On our first trip to Italy after moving to Europe, we were happy to leave the cold and rainy Bavarian April weather behind to feel the warmth of the south as we crossed the Alps. When we arrived late in the evening in the small fishing village of Varenna on Lake Como it was too dark to see the sycamores in the village square just leafing out. As we dragged our luggage over thousands of cobblestones and up the famous stairs of Varenna we found our tiny apartment overlooking the lake. We couldn’t have picked a better place to stay as the location allowed us to explore the entire region on foot, by ferry, and by train to Milan.
Two of the highlights for me were Varenna’s subtropical gardens; Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero. The villa Cipressi (now a hotel) has terraced gardens down to the lake which one can enter for a small fee.
Besides the blooming wisteria there was so much beauty and mystery to be found in this garden. With the view of lake Como below, it is a magical place and well worth a visit for adults and children alike.
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