There is no better time to spend a day of romance in one of the most beautiful and evocative villages of the region (and Lake Como): Varenna!
Located just minutes from Lecco along the eastern shore of Lake Como, Varenna is a pearl that is reflected on the clear waters of the lake and that is able to offer its visitors unique views and truly unforgettable moments.
Small fishing village of prehistoric origin that looks like a network of streets and alleys that descend steeply towards Lake Como, this village is a must visit with calm, walking along the lakefront while admiring the reflections of the water and the facades of the colorful houses.
Why Varenna in February?
You should know that a stretch of the romantic lakeside of Varenna is called the “walk of lovers”: it is a short pedestrian path that leads from the pier of Varenna to the center of the village. This route consists of a short metal walkway arched overhanging the water from which you can admire the lake, the mountains and the small colorful houses perched at the foot of the rock wall. From here the landscape is really beautiful and you can also see the Castle of Vezio with its square tower.
In this article we describe a beautiful ring itinerary that starts from Varenna to reach the Castle of Vezio. It is definitely a path suitable for everyone and short duration (about half an hour, plus a visit to the castle if you decide to do it). An ideal program to spend a dream Valentine’s Day, but also perfect for a quiet Sunday as a couple or family relaxing!
Once in Varenna (you can park near the pier) head over San Giorgio square until you arrive in front of the beautiful Villa Monastero, famous for its beautiful garden full of flowers and succulents.
Once at the villa take Roma street, the one-lane asphalt road that leads to the village cemetery (during the climb you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape!). Here are the signs for the panoramic route “Scabium”, which starts from the parking lot of the former Hotel Eremo Gaudio.
This route is an ancient itinerary that connects Varenna to Vezio di Perledo lasting about 30 minutes, and that is part of the most famous Viandante’s Path. The path leads to the square in the village of Vezio which overlooks the Church of St. Anthony Abbot of Perledo. This little church deserves a look since of medieval origin with many later reconstructions, which still preserves ancient frescoes. Walking a little further you will find a path that leads to the cemetery and goes up to the hill to the Castle of Vezio, our destination. After crossing the gate of the Castle you will go up in the beautiful garden of olive trees and then reach a terrace overlooking Varenna.
Begin to shine your eyes because you will enjoy a superb view that dominates the fork of the Lario in the two branches of Lecco and Como and where the view sweeps over the tip of Bellagio and the surrounding mountains (a photo is a must!). Also worth knowing that the castle of Vezio for a few years is home to a falconry with a center of care and training of birds of prey: with this initiative you can admire, in different hours of the day (weather permitting)spectacular flights of birds of prey led by falconers dressed in period clothes.
Also recommended is the climb to the castle tower (from here the view is breathtaking!) inside which there is also an exhibition on the fossil of Lariosauro, an autochthonous species of Triassic reptile.
You can find all information regarding the visits and opening hours of the castle here (due to the current health emergency situation due to the pandemic from Covid-19 the castle may be closed to the public) http://www.castellodivezio.it/EN/home-en.html. We have also dedicated a page where you can read some interesting facts about the Castle of Vezio, to find out more click here https://www.lakecomotourism.it/en/portfolio/the-castle-of-vezio/.
Once the visit is over you can go back to the village: in less than 30 minutes you will reach Varenna again along the same route or choosing the cobblestone mule track that passes next to the Hotel Montecodeno (Olivedo area), convenient point to reach the pier or the station. Near the pier take the Walk of the Lovers of Varenna: the famous walkway anchored to the rock, overhanging the lake, with the photographed and beloved red railing (needless to say, it is the perfect place for a selfie couple). Continuing along the promenade you will reach again the heart of Varenna, where you will return to Piazza San Giorgio with its beautiful churches: Church of San Giorgio, Church of San Giovanni Battista and Church of Santa Madonna delle Grazie.
Some useful information:
• The walk to the castle, although short, is not suitable for strollers! If you bring your children better then equip yourself with a baby carrier backpack
• If you decide to visit the castle we advise you to consult the dedicated website (http://www.castellodivezio.it/EN/home-en.html ) to avoid unpleasant unforeseen (due to the current emergency situation the castle may be closed to visits)
Have a nice walk!
Written by Chiara Tisat