The Town of Varenna
on Lake Como in the Lombardy Region of Italy
“The charm of Varenna reveals itself and leaves us the wonder, the astonishment, the memory.”
The tiny town of Varenna embraces pastel-colored houses, “delicate layers of
human history,” stacked against the mountainside and restful views of Lake
Como. Stroll along the passerella from one tiny harbor to another, under
trailing wisteria and palm trees that nod gently in lakeside breezes.
Watch boats and kayakers on the lake while enjoying a cappuccino at a small cafe.
Stay in private room with a lake view in the grand Villa Monastero, set regally within lovely botanical gardens and enjoy the allure of aristocratic times, full of the romance of old world elegance. Formerly a Cistercian female convent built in the 12th century, Villa Monastero was eventually bought in the mid 16th century by the Mornico family who maintained it for over three centuries. Now a property of the Province of Lecco, the Villa and gardens provide a peaceful and spacious venue for international cultural studies.
Photos from Retreats in Abruzzo, Italy
Carol Sherrill, Danville, California, 2013
Set in medieval Santo, the eternal mood of stone streets and walls effectively separates one from ordinary concerns and encourages focus on the purpose. And…after the serious work of each session, we filled the rest of the day enjoying the beauty and culture of Abruzzo, the joy laughter of developing friendships, delightful regional food and—it should be said, a little wine.
Dan Martin, Kansas City, MO, 2012
The place is enchanting. It was a beautiful and inspiring location, with warm and generous hosts. I found the room great for sleeping; I loved the library for writing. The gatherings of the group around food were lively and engaging. The groups certainly came together, as people, travelers, writers. The excursions were stimulating and very nicely connected to place.
Arthur Darby, Calgary, Alberta, CA, 2012
Santo Stefano is a beautiful, charming spot and I loved it.
Julie Ramos, West Nyack, NY, 2011
Unusual, authentic, tragic, silent, Santo Stefano: great ambiance, some minor inconveniences, but hey, the place is 1,000 years old. I had what I needed. The views are stunning, unforgettable.