Lake Como, Italy

July 2019

Here are some tranquil moments in the beautiful town of Varenna. We noticed that the closer to nature we were, the happier we became.

Varenna is one of the small towns that surrounds Lake Como and it is a short train ride from the major city of Milan. We booked our stay at the beautiful Hotel Royal Victoria. The hotel is named after Queen Victoria and legend has it Charles Gounod was inspired to write “Ave Maria” here after being inspired by a sunset on the lake. We pride ourselves on vacationing on a budget but we splurged on this stay to get some R&R in before we got ready to go home (check out our IG stories for the video of our suite!). We knew we were going to spend most of our time at the hotel. We had a balcony that overlooked the lake. There are other budget-friendly and AirBNB locations here, as well – but we were really happy with our stay at Hotel Victoria.

We ate almost exclusively at our hotel at the Royal Gourmet Restaurant – mostly to enjoy the view as much as possible. You can sit down to enjoy a meal or just a glass of wine with appertivos. The town is a short 10 minute walk where there are more restaurants, gelato shops, and shopping, if you’d rather venture out. The locals treat everyone with respect and a smile. At this point of the trip, we were walking almost 4 miles a day for the past 10 days, so we decided to relax and lounge as much as possible before heading to Milan!

The lake really is breathtaking at all hours of the day! There is a small beach just a walk from the hotel where you can tan & enjoy the views or take a jump in the lake – it is refreshingly cold in hot July.  Sailing boats and families gathered everywhere, stunning mountains with Switzerland just on the other side of it – Lake Como has been in a lot of movies (Star Wars, Casino Royal, Oceans Twelve), and it is pretty obvious why that is. Varenna is also the home to Vila Monastero, which is well-known for its beautiful gardens. It is open to the public and adjacent to Hotel Royal Victoria. 

We absolutely loved our time in Como and have it on our short list of places we’d like to return to. The scenery and tranquility are really inspiring and rejuvenating – next time we’ll reserve more energy to explore the town further! 

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