Varenna is a pretty village located on the Eastern coast of Lake Como, in sunny position facing south offering a stunning panorama over one of the most beautiful sections of Lake Como with Bellagio in front and Menaggio to the right.
It is made of narrow alleys that descend to the lake, old typical houses and a beautiful lakeside promenade lined with restaurants, bars and delightful boutiques. From the ferry stop you can walk along the scenic and romantic Passeggiata degli Innamorati (Lovers’ walk) running along the edge of the lake and leading to the historic center.
Varenna is an excellent base to visit the triangle area formed by Bellagio, Menaggio, and Cadenabbia/Tremezzo (with Villa Carlotta) besides being a good starting point for hiking and mountain bike trails (Greenway dei Patriarchi and Sentiero del Viandante).
In July there is also the traditional Festival of the Lake with a big firework display.
In Varenna you can visit two popular villas: Villa Monastero that houses an important international center for cultural studies and Villa Cipressi, with terraced, botanical garden descending towards the lake, offering beautiful views over both the branches of Lake Como.
Another attraction is the Castle of Vezio that offers the opportunity in the afternoons to admire the exhibition of birds of prey and falconers (booking required) and to visit the tower of the Castle and its underground passages, besides having a beautiful lake view.
Worth visiting also is the hamlet of Fiumelatte with its Fiumelatte river, the shortest river in Italy which is only 250m long and only flows for 6 months of the year. It owes its name to the color of the frothy water that indeed makes it appear as a river of milk. Its mysterious origins were studied by Leonardo da Vinci in the Codice Atlantico because of its characteristic intermittent flow.