Varenna & Lake Como Tips

Posted in SummerItaly
Varenna & Lake Como Tips

What I Wore

top c/o BODEN skirt c/o BODEN shoes c/o BODEN

In preparation for an Italian summer holiday, I was looking for Lake Como tips online to get me started. Seeking inspiration on where to shoot, what to see, where to spend time and what to eat and drink. Surprisingly enough, not much was shared on the internet at all. Initially, I was going to give you all just one blog post from Como with just a handful of photos from each village I visited—but opted for quite the opposite as I wanted to document my full experience for people who are spending maybe just the day versus a whole week in Lake Como.

With that said, if you’re looking for a place you have to visit—as in— you cannot miss at all, it has to be Varenna. It is so much more lively than the other villages and that might have to do with the face that it’s a fishing village, so hustle and bustle is just part of the everyday life. The experience truly starts at the voyage over to that part of the lake when the multicolored buildings and houses greet you as they’re lined up in their crescent moon shaped way. Once you’re off the ferry, there’s a true feeling of living that “la dolce vita” lifestyle. There are gelato shops, terraces, gardens and piazzas—so, alongside those Lake Como tips, I’ll start with what you have to do in Varenna, Lake Como.

Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips

What I Wore

top c/o BODEN skirt c/o BODEN shoes c/o BODEN

Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips

Things to do in Varenna, Lake Como

Lover’s Walk — right when you get off the ferry and you take a right to walk towards town, you’ll see a red fenced walking path full of blossoming flowers. It’s a walk you have to take to get to the other side where everything is happening, so don’t fret, if you’re unable to find it. This pathway boasts all the gorgeous views!

La Passerella Ice Cream — In all of Lake Como, this was my favorite gelato by far. There were only a select amount of flavors and when I enquired why it was purely because they only made what was in season and didn’t believe in abundance. If the flavor had run out, we were expected to come the next day for a taste. Figs were just coming into season in Lake Como, so we went for that and dark chocolate. If you suffer from high sugar or are looking to control you sugar intake, then this place will have you covered.

Bar Il Molo — We were in Varenna right for lunchtime and this was the place to go for a quick and easy bite. They had seafood pasta and a long, long list of pizzas! Both were great and was the coffee after. Great views, fun vibes, easy on the wallet and decent food.

Al Prato Restaurant — We didn’t eat here, but it was on our list if we needed a proper sit down meal. From what I read, the service is incredible and the food is unique. Although there are no lakeside views, that’s part of the charm. Perfect for a dinner option. Order the grilled lake fish as it’s a regional specialty.

Villa Monastero — You must visit the Villa Monastero if you visit Varenna. Take the winding streets over and you’ll be coughed up right in front of it. The walk is part of the charm, if you ask me. The gardens is what we stuck to since there was an event going on and the views from the edge of the gardens was incredible. It’s truly a plant sanctuary!

Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips

Now for the second portion of what you came for! I wanted to provide my quick list on Lake Como tips primarily because there was not much online really. Blogs and websites were full of pretty photos and things I had to do, but advice was quite difficult. After the afternoon spent in Varenna, we took a ferry to Bellagio. On the ferry we met an American couple that said they suffered from the lack of information and it had impacted their trip tremendously. So here we go!

Lake Como Tips

  • Fly into Milan Malpensa and be sure to rent a car to drive up to Lake Como. Even though there is a local train that takes you to the lake, you’ll have a hard time getting from village-to-village.
  • Rent a small car as the streets are quite winding and narrow up the Lake.
  • Make dinner reservations a week before and then call the day before you reservation as well.
  • Have lots of change {in coins} on you for parking meters and be sure to look out for them when you park anywhere.
  • If you have an Italian resident card or student ID {of any age}, you can use it to avoid paying for entrance fees!
  • If you’re looking to village hop, the best place to stay is Lezzeno. It’s easy to drive up to Bellagio where you can get ferry’s just about anywhere. Lezzeno also has a great swimming harbour and can get you down to Como quickly!
  • The ferry shuts down quite early, so be sure to prepare your commute back from places. Ask locals for advice if you need to, they’re very willing to help!
  • Cars can get on ferries too!
  • All water related activities {ie. boat rides, swimming, beaching} should be done in Lenno. It’s the best price.
  • I do think it’s important to see the villages from the Lake, but instead of hiring a private boat, just take a ferry!
  • The best restaurant and the best view of the lake is at Al Veluu. You can read about my experience in my post titled, Why Visit Italy’s Lake Como!
  • Prepare for humidity. It is a lake after all, so you’ll get humidity all times of hte day.
  • Not everything will be open all day. Shops and restaurants often close down in the afternoon. If you’re traveling off-season, the same is true for places throughout the winter months.

Have you visited any of the lakes of Italy? Do you have any Lake Como tips?

Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips
Varenna & Lake Como Tips