Recently, I was at a wedding shower & catching up with friends. Everyone’s go-to question to me was- “what was your favorite city on your EuroTrip?” How do I answer that??? They were all my favorite, in their own way! That being said, Lake Como was just what I needed at that time & became my go-to answer for my favorite city on the trip. It truly was amazing, and it is one place that is on my need-to-go-back-because-I-miss-it-so-much list. You don’t have that list? Just me? Oh…
My two travel buddies & I hopped on a train from Venice to Milan, & we changed trains to head to Varenna. I would recommend at least 2 nights in Varenna. However, a day trip from Milan is totally possible, since it is an hour train ride.
Before we go further, I think it is super important to know this if you EVER plan on visiting Lake Como… Lake Como is a lake & Como is a town. There are many towns on the lake & many people stay in other towns on the lake (aka NOT NECESSARILY Como). S.O. to Alex for informing me of this before our trip & to Hallie for doing research on the best towns on the lake.
We decided to stay in the town of Varenna. To be honest, we couldn’t find an affordable place to our liking in Bellagio (our first choice) & getting out of Bellagio to catch our flight out of Milan was a pain, since it involved a ferry ride. Looking back, it was the best thing to happen to us. Varenna was AMAZING! Bellagio was packed with tourists, so we were happy to be in the simple & quiet town.
where to stay:
- Varenna. Specifically, we stayed at Albergo Milano Casa Rossa or The Red House. The view was amazing, & it was a very comfortable hotel.
- If you are staying for an extended period of time, I would recommend a hotel with a pool.
what to see/do:
- Rent a boat in Bellagio (This was our FAVORITE activity of our entire trip, sorry Tuscany wine tour!)… We rented a boat for 3 hours, & it wasn’t enough. I would recommend 5 hours to tour the lake & to allow for chill time
- What to pack for the boat trip:
- Most importantly, spirits & mixers + cups
- Swimsuit + cover up + hat + sunscreen + sunglasses
- Camera + waterproof bag
- 2 towels (1 for your swim & 1 for the ride home since it gets chilly in the evening)
- What to pack for the boat trip:
- Walk from Varenna to Fiumelatte… There is a beautiful garden on the way that you can pay 5 Euros to see
- Buy a book, grab a bottle of wine, post up on your balcony & relax
what to eat:
- Nilus Bar in Varenna- great crepes with chicory, telaggio & speck
- Casa Rossa’s restaurant, Ristorante la Vista- make reservations, ask for seats closest to the water, take a jacket, go before sunset & get the 3 course meal… you will thank me later!
- Baba Yaga for great casual food & pizza- the chicken sandwich was my favorite actually
- Gelato down the steps from the hotel, Albergo Milano, right on the water. I can’t remember the name, but it was SO good… Go here & if you find out the name, please let me know!
- You are on Italian time, so people may be late or service may be slow
- There isn’t too much to do in Varenna for a long trip
- Shushu’s tip: If you aren’t looking for a relaxing trip, I would add Milan or Switzerland to the mix for more adventure. However, between hanging by a pool, boating & hiking, there is definitely enough activity for a few days (even for your adventerous people!)
- It gets chilly at night in Varenna
- Shushu’s tip: always take a sweater if you will be out past sunset