Travel Blogs from Varenna
... car drivers to drive. Luckily he drove well as once we left the autostrada, it was very, very windy to get to our hotel. Also Wendy is probably almost cured of her fear of tunnels as we lost count of how many we went through in the almost 90 minutes it took to get to Monterosso. We checked in at Hotel Palme, checked out our fourth storey room with sea view and balcony and went for a quick orientation walk. Apparently we are staying in the "new" town which is very busy, lots ...
... buying things just to get it to work!) We bought some fresh looking pastry at a local shop and some fresh fruit back at the market and ate our lunch on a seat overlooking the lake. Once again, very picturesque. It is good to practice our Italian. Next we took the ferry back to Moltraio via Torno and wished we could have goth off at Torno too but our ticket would not allow it. Back at Moltrasio, we decided to go to a local cafe and ...
... in the shadow of some the worlds most historic buildings. The cafés and restaurants filled early with people formally dressed for the opera. They actually have the opera in the Roman Arena. Great people watching from my table smack in front of it all. And then the skies opened and it hardly phased them at all. Plastic ponchos appeared out of no where over tuxedos and gowns and they just went about their business. I was actually thinking of trying to get ...
... Villa B Where lots of movies have been filmed. It's like a National Trust building now. We took lot of photos and will add them to the blog when we can transfer them from camera to blog. We arrived in Bellagio after lots of scenic views along the way and good commentary from our guide. As it was lunchtime, we visited a restaurant and John had some lovely carbonara spaghetti and was able to eat it without making a mess. Next a walk around Bellagio. Bellagio was really pretty ...
... Each corner and alcove was unique with tombs of cardinals past, tapestries, marble alters, statues, gold inlayed reliefs, stained glass windows and tributes to saints that I never heard of. Being the lapsed Catholic that I claim to be it's humbling to see these works of art and the depth of century's old devotion and faith. And as the rain let up I headed out to the other areas of worship, the higher ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Olivedo Varenna
Fantastic food, service, and rooms..run by wonderful fast-talking chain-smoking Laura
I have traveled too many countries and the Albergo Olivedo is my favorite everything. I am going back in Sept 04 for a week and looking forward to Laura's ravioli. Laura comes across a little abrasive, but she is wonderful and very sweet if you give her a chance. Ask for room 11 or 21...large corner rooms, upper floors (no elevator), large bathroom, and two balconies with amazing views and french style doors. On your next trip to Italy, do not forget Lake Como and visit Laura, even just for dinner. Happy Travels.
Room Great, but Host was not!
In March 2004, this was our 4th town (1st time to lake como) to visit on our 11 day trip to Italy. We were so happy with the 3 previous places we stayed at, so we were looking forward to our stay at the Olivedo. All i can say is that the accomodation was nice, but the host Laura could have been a bit more charming. The hosts at the previous accomodations were so warm and inviting. Laura was not. Her demeanor was unfriendly. The continental breakfast the next morning consisted of hard bread and weak coffee. My girlfriend and I did not feel welcome at all. Fortunately we only stayed for one night.
It's interesting to see all the diversity of reviews here. We stayed at Olivedo two years ago, and loved every second of it. Laura was great, the room overlooked the lake and offered wonderful views 24 hours a day, and food was just about the best we've ever eaten. Even the ferry announcements for "Bellagio, Menaggio!" every 30 minutes made us smile. We'd go back in a heartbeat.
I had the pleasure of staying at the Olivedo in Varenna in January 2004. The weather was chilly but acceptable. Laura welcomed us by name, and was a gracious hostess our entire stay. We had a lovely corner roon with a breathtaking view of the lank and the alps, it was nice enough to open the French doors and take in the scenery. Our beds were very comfortable and the food was excellent. I asked for the recipe for the pumpkin gnochhi and to my surprise and delight, I was given it before i left. It was convenient to walk to the ferries for our day trips and to stay in varenna is like staying in a little bit of heaven. It is a lovely little village with a wonderful lake walk with a beautiful view with every turn of the trail. A great place filled with wonderful little restaurants, friendly people and beautiful buildings. I could live here in a heartbeat. I am a travel agent and my job is to find interesting places and great little hotels for my clients. Varenna and the Olivedo Hotel are on my reccomended list.
July 12-17,2003. Quaint 1890s hotel on Como Lake, Varenna. Laura, her family work and hired staff bend over backwards to accommodate your needs. Our family of 4 got the best corner room with 2 balconies and stupendous view of the lake. The rooms were airy, bright. No telephones, television, alarm clocks or radios in the rooms - perfect for getting away from the "rat race". Breakfast and dinner was included in our daily rate. The breakfasts were plentiful - cheeses and hard boiled eggs, cereal and breads, milk and coffee, fruit. I made a few sandwiches to go for my daughters. The dinners were gastronomic delights - fresh lake trout, ravioli, gnocchi and lovely desserts.
the albergo olivedo is charming..BUT...we were given rooms on the top ( 5th)floor, never told there was no elevator...the 5th floor is the top floor---narrow steps---our luggage (only carry- ons and shoulder bags) felt 10 times heavier, our legs ached--- the 2nd floor is the mezzanine we discovered , so no rooms there, just a bathroom yu can use when you do not want to haul up to the 5th floor. but if you forget something in your room, you will not want to go up to get it. Our room had a skylight for light, and an arched window that was from the foor to our knee level. we crouched down to see out. the beds were the worst i have ever seen! shame on laura to even attempt to give these to anyone. Our friends next door to us had a bed that was as hard and inflexible as a plank of wood. They were sore and aching the next morning. Our bed had deep grooves outlining bodies that had lain there for countless years. if we attempted to move out of the depression our bodies lay in, we were at once jolted back by the hump and feel of springs. so we rolled back into the hole and kept our positions carefully all night.Was this the attic that laura decided to open up as rooms? Whatever, it is deplorable and intolerable. The breakfast was also a shame. Although italy is not famous for its breakfasts, this one is very lame. Cookies, something like arrowroot type, and some bread and triangle squares of cheese. Orange juice like tang. Coffee was good. Evening meals which are included n the price and mandatory in most seasons, are fantastic. Except for the fish. no seasoning, broiled overdone, and tasteless. fantastic gnocchi! However, However , one can stay at another hotel and go to albergo olivedo for a dinner meal. we would not return there to sleep, but would go for a meal and never order fish.
If I only had a slingshot for the person who says, "Bellagio, Mennagio!"
We stayed one night at the Hotel Olivedo during our trip to Varennes. The room was huge with a beautiful view of the lake but we were located on the corner of the hotel closest to the ferry. Every 30 minutes a loud speaker would come on with the saying 'Bellagio, Mennagio' and was quite annoying. The ferry stopped after 9:00 p.m. so we had no problems sleeping at night but sure enough around 7:00 a.m., 'Bellagio, Mennagio'. So basically I am saying if you stay here forget about taking a small nap in the afternoon because it is impossible. Instead, go sit at the local restaurants and drink wine and eat gelato all afternoon. The evening meal was very good but the breakfast buffet in the morning left something to be desired.
A Highlight of Our Three Weeks in Italy
It felt like a movie set with old fashioned charm, and the perfect innkeeper, Laura. Delicious food. I want to return to Olivedo in off-season and take my time enjoying Lake Como...four days is not enough!
Old World charm
The Olivedo is a charming "Old World" style hotel where semi-board (breakfast and dinner) is included in the room rate. Make sure to request a front corner room as these are the largest with great views onto Lake Como. Rooms are furnished with antiques and are generous in size. The hotel is situated directly on the waterfront next to the ferry docks and a 1/4 mile from the Varenna train station (other than Como, Varenna is the only train accessible town on the lake). During the summer season, while we were there, dinner is served on the waterfront terrace and all three dinners we had were delicious. Varenna is an idyllic spot that is made for relaxation and romance, and not as touristy as Bellagio.
We thoroughly enjoyed our 3-night stay at the Olivedo! We arrived the week before Easter after driving throughout Switzerland and wanted a place to park our rented car and relax! It is conveniently located at the Varenna ferry stop with a nice-sized parking lot (free to guests).The price (about 70Euros per person) included breakfast and dinner. The dinners were fabulous--choice of appetizers (the pumpkin gnocchi wasdelicious), choice of mains (the veal chop with a little butter sauce andsage, simple and good) and a choice of desserts every night (the poachedpear was the best I've ever had)! The house wine was great and they offeran extensive wine list as well. We also enjoyed an apperitivo on the terrace which extends the full length of the hotel. The rooms are nicely furnished with antiques. The stairs are marble (no elevators). The bathrooms are large and modern (no shower curtains). Laura, the owner, speaks English and is a delightful hostess!