Visit Castello di Vezio in Varenna… A visit to Varenna is highly recommended. A pearl on Lake Como! Admittedly, Varenna can be a bit busy during the summer months when the town receives waves of tourists to the rhythm of the ferries. What do you do when you are in danger of being swamped? Flee higher…
Vezio is located just above Varenna in the municipality of Perledo. The village is known for its ceramic shops, but especially for Castello di Vezio! The fortified castle with its typical square watchtower was built around the 11th century and offers a beautiful view over Lake Como and Varenna, which almost resembles a miniature town.
The walls and ramparts of Castello di Vezio once extended all the way around Vezio and Varenna. It formed an important settlement on Lake Como. Varenna had a strategic commercial and military location. Attacks could be anticipated from the observation tower higher up. Residents were able to find safety in the castle.
The exact history and background of Castello di Vezio remains somewhat unclear. Over the centuries, the castle was destroyed, rebuilt and expanded by various owners and residents during the Roman period, the Middle Ages and even the First World War.
You can only reach Castello di Vezio on foot. We go up to the right of the large parking lot in Varenna along the Via Roma in Varenna, just past Villa Monastero. After half an hour we reach the ruins of the castle, which are today owned by an association. A ticket costs four euros. The proceeds flow back to Castello di Vezio. Maintenance, restoration, organization of events and birdseed. Uhm? When we entered we indeed saw an eagle owl locked in a small cage…
Wooden works of art by a certain Luigi Gambato are exhibited here and there on the domain. On the walls of the castle are silhouettes of ghosts made of white plaster. We enjoy the view from the balcony. What a pity that there are some veils of mist draped over Lake Como today.
Via the stairs we enter the Mediterranean garden with olive trees. There are five birds of prey tied to a stick. Castello di Vezio houses a falconer who cares for and trains the birds of prey. Shows are performed for the public in the castle with the birds. The animals were all born in captivity. Could be of course, but it still looks a bit sad…
Hidden under the garden are old trenches dating from the First World War for defense against the Germans.
We climb the square lookout tower via a narrow wooden staircase. Fossils of the lariosaurus, found in northern Italy, hang on some walls. On top of the tower we look around 360°. beautiful! You indeed have a wide view here. Tourists come up, take a few photos and disappear through the trap door. It is also time for us to move on: we still have a nice walk ahead of us with the Sentiero del Viandante.
Hmmmm an opinion about Castello di Vezio? Plaster statues, wooden statues, owls, birds of prey, a falconer and a dinosaur on top. An incoherent whole, especially in terms of the tourist. An omelette with many ingredients, just like the history of Castello di Vezio.
Apart from that, you can come here for a fantastic view. And therefore worth visiting the castle when you are near Varenna.