castello di vezio


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castello di vezio



We arrived at Varenna to be told there’s a castle we might like to visit. However, what we didn’t know was that it was about a 40min steep hike up the hill to get there! We’re fairly fit individuals but it had been raining the morning and the cobblestones up the hill were wet and slippery. That said, the hike up was pleasant as we were surrounded by lush greenery and got to see some lovely architecture of local residences. The view from the castle was wonderful. The castle itself is probably not quite the grand structure one would imagine of castles in the traditional sense of the word. However, it’s worth a visit if you’re already in the area and wouldn’t mind a climb.


Vezio (Italy) - Lake ComoYou can reach Vezio by car directly from Varenna but we suggest you to leave your car in locality “Campallo" and follow an old mule track until the borough of Vezio (about 20 minutes) whose reputation is closely linked to its castle ( Legend has it that he spent here the last years of his life the Longobard queen Teodolinda.Before leaving Vezio, it is worth stopping to see the Church, always medieval, of San Antonio Abate (XIV sec.) which still preserves inside a fresco depicting the i SS. Giovanni Battista, Pietro and Antonio Abate. .In “Campallo” at the end of your trip you can visit the “Orrido" a gorge formed by water erosion of the river Esino. In the early twentieth century it was used by the inhabitants of Varenna as public bath.In summer you can have an excellent lunch at the “Crotto del Pepot”!


The path to the castella is a steep, winding trail which starts in an alley off the main road. Employing steps and ramps, it winds up, over, and between the buildings that comprise Varenna. As is the case with most such trails in Italy, it is punctuated with small shrines. It is paved with stones in the old Roman fashion, some rather sharp. In a few places the heavy rains of the summer had washed small parts of it away.Atop the hill where the castella is located, there is a small village, actually a suburb of Varenna which is separated from the rest of the community by cliffs, and by olive groves and vineyards. At the entrance to the village, the path forks, providing avid walkers an avenue to Perledo and to other points nearby. Our path wound its way up a flight of steps into the village, passing a church and small cemetery as it entered. We paused in the cemetery before proceeding up the stepped path towards the castella.The entrance to the castella, where tickets are purchased, provides restrooms, a coffee shop, and a few souvenirs. The purchase of tickets includes a brochure with a map of the grounds and a history of the place. The first site to greet visitors after passing the ticket booth is a large, caged owl sleeping on his perch. We decided it best to let sleeping owls roost, so we took a quick look and continued up the path. The path was lined with modern sculptures by local artists, most of them wood carvings.Reaching the bend at the end of the path, we were met with a stunning view of the lake in front of us, and a number of owls and falcons on perches around the bend. The birds were chained to their perches, with only a few feet of walking space available, but they seemed content. They did not appear troubled by the visitors marching past them, with the exception of one camera-shy white owl. He seemed to be trying hard to keep behind a tree whenever a camera was pointed in his direction. We did manage to get a photo of him, but only by passing him over and then sneaking back while he hid from another group of pesky photographers.Scattered about the grounds are a number of faceless, papier-mache ghosts. These figures sit on balcony railings and walls, and are hidden in niches within the walls. Their purpose I never fully understood, but they watch the visitors, who pose with them for photos (as we did). They generally keep guard over the grounds, as the weather crumbles their fragile shells and mold forms in the folds of their gowns.The center courtyard of the castella is built around a tall tower, the keep, which is reached by set of stone stairs leading to a wooden drawbridge. Across the drawbridge one must pass to enter a doorway high up the tower wall. Inside the tower, a series of steep stairs lead to the top of the tower (watch your head!). There you will find the best views Varenna has to offer. We lingered there a bit, taking a few photos and enjoying the views, before squeezing back down the hatch to the lower levels. At the opposite end of the courtyard from which we entered, there is a turret atop a flight of stone stairs, in which is found a collection of rusty weapons and armor. Some are bolted or otherwise fixed to the walls, but others can be picked up, put on, and flailed about for visitors to photograph or videotape themselves in "battle gear". Naturally, we did so. Leaving the courtyard, a set of stairs leads down to another trail, which forks into a path marked "private" and one which leads steeply down to we-know-not-where. The private path is the domain of the bird-keepers, where we visitors were not welcome. We opted not to follow the steep path down, as we did not want to have to take it back up, and we still had more to see at the castella. We took a few photos of the olive grove and iron gate which kept us from entering it, and then climbed back up the stairs to the main structure. We toured the rest of the grounds before exiting the way we came.


The view from the castle is nice. The walk up was OK but a bit hard if you are pregnant (like my wife was) or with young kids. The castle is not that big of a highlight. If you are with kids there are wild birds at the entrance to the castle.


I decided to visit Varenna for the second time in one month as it is a stunning place. The first time around I didn't get to visit the castle so I wanted to this time. The hike up the mountain is by far the best hiking experience I've had. The views are breathtaking. That day the castle was closed but it didn't matter as it was a great experience to go up there. Do note that if you're not in good shape, or have difficulties with movement, it is a tough 30-40min walk up the mountain with narrow rocky stairs. From what I could see the castle looked beautiful. I recommend continuing the hike. As you go down the road follow the sign to a waterfall and you'll find more amazing views and delightful waterfalls by the mountain.


We walked up to the Castle from Varenna town centre - this took about 30 mins and was well worth it. A really interesting castle with a great history. There is also stunning views from the top over Lake Como - fully recommend this. Make sure you carry on to the waterfall too if you're visiting from March to October (the waterfall typically dries up after Oct).


One of the best experiences we had in Italy was hiking unto Castello di Vezio from Varenna. It is a steep climb, but well worth the castle and views. There is a raptor conservation, which has shows on several days, but not the day we toured. A must see on a Lake Como trip.


The hike to the castle can be done one of two ways. We chose to take the path that began at the Hotel Eremo Gaudio. The path was easy to find, easy to follow and though not ultra challenging would not be recommended for those not in good shape. I loved the way the trail was perched above an olive grove and looped under an ancient stone bridge. Once at the castle itself the views are amazing. I was not aware there would be wooden sculptures on display on the castle grounds, an added bonus of beauty.


The view is well worth the 1 hour walk uphill.Do not miss outAnd do not forget your camera. Best landscape in the world


I agree with previous reviewers that Varenna was my favourite place to visit on the Lake. The boat trip provides stunning views and Varenna is so much more interesting than its more famous neighbour, Bellagio. We walked to the Castle taking the more difficult route which still only took us 20 minutes but the views over Lake Como were breathtaking. The Castle is interesting and a very detailed history and guide in English was provided and entry at €4 was very reasonable. There are some interesting sculptures as well. Well worth the climb for the views alone. Don't be put off by the climb either.


I thought I had already seen unbeatable views of Lake Como but nothing compared to the view from the castle grounds. Given the height and location, it offers a more panoramic view of the lake. The castle itself is disappointing and there were only two birds to see, so this visit is all about the view and well worth the four euros. Getting to the castle is tricky. I cannot advise the best way to do this since I got lost and ended up on the Sentiero del Viandante. (This trail included walking on the edge of windy roads up the mountain, various switchbacks, walking though an old village and finally the woods before leading to the town of Vezio). It was a challenging despite being in good shape. On my way down from the castle to the ferry terminal I saw there was a straightforward single cobblestone path, which I suppose is what I was supposed to take on the way up! I imagine that would have been significantly easier.


Varenna was, probably, my favourite of the villages we visited during a week long stay at Lago di Como in May 2013. We started our visit with a ferry ride from Bellagio. The approach is stunning, so make sure your camera is out and you're in a good position for the photographs you will not be able to stop yourself from taking (still trying decide which ones are the best more than a year later).From there, we stopped off for a light lunch at a little lake shore cafe - where we were joined by some friendly ducks, who were keen to share it with us - then climbed up through the narrow streets to the main town square, the Pizza San Giorgio, which is flanked by the picturesque Chiesa di San Giorgio.We walked past - but decided not to visit - the Villa Monastero, opting instead to climb up to the Castello di Vezio. And it's quite a climb.Before you reach the Castello, the Chiesa Di Saint Antonio Abate Di Vezio - a quaint stone church - is worth a visit.The Castello itself is an ancient, Roman fortress, now mostly a ruin. It is used to house a breeding and nursing centre for birds of prey and there are exhibitions most days. It also has exhibits of fossils of the Lariosauro - Lago di Como's very own monster. The day we visited, a wedding was being held - but we were still able to enter the grounds and explore the keep. And those views...There is a small cafe selling cold drinks - and we certainly needed a cold beer after the hike up to the hill.Don't miss Varenna - and the Castello - if you are visiting Lago di Como.


All very nice - only 4 euros entry - was too early for any falconry display so cant comment Not much actually there - but boy those views


Great fun hiking up the path to the castle overlooking Varenna. Beautiful views, quaint town, and interesting history. Be sure to look for the tunnels under the castle that were dug during WWI!


This is a historic castle with the added interest of housing a falconry. Getting to it is a challenge by foot as one needs to be fit enough to undertake a stiff climb. You are advised to take the path on the station side of the village as it is paved all the way up albeit with the local round stones. The alternative is to go by car to a point where there is only a short walk largely on the level. The reward is a wonderful view of the lake from the top of the keep.

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