Winter on Lake Como.

Me and Eleonore from the lovely le Paris (definitely just did a French accent in my head) have been travelling around to various Italian towns recently (posts to follow soon...ish) in an attempt to see some more of Italy before she leaves, in December, and me at the end of January.

So these past few weekends have been super busy travelling here there and everywhere.

Well when I say everywhere, I mean the north of Italy, specifically Parma, Pavia and Varenna which is a charming little town on Lake Como and where this blog post begins.

So far we had been really lucky with the weather.

I mean it was November and it still hadn't reached that point where all you want to do is stay snuggled in bed in your onesie, eat chocolate and watch films, perfectly content to never step a foot outside again.

Well, our luck had run out because this was one of those weekends.

But we didn't let the overcast sky put us off, we were too eager to explore...and couldn't really afford to let the day slip away just because it was raining. 

What's a little bit of rain anyway? #justwhataBritishpersonwouldsay

So we arrived in the tiny little station of Varenna hopeful and excited and slightly worried about crossing the track to get out of the station. Those angry  "non attraversare il Binario" signs are there for a reason!

But we made it (I don't think the other track is used anyway) and wandered down into the town.
To the lake!
Super-organised El had printed off a map so we knew which direction to head in. Just as well really because ALL the tourist information places were closed.

That's what you get for coming out of season I guess, but we who needs them anyway!

Thanks to our super-duper research we knew exactly what sights to see.

But of course, the main sight is the lake itself.

Conveniently, the way into the heart of the town takes you along a beautiful walk right alongside it, known as La Passerella (Lovers walk). Also conveniently this walkway is one of the "sights" of Varenna (which I happened to find on a blog, handy these things eh?).

But you might be thinking, you guys are crazy, how can a lake on a dark and miserable day in the middle of winter be beautiful at all?

Well, let me say to you doubters, that sure in summer the crystal water glistens and the mountains are as clear as day and you don't have to mummify yourself in a scarf BUT...

Lake Como in winter is enchanting, wrapped in a mysterious layer of mist and fogginess that draws you in yet leaves you with that peculiar ominous feeling.

The lake is hiding a secret and you will never discover it.

We visited the deserted Villa Monastero, a small but grand villa with gardens right on the Lake.

A big empty house.

Not. a . single. soul.

The silence hung thick in the air, conjuring up tales of  wicked witch's and their spells, only to be broken by love's true kiss.

The magic and mystery removes you just far enough from reality that you wonder...was it a dream?

It followed us out and into the similarly ghost of a town.

 An eeriness that is hauntingly beautiful.

I really wanted to climb to the up to castle afterwards, dreaming of the views but it was getting actually quite cold and the rain had started. So we perused the few shops still open to pass the time and warmed up with a tea in a Geleteria along the lake front.

such a cute little place
Dark had descended and the fog grew thicker, almost suffocating so we decided it was time to make our getaway back to the train station.

Despite the fact it was a dark November day, and the town pretty much shut, apart from the bravest of shop owners, I can't help but think it was beautiful all the same and who knows, maybe even better than when it's summer and the town is over-run by happy-snappers and loud, excitable holiday makers.

I kind of feel like we got to see the real Varenna, the one that is rarely seen because she's too shy to come out when there are all those people around.

So maybe try something different, don't just follow the crowds and you might be surprised with what you find.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Ok, having weird issues with commenting.. I'll repost!
    Lake Como is beautiful but I swear to God the sun never shines there. I went a fair few times on my year abroad and saw the sun maybe once? The rest of the time it was pouring with rain! Hope you get to see more of Italy before you leave, if you can Piemonte and the Dolomites are a must before leaving North Italy! xxx

  3. Haha.
    Really? Well this summer was pretty rubbish...
    Yeah I really hope to see more of Italy! Planning to visit a friend in Bologna after Christmas and then pop down to Firenze.
    Ok I will try:D any reccomendations for any other towns to visit?


Post a Comment