Diary of day 1

Day 1: Welcome to Italy

The sleepy Lake Como village of Varenna is a quick, easy train connection from Milan. At 5 p.m. you'll meet your guide and fellow tour members at our hotel for a get-acquainted session. We'll then take a village orientation walk, pointing out places for dinner on your own tonight. Sleep in Varenna (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

  • Water

Lake Como (Lago di Como [ˈlaːɡo di ˈkɔːmo] or locally [ˈlaːɡo di ˈkoːmo] in Italian, also known as Lario [ˈlaːrjo], after the Latin name of the lake; Lagh de Comm [ˈlaːk de ˈkÉ”m] in Lombard; Latin: Larius Lacus) is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy. It has an area of 146 square kilometres (56 sq mi), making it the third-largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. At over 400 metres (1,300 feet) deep, it is one of the deepest lakes in Europe, and the bottom of the lake is more than 200 metres (660 ft) below sea level.
Lake Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, and a very popular tourist attraction with many artistic and cultural gems. It has many villas and palaces (such as Villa Olmo, Villa Serbelloni, and Villa Carlotta). Many famous people have or have had homes on the shores of Lake Como, such as Matthew Bellamy, John Kerry, Madonna, George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Ronaldinho, Sylvester Stallone, Julian Lennon, Richard Branson, Ben Spies, and Pierina Legnani.
In 2014, The Huffington Post called it the most beautiful lake in the world for its microclimate and environment with prestigious villas and villages.
  • Alpine hut


The Varenna-Esino-Perledo station.
 
View from Castello di Vezio.
Varenna is a comune (municipality) on Lake Como in the Province of Lecco in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Milan and about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northwest of Lecco.
Varenna was founded by local fishermen in 769, and was later allied of the commune of Milan. In 1126 it was destroyed by the rival commune of Como, and later received the refugees from the Isola Comacina, who had met the same fate (1169).
Varenna borders the following municipalities: Esino Lario, Lierna, Oliveto Lario, Perledo. The main sights are the Castello di Vezio, a small museum dedicated to Lariosaurus (a Middle Triassic sea reptile related to turtles), as well as the beautiful gardens at Villa Monastero. Across the lake in the province of Como are: Bellagio, Griante and Menaggio.
Villa Monastero, in between Varenna and Fiumelatte is nowadays a museum, botanical garden and convention center. It was founded as a Cistercian monastery in the 11th or 12th century. It is served by Varenna-Esino-Perledo station, on the Tirano–Lecco railway.