Lake Como - Varenna
Day 3: Varenna
The bus dropped us off at the Hotel Villa Cipressi. It is Kristin's favorite hotel in Varenna, her favorite of the Lake Como towns. So excited to be staying here! The views are immaculate, and the small intimate town is a vacation in a vacation. There is splendidly little to do (comparatively). It was our favorite stop the whole trip and the meals along the water were particular highlights.
After walking through the town and doing Rick's walking tour in the book (always a must), we found ourselves hiking up to the castle. We didn't plan on it. Taylor was wearing flip flops, but the excitement of discovery and adventure pulled us along. Before we knew it, we were high on the hill looking down at Lake Como. The views were breath-taking, and we felt like little kids walking over the draw bridge into the castle. On the walk up, there is a small village where locals were sitting around on folding chairs socializing. We felt honored to see a snapshot of their daily life.
We did have to scurry back to get ready for dinner with members of the group that signed up for a dinner about 20 minutes away! Read more about it near the pictures that make you drool.
About half of the group attended dinner a 20 minute ride away in Gittana. The restaurant arranged for a van to come pick us all up and winding up in down the hills to the restaurant was a great game of "jello." If you didn't know who you were sitting next to when you started the trip, you intimately knew them now!
The restaurant is family owned by Moreno and Rossella. They greeted us when we arrived and treated us like family the whole evening. We paid 30 Euros a person and had a parade of homemade Italian dishes and wine.... and don't forget the limoncello. It was a great way to get to know our travel buddies!
Day 4: Exploring Lake Como
Our Hotel is AMAZING! We had breakfast outside on a terrace and followed it up with a walk through the gardens. The gardens are extensive, and it took us about an hour to explore the area. Any kind of physical exertion in Italy is rewarded with gelato. The many steps in Varenna are a perfect excuse. It's hard to pick a favorite gelato store so it's best just to try them all.
We took the boats from town to town, getting off at the stops where the line ended or one that peaked our curiosity. Bellagio was our favorite stop because of the rock beach, Punta Spanvento, we spent some time at. We bypassed the shops that suckered Kristin in last time (older and wiser).
The pictures speak for themselves today. We had fantastic weather and enjoyed every minute of our day. We finished the evening by taking our time at dinner at Nilus Pizza. It's not fancy food, but its delicious, and it hits the spot. We found our table right before the sun went down and sat there well into the evening soaking up Varenna. The crepes are fantastic here.
After dinner, we refused to go back to our room. We didn't want the night to end. Everything was so perfect. Soft, live music played as we walked along the shore and watched the light dance across the water.