Dolly Travels: Varenna on Lake Como

Published Date Author: , September 16th, 2011

Gay Friendly Lombardy Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on the go again, this time starting in Switzerland and ending in Italy. She has graciously allowed us to republish her travel blogs. Enjoy!

Varenna, Italy

Buongiorno, tutti,

Varenna, ItalyI will try to get you updated on our travels, since we are now on the Cinque Terre, in the lovely town of Vernazza. Since we had limited time in Varenna, and almost every moment was spent doing something fun, I am trying to catch up now.

We stayed in the Villa Cipressi, an old wonderful villa converted to a hotel, that sits up at the top of the town, with beautiful gardens going all the way to the lakefront. From our room we had a lovely view of the lake, and could look across to the village of Menaggio.

Lake ComoAs soon as we dropped our luggage in our room, we took off, down the hills, across the ancient stone paths, down the steep staircases, to the waterfront. After stopping at a little cafe overlooking the water, for a bit of food and drink, we continued our walk.

We walked as far as the ferry boat dock. Then we walked back to our hotel, where the kids continued exploring, and I went down to the lakefront to get some sunset pictures.

That evening we had dinner at a good restaurant that sat right over the water. A perfect ending to a great day.

Villa BalbianelloOn our second day in Varenna, we took the lake shuttle across to the village of Lenno, where we visited the Villa Balbianello, an old monastery that had been purchased by a wealthy man from Milano, named Guido Monzino. This villa sits on a point where the lake was visible on all sides.

Some of the rooms were now museums, as they hold artifacts from Monzino’s numerous expeditions, to the North Pole and Mount Everest, as well as extensive travels all over the world. The gardens were fantastic, as well, with everything trimmed to this man’s specifications.

Although he has been dead since 1988, he gave the villa and grounds to a historical group, with money to maintain everything forever, it seems.

The villa was used in a couple movies, “Casino Royale” and “Star Wars: Episode II”.

Our trip to this villa, was Patrick’s idea, and well worth the time to visit. Patrick and Kiri are both devouring information of all these places we are visiting. I like to think that my passion for travel has rubbed off on them.

Swiss Alps from Lake ComoOn our way back to Varenna by boat from Lenno, we stopped at Bellagio, a most beautiful village, the epitome of Lake Como. Again, we wandered uphill and down little alleys, had lunch there,

and eventually traveled back to Varenna. On the way back, we could see the Swiss Alps just north of us. What a magnificent sight!

When we were back in Varenna the kids took off to explore the old castle, and I just wandered around the town and the waterfront.

Later, we had dinner at an outdoor restaurant on the waterfront. It was such a lovely evening. The moon was almost full, and reflected off the water. Across the water we could see the lights of Menaggio.

We thought Varenna was just too beautiful to leave but more adventures were waiting for us. So off to bed, and goodnight, Varenna.


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