Sunday, June 28, 2015

Milano: a day trip to Varenna-Ensio on beautiful Lago Como

We decided to escape Milan for a day and take the train to Varenna, a lakeside village on the eastern shore of Lake Como. Upon arrival we made our way down to the ferry jetty and followed the footpath leading around the shore to the right. This brought us to the village's pretty waterfront, with its characteristic lake harbour, an arcaded walkway and a little stone beach sloping into the water. Some people were in the water which wasn't too cold. Although we could see that this short stretch of lakeside was a tourist magnet, it is also very charming and lots of people were whiling away half an hour with a cold drink or ice cream sundae.

We wandered around Varenna's picturesque lanes and old fishermen's houses which were unpretentiously appealing. It has somehow a more authentic air than other resorts. Lots of flowers were in bloom making the walk quite lovely.

We stopped for lunch in a traditional little square.There were several locals eating at the restaurant which is always a good sign. Delicious porcini ravioli was the order of the day. After another limoncello we headed up the sloping alleys arriving at the town's main piazza and the lake-shore road. The square is dominated by Varenna's principal church, the fourteenth-century Chiesa di San Giorgio. The restaurants were filled with people in a festive state waiting to go into a wedding. Later we saw the bride entering the church.

Back down closer to the water we walked up one of the tiny pedestrian lanes and stopped at Hotel du Lac for an afogato, espresso with ice cream. We sat outside overlooking the lake and mountains beyond. The view was stunning. We would like to come back and explore the little villages around the lake. What a magnificent spot.

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