Summer is coming to an end, in about 6 weeks we will be celebrating Easter and it will have been 12 months since we were in the small, serene town of Varenna on the banks of Italy’s Lake Como. I am still processing all the photos I took and attempting to collate them into appealing, memorable photobooks using Blurb’s BookSmart software, it is taking forever because I am easily distracted by looking at destination websites that relate to the photos I am working on. At the moment the photos we took in Varenna are on my screen, pictures of the lake and the towns that reside on its shores and it got me thinking, I haven’t really posted many photos of our stay in Varenna and now is as good a time as ever. See, easily distracted 🙂
Varenna and the Hotel Eremo Gaudio was our home for 5 nights, we wanted to avoid larger cities during Easter and it was a good excuse for taking a relaxing break from the constant moving and sightseeing. Varenna is a small town, the shops still shut in the afternoon and the majority of visitors at this time of year appear to be Germans and Italians. Our hotel is on the edge of town, it has spectacular views of the lake and next door is a cemetery, from our balcony we can also see the gardens of the Villa Monastero. Breakfast is provided, it is a feast of cereal, bread, boiled eggs, cheese, meat spreads, fruit, yoghurt and pastries, you can dine outside on the terrace or in the breakfast room where most guests ate on cooler mornings.
During the day we would walk along the esplanade, eat gelati and enjoy a glass of wine with lunch – usually a panini with salami and cheese. We did venture to other towns, catching the ferry across to Bellagio and Menaggio where we could do some more walking, eating and drinking, it was very relaxing. One day we caught the train to Milan, we walked from the station to the Duomo, it was a long walk and we didn’t realise that in order to see all the designer shopping we should have turned left long before we reached the main piazza. Milan is probably a really great city to explore, but with limited time we only caught a glimpse and we were happy to get back to our quiet little village.
While in Varenna we dined at the Albergo del Sole Restaurant and the Victoria Grill when we had tired of picnics of salad, sausage, cheese and crackers. The food was good and simple: veal, steak or lamb and a side of grilled vegetables which was greatly appreciated plus half a litre of wine for 6 euros and it was very drinkable. The town seems empty at night, that is until you head out for dinner or a drink and you see other tourists and hear the different accents and languages, I think we were the only Aussies though. The nicest coffee we had was at the Villa Cipressi, the restaurant was closed but they were happy to serve us coffee, sitting outdoors we were able to watch as a storm rolled in over the lake, thankfully missing us completely.
Enjoy the photos 🙂