We are staying in the lovely little village of Varenna on the central east side of the lake. This will be our first time to the Lombardy region of Italy, and being that it offers a view of the snow-capped Alps, it felt more of a "winter" retreat than an island in Souther Italy. After going back and forth with the decision of which town on the lake in which to stay (Como, Bellagio, Lecco), we finally choose Varenna because of the many pleasant reviews I've read and also the beauty of this small town. Even though it's more of a "get away from it all" village, Varenna does have things to do and see, and the other towns are just a ferry ride away.
We are staying in a small apartment on the waterfront and hope to have a relaxing time with not much to do but wander. One thing I've been craving for months is a long bath...and since we only have a shower in our apartment in Florence, I made sure that we'd have a tub on our small holiday! So besides wandering around, I will also be finding a good book, a water pillow, and settling in for a long stay in the vasca da bagno (bathtub). There is a wonderful lakeside prominade and cute little pedestrian streets in the town to see, as well as a couple historical mansions and gardens to visit.
I hope that we'll get to take a ferry ride across the lake to the nearby Bellagio, nicknamed "Pearl of the Lake"...and in some circles considered the most beautiful city in Europe. It will be nice to see the true, upscale town of Bellagio in contrast to the Las Vegas hotel of the same name which we saw last year! (I personally can't stand Vegas- as it's just a big, fake, knock-off of a city. Nothing in it is original, but just copies of the true beauties that are other places in the world. It feels like being stuck in a cheap nightmare. But I did enjoy a Cirque du Soleil show and the Bellagio fountains). Ok, back on the subject...we booked the apartment on Friday, and bought train tickets this morning - so it looks like we're on our way next week! I'm really looking forward to it...maybe we'll even run into George Clooney (who has a house just up the lake and is said to frequent the restaurants in Varenna)...you never know!