One of the places many Italians recommended that we should check out was Lake Como. Lake Como is huge, with many small towns located all around it. Each town is different, with it’s own coat of arms and there was some rivalry in the past between the rulers of the towns to see who could build a better palace etc so there’s definitely plenty to see in terms of palaces and villas in each town. Alex and I took another day trip on our 2nd weekend to Varenna which was reachable by train from Milano (some towns can only be reached by taking the ferry from Varenna or Como).
Since Lago Como is slightly North of Milano, it’s closer to the Swiss border so the Swiss Alps can be seen across the lake.
There are 2 Villas in Varenna with very famous gardens (everything seems to be famous to the Italians) – Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero. They really have lovely gardens, especially in Villa Monastero, plus because it was still summer, the flowers were still in bloom so there was plenty of colour around!
Villa Cipressi at the side
Villa Cipressi grounds
Villa Monastero gardens
Aside from the villas, whose grounds took hours walking through because we were taking photos and admiring the plants, Varenna also has really old buildings…which of course has gotta be a church coz most of the old buildings in Italia are churches. The Chiesa San Giorgio is 13th Century architecture….impressive stone building with an even older but more impressive interior because of the statues and paintings and carvings.
It was a pity we didn’t have time to travel to some of the other towns, but I suppose I could go another time. There was this store, Il Pozzo, in Varenna which sold absolutely gorgeous jewelry, which was kinda expensive as well. The earrings were really beautiful…and despite not wanting to spend anything, I ended up buying a pair coz the storeowner gave us a discount when he learnt we were students and well, I really really liked those earrings (and a couple of other pairs as well, but I couldn’t afford that many). Most of the jewelry is handcrafted in Firenze (Florence) though, so I might be able to get cheaper stuff when I go there. I have to make a trip to Firenze for shoes coz I broke both my pairs of heels!! Apparently Firenze has a good selection at reasonable prices and I do need them…lol