Top 10 Things to do in Varenna Lake Como Italy. Varenna is a very characteristic town on Lake Como and although it is not very large, it offers tourists many things to visit and do, such as a visit to the Villa Monastero or the Vezio Castle.
Varenna is also an excellent place for those who want to take a walk on the lake, as the walkway over the lake, although not very long, offers the possibility of taking a nice panoramic walk.
But what perhaps most fascinates me about Varenna is its profile of colorful houses dominated first by the promontory and then just behind by the mountains. The best way to see this beautiful image is to take the boat. In fact, from the boat, you can genuinely fully appreciate the beauty of Varenna.
Watch the following introductory video to find out the main things to see in Varenna and to appreciate the beauty of this magnificent location on Lake Como.
Parts of the video
- 00:00 TRAILER
- 00:13 Departure from the “Imbarcadero”
- 01:19 From Varenna to Bellagio
- 02:33 Varenna seen from the lake
- 03:33 Walk of Lovers
- 04:14 Villa Monastero
- 05:20 Varenna at the sunset
- 05:46 Vezio Castle
- 06:39 Can you hear the bells of the bell tower?
- 06:53 Ancient port of Varenna
- 07:10 Walk of Lovers Varenna
- 07:41 Greetings
- 07:54 Suggested Videos
Text of the Video
Hi, We’re in the colorful Varenna in Lake Como Italy We’re on board of the boat called in Italian “battello” in front of the “Imbarcadero” which is the typical Italian boat terminal you can find in lake towns. In this way, we can admire Varenna from the lake.
The destination of the boat we are on board right now is Bellagio, another beautiful town on Lake Como. In fact, from Varenna, you can reach Bellagio by boat in only about 15 minutes. Now let’s go back to Varenna to pick up where we left off.
In front of us is the “Imbarcadero” area; on the right of the imbarcadero, we see the central part of Varenna with its colorful houses, ancient port, and bell tower.
The “imbarcadero” and ancient port are connected by a pedestrian path over the lake, also known as the “Walk of Lovers”: a beautiful panoramic pedestrian path overlooking the lake.
If you look further to the right you can see a villa surrounded by greenery. That is a villa you can visit; it’s Villa Monastero: a villa museum with a long and interesting history. The visit to Villa Monastero includes visiting its long and beautiful botanical garden, which overlooks the lake. A nice walk along the lake in a beautiful garden.
Returning from Bellagio, we see Varenna even better, as it is right in front of us. The light and colors are slightly changed because we are now close to sunset. You can see that Varenna is between the lake and a promontory.
If you look attentively, you can see right on top of this promontory part of the castle of Varenna: Vezio Castle. Vezio Castle is a castle of middle age origin. You can admire Lake Como’s marvelous panorama from the castle tower. Vezio Castle is another thing you can visit in Varenna, but before visiting it check the opening times and periods.
Top Things to do in Varenna
In the previous video, we saw some beautiful things to do in Varenna. Now let’s list our Top 10 of the best things to do and see in Varenna.
- The pedestrian path over the lake
- Castello di Vezio
- Villa Monastero
- The ancient port of Varenna
- Piazza San Giorgio
- Vie del Centro
- Tourist marina
- Sentiero del Viandante (from Varenna): hiking trail
- Baluardo di Varenna
The pedestrian path over the lake
The pedestrian path over the lake, also known as the “Walk of Lovers” is a beautiful panoramic pedestrian path overlooking the lake. It is located between the marina and the ancient port of Varenna.
Il Castello di Vezio or The Castle of Vezio
The Castle of Vezio is a castle of medieval origin which, in the past, was connected to the village of Varenna by two long arms of walls that encircled it up to the lake. These walls protected the town and its inhabitants during the frequent wars and looting that shook this territory throughout the Middle Ages.
The Castle is undoubtedly fascinating from a historical and architectural point of view but also simply because it’s panoramic. In fact, from the castle tower, you can admire a marvelous 360-degree panorama of Lake Como.
Before visiting the castle, check the opening days and times on the website: https://www.castellodivezio.it/EN/home-en.html.
Villa Monastero is a house museum with over eight centuries of history. Villa Monastero also has a beautiful botanical garden of 2 km of the park directly overlooking the lake.
Ancient Port of Varenna
The ancient port of Varenna is a typical Italian lake port but it is very lovely to see as it is slightly separated from the rest of Varenna and looks like a small world apart.
If you walk along the Walk of Lovers starting from the “imbarcadero” or landing stage, at a certain point you can see a group of colored houses overlooking the lake and as you get closer, you can clearly distinguish the ancient port of Varenna.
Piazza San Giorgio
San Giorgio Square and Church.
Vie del Centro
Characteristic and panoramic streets in the center of the town.
Imbarcadero: Landing stage or marina
Sentiero del Viandante
Consider the Varenna cemetery as a starting point and reference point. You can then start from the Varenna cemetery and take the panoramic path.
The path goes into the woods and is also composed of pebbles and steps, so wear comfortable shoes; good to walk along the paths.
Baluardo di Varenna
Scenic spot from which you can see Lake Como and Varenna.
The view is very beautiful to get there, you have to take a hike through a short detour from the Sentiero del Viandante.
Things to do in near Varenna
Bellagio is one of the most famous locations on Lake Como. You can get to Bellagio in just 15 minutes from Varenna by boat. So why not take advantage of it? What the things to do in Bellagio? To find it out, go to the post: Italy Lake Como Bellagio things to do.
You can check the boat times on the following page: https://www.navigazionelaghi.it/
Boats also leave for Menaggio from the Varenna “imbarcadero” or landing stage. In about 15 minutes, you can get to Menaggio by boat from Varenna.
How to get to Varenna?
You can go to Varenna by car or even by train. From Milan, some trains arrive directly in Varenna.
You can also reach Varenna by boat from Menaggio, Bellagio, and Cadenabba.
Varenna where to park the car?
If you arrive from Lecco, you can park in Viale Giovanni Polvani, where you will find free parking spaces without a limited time disc. These car parks are also located within walking distance of the center and therefore are quite comfortable.
If you do not find space in the free car parks, then opt for the garage, which is located just ahead and closer to the center, always on the same street. Here is its location on the maps:
Parking prices are available on the website: https://www.parkvarenna.it/tariffe.
Milan to Varenna
You can go from Milan to Varenna by train, it takes about 1 hour but there are also direct trains so in this way you don’t need to change the train.
You can buy the ticket at the following website: https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html
How much time do you need in Varenna?
It is up to what you want to visit because Varenna is a small town but there is a lot to see. In addition to the lakefront and the historical center, you can also visit Villa Monastero and Vezio Castle. To visit all these things you need at least one day. If you want to do a walk-in Varenna without visiting the Villa and Castle, a couple of hours are enough.
Is Varenna worth visiting?
Yes, Varenna is worth visiting because it is a very characteristic town on Lake Como, and although it is not very large, it offers tourists many things to visit and do, such as a visit to the Villa Monastero or the Vezio Castle. Very beautiful is also Varenna profile, formed by colorful houses dominated first by the promontory and then just behind by the mountains.
What are the top attractions to visit in Varenna?
The top 3 attractions to visit in Varenna are: the ” Walk of Lovers”, which is a pedestrian path over the lake, the Vezio Castle that is a middle age castle placed at the top of the promontory of Varenna, and Villa Monastero with its 2 km of beautiful botanical garden directly overlooking the lake. You can also take the boat from Varenna and in only 15 minutes you get to Bellagio.