The next morning Mike was all bright eyed and bushy tailed and rearin' to go. We had planned to take a ferry around the lake which goes from Varenna to Menaggio to Bellagio and back to Varrena, but the waters were quite rough and after yesterday's train ride we decided against it.
There are several sights to discover in Varenna--the San Giorgio basilica consecrated in 1313; the church of San Giovanni Battista (1151); an ornithology (bird) museum; the Castello di Vezio; and a few other things. But we were churched and touristed out. We just wanted to relax and walk and talk.
The walk along the pier runs into a path that continues north along the water quite a way to a small farmers market. The lake is on one side of the path and a natural stone wall with flowers and greenery are on the other side.
There were white swans and all manner of boats in the water. It was really beautiful. The fishermen seemed happy, too. Must have had a good catch today.
Varenna is on a hill so many steep stairs to get from the lower path up to the main road. Little twists and turns and potted gardens.
We mosied here and there until we got hungry. We picked up sandwiches (caprese for me / ham and cheese for Mike) at the local deli. There was a roof top deck at our hotel and we ate there with our bottle of spumante from the inn keeper.
The day was sunny and we could see for miles--Bellagio to our left, across the blue-blue lake, the Alps nearly bare, the church steeples, just spectacular. We had a leisurely lunch because we were hypnotized by the view and had a hard time leaving.
After a nap and clean-up, it was time for dinner. The restaurant was located down a little hidden alley way, so I was glad I had scoped it out earlier. Its name was La Vista (again recommended by Chef John). But it was late and it had started to rain, so outdoor dining was not an option and we couldn't really see any "vista" out the wide windows facing the lake.
No problem, the food and wine (house red was 100% Sangiovese, one of my faves) were wonderful. Forgot my camera, so sorry, no photos. Mike had a very tasty birthday dinner, even though it was a day late.