|The picturesque town of Varenna|
|Colourful buildings in Varenna|
Where to Eat (and drink) in Varenna
As the weather was glorious during Easter week, we chose restaurants where you could dine al fresco:
1. Bar il Molo. This was our favourite place to eat in Varenna. On our first night we had a delicious dinner here and returned several nights after because it was so good! It is in a magnificent waterfront location with tables arranged on a terrace overhanging the lake. The authentic cuisine includes: pasta, pizza, salads, bruschette, sweet and savoury piadine and local specialities and the prices are very reasonable. The gnocchi with salmon and cream sauce was delicious. Simone, the owner, is so welcoming and chats with all his customers. The adjacent room with an exhibition of local produce and products is worth visiting.
|Bar il Molo|
|Local produce Varenna|
|The crepe with salmon was scrumptious;|
although the food here was simple it tasted so good.
(I loved the little red cushions at the back of the seats)
3. Ristorante il Cavallino is a traditional fisherman’s restaurant with the most ample selection of local fresh water fish. It’s in an enchanting position on the lakeside, the outdoor area under a vine-covered pergola, creates a perfect romantic atmosphere for savoring the cuisine of the lake. If you love fish, this is the place to go!
|Ristorante Il Cavallino|
4. Ristorante La Vista (at Albergo Milano) – superb food with an incredible panorama from its elevated position where you have a view of three branches of the lake in a cosy atmosphere – highly recommended! This is the only restaurant where we had to make reservations ahead of time.
|Ristorante La Vista - Albergo Milano|
5. Opposite the lake there are little cobbled alleyways between the buildings with steep steps. All of these alleyways lead to the main street and piazza in the town where there is the parish church, more restaurants and two little alimentari, grocery stores – there is no supermarket. Here in the corner of Piazza San Giorgio you will find the Albergo del Sole a family run restaurant. It serves wonderful pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. Try their house special pizza - a type of margherita with Parma ham, served with a fried egg on top.
|Albergo del Sole|
Piazza San Giorgio
6. There is also a fantastic wine bar, cafeteria and internet café in the main piazza called Al Barilott. The owners Fabrizio and Claudia are warm-hearted and knowledgeable. We used to have our morning cappuccinos here - for only €1.20. Fabrizio says he doesn't charge 'tourist prices.' I overheard one customer remark that they serve the best coffee in town! They also have an extensive wine collection. Have a look at their website to see all that they offer.
|Ristorante La Contrada|
10. For ice-cream, I have to agree that the gelato in the Riva Gelateria (formerly known as La Giazzera) overlooking the little harbour and recommended by Nerys - was excellent!
|My favourite - pistacchio e nocciola|
How to get to Varenna from Milan:
I received an email from reader Sue asking which of the Milan airports was closer to the city and how to get to Varenna from there. If you have the choice of airports, depending on where you are flying from, Linate would be better as it is only 10k from Milan whereas Malpensa is 46k from the city. You can get the bus right outside the airport to Milan Centrale train station (cost €4). The journey by bus to the train station in Milan takes only about 15 minutes (and departs every 20 minutes). Trains from Milano Centrale to Varenna leave every hour during the day – direction Sondrio-Tirano.
Let me know if you’ve been to Varenna and of any restaurants that shouldn’t be missed on a visit here! There is more to come ... In my next post I'm going to write about Ten of the Main Attractions in Varenna.