Emily Jablon: Daraius and I went to Europe in September to celebrate our 2nd anniversary for ~2 weeks. It was my first time in Italy so I was very excited! In Italy, we visited Varenna on Lake Como, Milan, Venice, and Rome.
Since we were in Europe, we visited a friend in Strasbourg, France and also spent a night in Zurich. We started our trip with a one day layover in Chicago to see friends!
Our Anniversary To Italy – Trip Report Index:
- Part 1 – Planning & Introduction
- Part 2 – Park Hyatt, Chicago
- Part 3 – One Day in Chicago
- Part 4 – Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
- Part 5 – Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge, London
- Part 6 – Under the Channel to Strasbourg
- Part 7 – Hotel Cathedrale, Strasbourg
- Part 8 – What did we do in Strasbourg
- Part 9 – Eating in Strasbourg
- Part 10 – Park Hyatt, Zurich
- Part 11 – 10 Hours in Zurich
- Part 12 – Hotel Eremo Gaudio in Varenna, Italy
- Part 13 – What to do in Varenna, Italy
- Part 14 – Eating in Varenna, Italy
- Part 15 – Park Hyatt, Milan
- Part 16 – What Did We Do in Milan
- Part 17 – Eating in Milan
- Part 18 – Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice
- Part 19 – Around the Hilton Molino Stucky & Free Shuttle Boat Details
- Part 20 – What we did in Venice
- Part 21 – Eating in Venice
- Part 22 – Waldorf-Astoria, Rome Cavalieri
- Part 23 – Eating in Rome, Part 1
- Part 24 – Emily’s Best Meal Was in Italy!
- Part 25 – Rome Cavalieri Imperial Floor
- Part 26 – Activities in Rome
- Part 27 – Activities in Rome – Where to Go, What to See, How to Save Time
- Part 28 – Virgin Atlantic Flight from Europe to US
- Part 29 – Conclusion & Blog Giveaway
This post will cover restaurants in Verrana, including:
We learned about many of these restaurants from The Rick Steves’ Italy guidebook. Note that the prices below include tax and gratuity (though you could round up the check with a few euro if the service was great).
1. Albergo Del Sole
In the morning, we had lunch at Albergo Del Sole which is located on the main plaza in Varenna.
The food was cheaper than in France, and most courses cost between 10 (~$14) to 15 euro (~$20).
We ordered meats and cheeses for our appetizer.
I ordered the pasta arribiata for my main course…
and Daraius had the seafood salad.
I had a cappuccino and Daraius had a Coke. We both loved our meals! It was one of the best we had in Varrena.
2. Nilus Bar
One evening, we walked through town and ate at the Nilus Bar, a lakeside restaurant.
They had a full Italian menu, and seemed to specialize in pizza. Most pizzas were about 7 euro (~$10).
We sat at a romantic table by the lake.
We ordered bruschetta as our appetizer….
I ordered a ham and cheese crepe…
and Daraius had a pizza with shrimp.
The highlight of the meal was my mint-flavored granita. It was so refreshing and sweet! The bruschetta was also very fresh and had the perfect blend of fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and basil.
Daraius never had a shrimp pizza before so he wanted to try it.
We wouldn’t return for the pizza and the crep. But we would go back for the view, bruschetta, & mint granita anytime!
3. Restaurante Il Cavatappi
The food was expensive at about 25 (~$34) to 36 euro (~$49) per main course.
We ordered vegetable foie gras (yes, really!) for our appetizer that was very flavorful and refreshing…
Daraius had shrimp…
and I had boiled chicken with vegetables in a cheese cream sauce.
We both had a glass of white wine from the region.
The food was overpriced and the portions were very small. However, the ingredients were very fresh and the carrots in my chicken dish tasted like they had just been plucked from the garden.
4. Hotel Eremo Gaudio Restaurant
Another evening, we went to the restaurant at our hotel for a quick bite, so we could continue to enjoy the views from the hotel.
They had a decent selection of moderately priced foods. Most main courses were 8 euro (~$11) to 10 euro (~$14).
The menu warned us that some entrees were actually frozen meals!
We ordered lasagna…
The food was not too memorable, but the view was fantastic.
5. Gelateria II Molo
For dessert, we went to a nearby gelateria, Gelateria II Molo. They have a sit-down restaurant, but also serve gelato to go! A small cup or cone was only 1.3 euro (~$1.8).
I had “fior di latte” which had a delicious milky flavor.
The gelato was very good – sweet, rich, and creamy!
Daraius and I really enjoyed ourselves in Varenna, which is less than an hour away from Milan. The food was mostly cheap and tasty, and you don’t need to splurge to have a great meal in Varenna.