Vista D'Oro Maralena
Varenna is one of the most beautiful towns on the lake, its steep winding alleys lined with charming homes, flowering balconies and lace-curtained windows. In the evenings, the village is serene and picturesque. Truly a perfect place for relaxing. This is an understatement! The warmth of the locals combined with the perfect setting of the place, would melt the coldest hearts of the most demanding travellers.
Looking down on Varenna is the ancient Castle of Vezio; where Theodolinda, Queen of the Lombards, is said to have died in the 7th century. Today, you can enjoy Falconry displays, the tower which is accessible, thanks to a drawbridge and the underground passages dating back to the First World War. The panoramic views are fabulous from the castle & there is also a restaurant where you can enjoy local cuisine. There are also numerous well marked hiking paths around Castello Vezio.
Two famed villas to visit here are Villa Cipressi, with terraced gardens cascading right down to the shores, and Villa Monastero, a true showcase. A distinctive feature of Varenna is it's mild climate; olive & cypress trees abound as well as many other variety's of lush, tropical plants, typical if the lake. Varenna enjoys abundant sunshine & warmth right into the evening.
This old fishing village has several very interesting shops; from local butchers to craft shops and bars, as well as many restaurants ranging from simple but fabulous pizzerias and trattorias, to elegant dining experiences with lake views. Varenna offers excellent rail links to Milan & Venice! Plus there are ferry links to all the gorgeous villages & towns along Lake Como's shores; it makes a great base for exploring the area.
Skiing in the area is bountiful with resorts such as Madesimo 1.15 hours to the north and the local ski resorts of Piani di Bobbio & Pien della Betulla are only 40 - 50 minutes away. And for an exciting day trip any time of year, why not go on the beautiful drive, through the Alps, to the international jet-set resort of St. Moritz, only 1.5 hours by car.