This autumn, we've spent five days in the North of Italy. We've had a genuinely great time exploring Lake Como and small communes located nearby. One place, Villa Monastero in Varena, is now etched in my memory. So, I decided to tell you about my experience there and share some photos I took of this colorful country.
From Milano to Varena
Milano is located near Lake Como, so we decided to stay there to reach every location the fastest way. There are many trains that can take you to the most beautiful places in an hour approx. That's how we went to Varena. We bought tickets on central railway station for 6.70 euros each. Remember to validate your ticket in a yellow box before you enter the carriage.
If you want to spend all your trip watching the snowy summits of mountains and beautiful landscapes, consider taking a seat by the left side of the train.
When you come to Varena, explore this small place first. The commune is tiny, but its narrow streets hide many lovely details. After taking a stroll through Varena, we stumbled upon a beautiful botanical garden. That was nothing else, then the Villa Monastero Garden.
The Botanical Garden
The Garden is located right by the Como lake. It represents the perfect combination of lush greenery and deep blue waters that surround it. The entrance fee is 6 euros, but the ticket for both Villa and the garden will cost you 13 euros each.
The garden looked vivid and very green, even taken the fact it was the middle of October. I liked huge pomelos hanging on the trees and fresh breeze that came from the Lake.
There weren't a lot of tourists, and we even managed to spend some time in complete silence and harmony sitting on this bench.
We then came back to the center of Varena and had lunch at one of the restaurants near lake. We took the train back to Milano the same day.
Other places to visit
If you are planning to stay in Milano too and wondering what places you should visit, I advise you to consider traveling to Como and Bellagio. These two are located on a one-hour trip on ferry from each other.
For an unforgettable adventure in Como, hike to Volta Lighthouse. You'll need to take the funicular and then reach the Lighthouse on foot. But before you start your walk, get a tasty lunch at Capolinea Bistrot. The restaurant is tiny, but the tables outside will guarantee you a fantastic view overlooking the whole town. The food is amazing btw! We went for lasagna and pizza with mushrooms, which was freshly cooked and very tasty.
The walk uphill is quite challenging, but you can rent a car if you feel like it. But, if you do decide to walk on foot, it will turn out to be an excellent workout for your legs.
From Como, you can take a ferry to Bellagio. We didn't have enough time, so we decided not to rush, but leave Bellagio for our next trip. If you choose to go to Bellagio, consider visiting Villa Serbelloni. I've heard so many nice things about it.
Traveling back home, I thought about the way the people live in such small towns. As for me, Italians don't like living unpretentiously - they choose to construct their buildings in the dangerous rocks and mountains instead of building their homes on plain land. These small, but beautiful communes located in the Larian Triangle prove that the humans don't conquer nature but blend in with the surroundings gracefully.
So, if you want to see the North of Italy, prepare yourself for mesmerizing views and lots of walks. Also, don't forget to bring your warm clothes, because it can be rainy and windy in the mountains.