Varenna, Perhaps the Most Beautiful Town on Lake Como


When people think of the Italian Alps they typically think of the famously beautiful Lake Como. So renown is the area (and the fact that George Clooney owns a house there) that it was even mentioned in the Sasha Baron Cohen movie ‘The Dictator.’ When the evil Chinese businessman is asked what he’ll do with his new share of wealth, he remarks that he will buy the house next to George Clooney’s on Lake Como. And to be honest, if we were wealthy evil Chinese business people, we would do the same! Lake Como proved to be a fitting place to spend our last few days of our final trip as residents of Europe, as we were awe struck by its beauty.

Varenna, Italy from the ferry boat

The most famous town on Lake Como is Bellagio, given the Las Vegas casino and luxury hotel named after it is famous in its own right. Years ago we visited Las Vegas and strolled through the beautiful Bellagio hotel, one of the city’s finest, and at the time it was unbeknownst to us that Bellagio was a town in the Italian Alps. Fast forward nine years and we’re strolling through the beautiful narrow streets of Bellagio, taking in wonderful panoramic views of the town, lake and surrounding mountains. But as lovely as Bellagio is, we personally found Varenna even more beautiful. 

Varenna train station


Lake Como from Varenna


Lake Como ferry boat


Varenna Restaurant


Lake Como from Varenna


During our time in Lake Como, we stayed in the town of Lecco, at a lovely hotel overlooking the lake and mountains. Lecco is the closest town on Lake Como from Milan and because accommodation is cheaper, it’s a great spot for budget conscious travelers. But if you’re looking for the picture perfect place to spend your honeymoon or a very special anniversary, we’d highly recommend

Varenna. Varenna cafe lunch, looking out to Lake Como, Bellagio and Menaggio


Varenna Cafe


Varenna is like a quintessential Italian post card in real life. It’s stunningly gorgeous, romantic and quaint, with amazing views of the surrounding mountains and towns around Lake Como, including Bellagio and Menaggio, which are convenient to explore via frequent ferry boats. We enjoyed one of our favorite European strolls around Varenna and certainly one of the top five most picturesque lunches we’ve ever eaten. Varenna Caffe also featured the best pecorino and romano cheeses we’ve eaten in our lives, while being the tastiest lunch we ate on Lake Como.

Varenna Arch


Lake Como park swing


Lake Como playground


We’ve traveled a lot and we don’t say this about too many places, but if you haven’t been to Lake Como or Varenna, you should add it to your bucket list. Whether you’re looking for a budget conscious few days or a high class experience, Lake Como will disappoint nobody looking for stunning beauty and charm. In a future post we’ll feature great photos we captured in world famous Bellagio!


Varenna streets


sunset at Varenna

8 thoughts on “Varenna, Perhaps the Most Beautiful Town on Lake Como

  1. I agree I loved Lake Como and I stayed in Bellagio and it is a very beautiful place on this wondrous planet.

    1. We loved Bellagio too, Alex even more so as it was probably 50% American tourists and had comfortable amenities along with beauty. We look forward to featuring some great Bellagio photos in a future post!

  2. WoW, this looks amazing! What a way to spend your last days as residents of Europe. I have to agree the real town of Bellagio is more impressive than the upscale hotel one (for me anyway)…though I haven’t really been to Lake Como (yet!) 🙂
    Great to see you guys enjoying yourselves and having fun at the playground too!

    1. Thank you, Jean! Bell and I were last in Las Vegas in 2005 and swung into the Bellagio hotel just to look around and see the beautiful and famous fountain show out front. At the time we had no idea where the actual town of Bellagio was, even though both of us had already visited Italy and spent a couple weeks touring around the country (we spent a few days in Rome together in 2002, just after we first met). There’s just so much in Italy and neither of us made it up to the Lombardy province until 2 months ago. It’s amazing and in the future we look forward to visiting Sicily as we haven’t been yet…The very best of travels to you and thank you for stopping by! 😀

  3. I like when I see water that meets the hills or the mountains, because this way I have both: the chance to climb the mountains and the chance to sail on the lake.

    1. Absolutely agree! Alex grew up in Florida so there was plenty of water around but no mountains, and the closest mountains were the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, a 12 hour drive from Orlando…The combination of the huge lake and tall mountains in Lake Como is pretty magical.

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