Varenna is located in Lombardy Italy, which is in the northern part of Italy, just at the foothills of the Alps Mountain range.The Lombardy region of Italy is known to first have been inhabited by Celtic people in the 5th century BC. But around the 3rd century BC, Gallic people took over as Rome conquered the Celts to take over the region and claim it their own. It was then a part of the Roman province known as Cisalpine Gaul.

The region was not heavily protected by the Romans however and underwent many invasions. The Lombard Kindgom took over the region, making it the center of their kingdom. The Lombards were actually a group of ancient Germanic people and their culture differed from that of the Romans. The Lombards were primarily pagans while the Romans were of course, Catholics.

But the Lombards were to be overtaken as well, this time it was Charlemange who took over the region on his quest to unite Western Europe and clear the air of the pagan and Catholic differences. He was largely successful and had all of Western Europe under his control and that of the Roman empire.

The first evidence we have in text for the city of Varenna comes dates back to the year 493.  But we do not have much historical information on the city until after the year 1000. We know that the city grew more prosperous after inhabitants flocked to it after the island of Comacina nearby was destroyed. Also that the city went to war several times with neighboring Como. Rule over the city switched over the centuries from the Visconti family to the Sfondrati. Today it is a peaceful tourist destination.