Photo of Varenna

About Varenna

Varenna is just across the water from fashionable Bellagio, on the eastern shore of Lake Como, and our recommendations here are the better hotels if you’re looking for a peaceful, central Lake Como spot. Plus it’s well connected to Milan, only an hour on the train, or 15 minutes on the ferry from Bellagio. The best places to stay in Varenna range from small family-friendly B&Bs to waterfront townhouses, some of which offer extremely good value for money.

Varenna’s views are arguably as good as Bellagio’s, and it's probably more lush with exotic plant-life. It’s also extremely charming, with red-tiled traditional Italian architecture rising from the lake along narrow streets towards a church and a row of elegant villas — now converted into some of the best places to stay in Varenna. The Piazza San Giorgio and the Church of San Giorgio mark the centre of town. This home to an impressive collection of religious art is also a useful marker on the map, because narrow, cobbled lanes radiate outwards from the piazza. If you stroll downwards between the colourful houses you’ll reach the Ria Grande, Varenna’s lakeside promenade, with its charming cafes, bars, restaurants and gelaterias, and the ferry port. There are some romantic hotel options right on the water, and this will make a charming choice for a romantic break.

Varenna also has a medieval castle fortress, the Castello di Vezio, which sits at the top of the hill overlooking the town. This upper part of town has some great accommodation picks for walkers and hikers.

Varenna makes a good base for exploring the region, especially for families. As well as great family hotel recommendations on our list of the best places to stay in Varenna, the town is full of family-friendly restaurants, plus the beaches are lovely, and you can catch the ferry all over the lake from here.

The Best Places to Stay in Varenna

For Families

  • The Albergo Milano is a great value choice for families. It’s small and very charming, with just 14 rooms, suites and apartments sleeping up to five, all simply and comfortably decorated, but with a configuration to suit most families. There’s not a huge amount of space, but it’s very well laid out, and that includes the charming restaurant and gorgeous sun terrace with incredible lake views. The owners also manage the property, and they’re charming and helpful — just what you need when you’re travelling with a family or group.

For Great Value

  • The Albergo Olivedo is a gorgeous little townhouse hotel right across from the water in Varenna. It’s been owned by the same family for four generations, and its ten rooms have a really authentic feel of Lake Como: stone or parquet floors, a cheerful colour scheme, big windows and private balconies, and an authentic restaurant too. Totally charming.
  • Varenna also has the Hotel du Lac, which is also right on the lake, and family-owned and run. Its 16 rooms are simply and comfortably decorated with antiques, and most have private balconies or terraces, and lake views. There’s also a large dining terrace and an airy restaurant that juts out over the lake. The location is perfect for exploring.

Best B&Bs

  • The Casa Contrada Bella is a small and chic option, with just three stylish rooms that make the most of the villa-conversion’s original charms. Two of the rooms have small kitchenettes, and the third has a balcony. There are plenty of places to eat and drink in the charming streets around the Casa, and there’s a great beach close by too.

Prefer a Self-catering Apartment or villa?

  • Sometimes a villa or apartment is the best option if you're travelling in a larger group, so if you decide that you'd prefer a self catering option, check out our online booking partner, booking.com for some inspiration.

Travel Information

  • Varenna is between international airports: Milan’s Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo Airport are about an hour and a quarter away by road, or around two hours by train, while Brescia-Montichiari and Verona-Villafranca are both about two hours drive, or four and a half on the train via Milan,
  • Lake Como is great for a road trip! If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • Lake Como has a milder climate than its surrounds, its great body of water helps regulate the temperature, and allows for sub-tropical plants like grapevines and olive trees to grow throughout the year. Winter does get chilly, and in summer it can be humid, but in general it has some of the best weather conditions in Europe. April through to October are the busiest months for visitors, warm and sunny, perfect for a lake break. The water of the lake even heats up during summer, and can get to 20°C come July! So if you are visiting at this time it’s worth booking as much as you can in advance.

Still not sure where to stay?


Monthly Weather in Varenna

Best Hotels in Varenna

  • Casa Contrada Bella Varenna 3 rooms from £113

    Romantic Break  -  A superb location, cosy rooms and suites and no children allowed make this ideal for romance!
    Groups  -  With just three rooms, this is a good choice if you want to rent out a place in its entirety
    Value chic  -  Stylish rooms which start from just €130 per night
    Sights nearby  -  Situated in the historical centre of Varenna. 14th Century Church - Chiesa di San Giorgio is very close by
    Air conditioningViewsNo pets

    A small guest house with three charming bedrooms - wrought iron bed heads, exposed wooden beams, exposed stone wall. Two with a small kitchenette and one with a balcony. Restaurants within walking distance and the beach is just steps away. A great value base for exploring the area. See More

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  • Albergo Milano Varenna 14 rooms from £130

    Charming  -  Pick this property for a tradional stay, the oldest part of the building dates back to the 17th century
    Families  -  With 3 apartments sleeping up to 5 people, this is a great choice for families or small groups
    Owner managed  -  The friendly owners, Bettina and Egidio, often greet their guests personally
    Lakeside  -  Take the short stroll down to the lake and go for a swim
    Air conditioningRestaurantViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    Charming lakeside hotel. An enchanting setting on Lake Como, various rooms, triples and apartments, with white washed walls and private balconies. Very good restaurant and spectacular views from the terrace. A great choice for families, groups and romantic breaks. See More

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  • Albergo Olivedo Varenna 10 rooms from £134

    Local exploring  -  Well located just 5 minutes from Varenna's pretty centre made up of winding cobbled streets
    Elegant  -  Traditional interiors see large sash windows, parquet flooring and antiques
    Sailing  -  Set on the Varenna jetty, this is a great base to explore the lake by boat
    Owner managed  -  Owned by the same family for four generations
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyViews
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    Gorgeous townhouse hotel on Lake Como. Charmingly traditional bedrooms have stone floors, pastel walls, and private balconies. Magnificent views from every room and authentic Italian food. Laid back, family friendly. See More

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  • Hotel du Lac Varenna Varenna (Lake Como) 16 rooms from £174

    Romantic Break  -  Draw back the curtains in the morning for unforgettable views of Lake Como
    Back to Nature  -  Hills, lakes and stunning countryside on your doorstep
    Sights nearby  -  Spend the day exploring nearby Verona
    Great walks  -  Enjoy walking in the nearby hills
    Air conditioningViewsParking

    A charming lakeside hotel with 16 comfortable air-conditioned bedrooms - some with lake views and private balconies. The hotel has a peaceful terrace overlooking the lake with a lovely shaded dining area. A family run property and the number one spot to explore the local area. See More

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