Milan is Italy’s second largest city. Under fog and drizzle much of the winter. Sultry and hot during the summer. When you visit will definitely dictate what you decide to do. Whenever that ends up being always put on your best pair of Italian shoes (they will be noticed) in this fashion forward city, and enjoy the journey!
Landing in Milan in August conveyed a sense of calmness. The roads were not quite as crowded as usual. Local restaurants had closed signs on their doors, and most of the Italians had already deserted the city.
I’m a firm believer in taking cues from the locals so pick a lake town, buy a train ticket and savor the day.
Destination Varenna, a commune on Lake Como in the Province of Lecco in the Italian region Lombardy.
We arrived early at Centrale station to buy our tickets. We idled away the time by sipping espresso and then darting into Zara. Trying to cash in on the “saldi” season in Italy. Don’t get carried away shopping though. Save enough time to enter Bistrot Milano Centrale. I have sipped prosecco many times at this establishment post shopping. This was our last stop before boarding our train. A snack to go, with wine equals train travel Italian style.
An easy walk from the train station made Varenna an ideal day trip from Milan. Quaint, picturesque with a light breeze off the water helped defeat the afternoon heat on this balmy August day.
With shops and alleyways, cafe’s and sandy beaches; wander your way through Varenna. Stop often to take pictures. Admire the beauty. You can almost hear the water whispering “romance”. The flowers, colors and villas all make this a complete traveler’s experience to enjoy with someone special.
Varenna is lined with restaurants along the lakefront and in secluded areas. Our choice was Al Prato located in a small piazza offering a tranquil dining experience. The service was incredible and accommodating. The daily specials and extensive wine list created an amazing evening out.
Aperol Spritz: 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts aperol, 1 part soda water garnish with a slice of orange and serve!