Varenna is built upon a rock at the foot of a mountain which rises almost vertically above it, leaving the skeleton of a ruined ancient castle exposed to the sky. Its community dates back to the Roman age.
In this century Varenna has reached international recognition as tourist center and seat of congresses.
The parish church of San Giorgio is a basilica with nave and two aisles, which was consecrated in 1313. Its façade is enriched by a big fresco portraying Saint Christopher. The most precious work of art it contains is the colored stone Deposition from the Cross. The church was restored in 1957.
Villa Cipressi gives the possibility to visit, through a botanic pathway, century-old gardens with tiered terraces till the lake, containing plants of a rare beauty and worldwide botanic importance.
The gardens of Villa Monastero are an integral part of the atmosphere and charm of the place. It is a long promenade along the lake, with paths and terraces under the mountain as backdrop. Starting from this year it is also possible to visit the rooms of the Villa recognized as museum.