Join us today for a walk along Lake Como in Varenna, Italy. This first picture was taken from Villa Monastero looking back towards the main part of Varenna. The Villa Ciprissi, which is now a hotel, is shown prominently, with its gardens cascading down towards the lake. The cathedral bell tower on the main square of the town is also visible. The mountains in the distance are across on the western shore of Lake Como.
Villa Monastero has enchanting gardens that line the eastern shore of Lake Como. Here is one of the pathways through the gardens along the lake.
The path along the lake features formal gardens and areas left with natural vegetation, such as this patch of lupine flowers. The gazebo in the distance is just one of the charming architectural features in the gardens on the Villa property.
The gardens feature neo-classical statuary.
The lakefront loggia of the Villa Monastero is such a delight that my husband and I bought a painting of this area of the villa during our first visit to Lake Como about 5 years ago. It hangs above a window in our living room. This summer we returned to Lake Como with 13 family and friends. This photo helps explain why we returned.
The gardens of the Villa have architectural features that cannot help but uplift and inspire the spirits of visitors, as this photo of my husband "hamming" it up shows. Villa Monastero is now used as a conference center, and tourists can visit the inside of the Villa to admire its furnishings as well as the gardens.
This is a view of the lakefront area of Villa Monastero, looking back towards Villa Ciprissi and Varenna. With these surroundings, it might be hard for people attending conferences as Villa Monastero to keep their mind on the subject of the conference. It would be easy to forget about the outside world and the pressures of life back home.