One of the most traditional towns on Lake Como is Varenna, a fishing village dating back to the 11th century, a real jewel which still keeps the characteristics of an ancient village. It has not only amazing landscape views but also narrow and cobblestone streets which brings people back in time. It is the perfect place for all those who are looking for relaxation, traditions, romantic walks, and inspiration.
If you are interested in culture, we suggest you visit the Churches of San Giovanni Battista and San Giorgio. The Church of San Giovanni Battista is one of the oldest on Lake Como dating back to the 11th century, while the Church of San Giorgio is in a Romanesque and Gothic style and inside you can find wonderful ancient paintings and a spectacular pavement made of local marble. Another cultural landmark is the castle of Vezio, which is supposed to be a Ligurian-Celtic settlement or Etruscan. If you are animal lovers, around 3 p.m. there is an incredible falconry show which is worth the visit.
For those who are interested in nature Villa Monastero is a perfect choice. It was a monastery in the 12th century, then it was given to the State of Italy and nowadays is a museum and has a wonderful botanical garden with many rare species. Villa Cipressi is another ancient villa with a beautiful botanical garden to visit and is also a renowned destination for weddings and conferences, besides being a luxury 4-star hotel perfect for a holiday with a lake view.
For those who want to enjoy a romantic and slow walk, there is the Greenway dei Patriarchi, dedicated to the wise people of the village called “Patriarchi”: it is a 2 hours walk and it is easy to reach as it is located close to train stations and ferry stations.
For those who are looking for inspiration, the Fiumelatte river is the perfect spot for this as its water is so white that reminds people of milk. An interesting itinerary which gives you some hours of peace immersed in stillness is the Sentiero del Viandante, dating back to the Roman period. Once this was a route from Milan to Switzerland and was equipped in 1989, currently covers a total length of about 45 km, which can be covered in several stages. This short but very suggestive walk brings together in the space of a few hours the best of the landscape features of this part of Lombardy: botanical and geological singularity, testimonies of faith, places of popular imagination, cuttings of fields, farmhouses, vineyards, and olive groves.
For those who enjoy HIKING combined with some HISTORY, our partner Cristina organizes an amazing historical and natural experience close to Varenna, called Treasures of mount Legnoncino Valvarrone (Lecco). You will learn about the remains of the trenches part of the well-known Cadorna Line (1915-1918) and go into tunnels used by soldiers during the First World War. In the end, you will reach the peak of Mount Legnoncino (1700m a.s.l.), where there is a wonderful view on Lake Como and the natural reserve of Pian di Spagna.
Another interesting tour focused on nature and eagles is the so-called With eyes of an eagle: you will spend time in one of the wildest areas of Valsassina (Lecco), where eagles are located and will see breathtaking sceneries of Lake Como.
Photo credits: Alessandro Omassi
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