Varenna and Bellano

A day rich in visual emotions, thanks to an itinerary that touches on sites where the force of nature has merged with the genius of man: the Ravine of Bellano, the Castle of Vezio in Varenna, the gardens of Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero.

Technical information

Walking time: About 1 day
Starting point: Bellagio
Seightseen and points of interest included in the itinerary:
  • Ravine of Bellano
  • Wayfarer’s Path
  • Varenna
  • Castle of Vezio
  • Gardens of Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero
  • The Ravine of Bellano is open until 28 October from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm. On 29, 30, 31 October and 1, 2, 3 November, from 9 am to 5 pm. On 10, 17 and 24 November and 1 December, from 10 am to 5 pm. On 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 November and 2 and 3 December, from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • The Castle of Vezio is open every day from 1 March to 1 November. In the month of October, it is open from 10 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday, and from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. In the months of November, December, January and February, it is open on Saturday and Sunday when the weather is good, from 10 am to 5 pm.
  • The gardens of Villa Cipressi and the house museum with the botanical garden of Villa Monastero are open in the months of April, May, June, July, August, September and October. Both sites can be visited by purchasing a combined ticket.
  • Villa Cipressi: in the month of October, the botanical garden is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. The ticket office closes 45 minutes before the villa’s closing time.
  • Villa Monastero: from 1 October to 1 November, the house museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm; the botanical garden is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. On 4 and 5 November the house museum and the botanical garden are open from 10 am to 5 pm. The house museum and botanical garden of Villa Monastero will be closed from 6 November until 2024.


This day is dedicated to the eastern shore of Lake Como, which you can get to by hydrofoil from Bellagio. The first stop is the Ravine of Bellano, a spectacular natural gorge formed around 15 million years ago. The rock was shaped by the double action of the Pioverna torrent and the Adda Glacier, which gave rise to captivating potholes, gullies and caverns. You can visit the canyon thanks to a series of wooden walkways that cross the gorge up to the waterfall: an unforgettable journey, in which nature shows all its fascinating and frightening strength.

Second stop of the day is the Castle of Vezio, on the promontory overlooking Varenna. The ancient military outpost of late medieval origin, built by the Lombard queen Theodelinda to defend and monitor the lake and the surrounding villages, has been standing here for more than a thousand years. Surrounded by the greenery of one of the northernmost olive groves in the world and in a Mediterranean garden at the foot of the Alps, the Castle of Vezio occasionally hosts various kinds of art exhibitions, as well as a permanent exhibition on the Lariosauro. You can also visit the underground area, the decorated tower, the botanical garden and the “ghost” statues scattered around the garden.

The castle can be reached on foot from the railway station of Varenna. Simply go up a flight of steps to the carriageway and cross the bridge, keeping to the left. Once you are near a restaurant, turn left into the path that leads to the castle. The Castle of Vezio can also be reached along the Wayfarer’s Path, an itinerary in stages that runs along the entire eastern coast of the lake, connecting Bellano and Varenna with a walk of about 2 hours. Along this section, the path runs alongside the castle, which is easy to get to.

Still in Varenna, a visit to the gardens of Villa i Cipressi is a must and can be combined with a visit to the gardens of the adjacent Villa Monastero, an emotional journey combining botany and architecture, catapulting travellers into a dreamlike dimension that touches on history, landscapes and nature. From Varenna, you can return to Bellagio by boat on Lake Como.

Contacts and How to get there

Piazza Mazzini - 22021 Bellagio CO
Tel. +39.031.950.204

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Lago di Como inLombardia Comune di Bellagio