Last week I mentioned spending two months working in Milan and hating every second. After that, I spent ten months working in nearby Lecco, a little town on Lake Como, and this time I loved it! My non-Italian friends and I all kept a day trip to Varenna and Bellagio up our sleeves as a surefire way to impress our visitors from home. I was really keen to take Dr HH there too on our day trip from Milan, and he was sufficiently impressed.
Here’s how it worked logistically: we got the train from Milan to Varenna (passing through Lecco but not stopping there), took the ferry to Bellagio, then another ferry down to Como to catch up with some old friends. You only need an hour or two in each place. It’s a very do-able day trip, and public transport in Italy is reliable and affordable enough to make it work.
Varenna is tiny, so there aren’t any veggie restaurants or cafes to try, and your best bet will be ordering something inherently vegan (spaghetti with tomato and basil/marinara pizza) or veganising some bruschetta, which is what I did. Caffe Varenna had a mushroom and brie bruschetta, so I ordered it without the cheese, clarified that it should be vegan, and this is what I got.
It would have been nice to get a price cut, as I didn’t have any of that expensive cheese, but still – it was a more substantial lunch than I was expecting, and really we were paying for the view of the lake (pictured up top).
All you really need to do in Varenna is wander around and take in the view. Between the lake and the mountains, it really is something. Dr HH had never been to one of the Italian lakes before, and he said he’d never been anywhere quite like it. Just the kind of praise I like to hear about a well-planned day trip!