The enchanting village centre is a maze of narrow cobbled lanes and stepped streets winding up the hills behind. The stylish boutiques and art galleries sit comfortably next to the craft shops selling local silk and olive wood carvings. In the evenings the cafe filled piazzas come alive and have live music in high season. The great ferry service means you are well connected to explore the lake and villages on the western shore.
Como sits at the southern end of the western branch of Lake Como and is the most important town on the lake, with a long history, lively streets and a busy waterfront.
It has excellent transport connections and is just half an hour from Milan by train and only a few miles from Italy’s border with Switzerland. Ferries and buses run up and down the lake’s shores, and little seaplanes take off from the waters close to town.

Varenna is an attractive village on the eastern shore of Lake Como, looking over the central part of the lake towards Bellagio. Varenna’s picturesque lanes and old fishermen’s houses are unpretentiously appealing, and some visitors prefer the town to its grander neighbours.
With staircases and steep paths, the historical centre of Varenna is nicely cosy and has bars with terraces and a pedestrian walk along the lake shore. The village has some nice hotels and restaurants (some of the best on the eastern shore of Lake Como) and two botanical gardens worth a visit in Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi.

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