We could not ask for a better place to stay in Varenna. Marco and his wife were amazing hosts. They exceeded our expectations to say the least. Marco picked us up at the train station in Varenna and took us to the house. The house was sparkling clean and the view amazing! After we got settled in, Marco and his wife took us to a nearby market to purchase food/wine for our stay. One morning, Marco's wife brought down homemade tiramisu. It was the best I have ever had! Our boys loved it! At the end of our stay, Marco took us back to the train station. Amazing! The only downside (and this may be a plus for some) is that the house is about a 25-30 min walk from downtown Varenna / Marina.....and some of the walk is on a narrow road with no sidewalks. And part of the greenway was closed off. It can be a bit scary with kids. Our kids are a bit older so it wasn't too big of an issue.... plus you can easily call for a cab...we usually had about a 10 min wait. The views and small beach were priceless.
The property and area are wonderful!
However, a car is mandatory. I wish that had been explained before we left the states so an international driver's license could be obtained. When we arrived late at approximately 6:00 p.m., the numbers for the taxi services were invalid. The area was isolated and not safe. It was only for the kindness of an Italian man walking his dog that we found a taxi. He called five taxi services before he found one that would take us to Dorio ten minutes from Milano. If we had gone to Dorio, I can't imagine what would have happened because it is more isolated and the train station is unmanned.
The area is beautiful and has a small town flavor. The one grocery store had limited items and was only opened until noon daily. There was one restaurant. The people we met everywhere were helpful and kind.
We had to walk everywhere and took the train to other towns. The train reliability was approximately 80%. Purchase your train tickets at a bar across from the grocery store in Dorio.
No mention of the above was noted in the feedback from others.
The posting in June regarding needing a car was not posted until we returned home. This would have been very helpful to see. So, I am including this information to help others.
We had weather reports that it was going to be colder than usual. In reality, there was a heat wave that exceeded temperature ranges and broke decades of records. The apartment has no air conditioning and there was no breeze during these times. There was one small fan in the apartment. It was sweltering hot and we were unable to sleep. Start saving your ice as soon as you arrive!
The apartment has beautiful views. But remember, it is a long way up the hill. We got our exercise while in Dorio! Be sure and have a car if you rent this place.
The WiFi was non-functional. We would think it was working but our international carrier would kick in with another daily charge. I'm not sure what needs to be done to boost the power. Often times, it would be so low that the signal would not show as a WiFi.
This is a beautiful place and many of our concerns were not directly related to the property. Notifying potential renters about the need for a car is basic and should be listed on the site. I recommend adding more fans / ac and boosting WiFi.
The property is lovely! Veronique was timely with her responses and was able to help us check in and reset the breakers when we arrived. Thank you!