Castle of Vezio in Varenna: timetables, prices and history

July 25, 2014

The Castle of Vezio is a Roman fortification dating back to the fifth century, among the most beautiful ones in the area of Lake Como. The old manor house, fenced and developed around a main tower with square merlons, stands in Val d'Esino on a bluff overlooking the village of Varenna, on the eastern side of the lake. Legend has it that the main tower has also hosted the renowned Theodolinda, Queen of the Lombards.

Today the Castle of Vezio is a well known tourist attraction and a lot of visitors come here, for three main reasons in particular: first of all, from the top of the highest tower you can enjoy a magnificent and unparalleled 360° view of the lake, which is particularly impressive on a clear day. Secondly, the castle houses a beautiful garden with olive trees, plants and flowers in lovely colors, especially during spring season. Last but not least, the castle hosts a health care and training center for birds of prey, which is open to the public and allows you to see up close the spectacular flights of barn owls, owls, buzzards, falcons and other specimens, as well as to know all the secrets of the ancient art of falconry.

You can also visit the castle’s basement, an outpost of the Cadorna defensive line, which was made ​​between 1899 and 1918 in order to contain a possible bid of German attack from the basin of Menaggio.

You can reach the Castle of Vezio by car or by train. In the first case you shall take the SS 36 from Milan to Lecco, take the first exit for Abbadia Lariana and continue on the lake road to Varenna. After crossing the country, you have to head to Esino Lario and then to Vezio/Castle of Vezio, until the end of the road. At that point, after leaving the car in the parking lot, you shall walk and follow the signs that lead to the entrance of the castle. During the short drive uphill you may stop to visit the church of Sant'Antonio Abate, with its tiny and characteristic cemetery. For those who travel by train, you shall take the Milan to Sondrio/Tirano railway line and get off at the Varenna/Esino Lario stop. Once you leave the train station, you shall follow the signs that lead to Vezio and then to the castle.

The Castle of Vezio is open every day from March to November, except in case of bad weather. Opening time is always at 10:00 am, while closing time is set from 05:00 pm to 08:00 pm depending on weekdays or holidays or the season as well (for example, it closes at 08:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays during both July and August). Guided tours for schools and groups can be arranged, while pets are not allowed. The price of the ticket is 4 € with discounts for children, seniors, groups and students. For more information: +39 348 8242504, or

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