the castle via the woodland path. This is a hike. Not for the elderly, unfit or young children,. It is steep, uneven and cobbled in places.
Take some water. There is a café at the top. I think you can get a taxi to the castle which takes you past the station.

CHURCHES.

It’s not Italy without a church. The town has 3. Chiesa Di S. Giorgio is the biggest . It also has a bell tower which chimes on the hour and half hour. Not all night though.

FIUMELATTE - Shortest river in Italy.
GIARDINI di Villa Cipressi - Botanic gardens, pathway along the lake. No access to building.
Villa Monastero - Gardens and promenade long the lake. No access to building.

Milan is easily visited for the day. Metro to Duomo will put you right outside the church, main shopping area and 2 minutes to La Scala.

There is also a Tourist office in Varenna.

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30 Thank Vinny1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
1 review
5 helpful votes
“Varenna - apartment flat from owner (Marilena)”
Reviewed 1 March 2007

Recently (22-28 Feb'07), I went to Varenna with my sister and her three kids. My first impression was that it quite low key rural area and I'm a city girl. We stayed at an apartment own by Marilena who was very friendly, speaks good english and she went out of her ways to helped us out, picked us up from milano centre, as we arrived late, took us to supermarket the following morning to stockup on food.
Next door to the flat is a restuarant recommended by Marilena, the food - of course Pizza was delicious, the children gave it ten stars.

Generally the people are very friendly and helpful, one night coming back from milan,we took the last train to Ravenna, we missed our stop because the last carriage doors doesn't open, ended up in another town. we were helped by a stranger who gave us a lift back to Varenna. He claimed it was too dangerous as there was no means of transport for us to get back to Varenna that night.

Apart from not having enough activities to keep the children amused we trevalled to various places pointed out to us by Marilena - carnival in Bellano, ferry ride, visit to lecco, como and milano centre. And of course expoloring Ravenna - the castle, attended sunday service - the constant church bell going off every time didn't bother us, free local concert and various walk to feed the the ducks. There is a small park for swings for the children near the ferry port.

I must confession I truly enjoyed myself and we are already planning on going again.

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5 Thank shaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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