Varenna is a quaint village lying on a promontory on the east coast of Lake Como, which has been called the "pearl of Lake Como". It has remained unspoiled by tourism and retains its medieval charm. Seen from the lake, Varenna looks like a colourful painting with its brightly painted houses and buildings, flowers along the lake edge, a castle tower above the tall pines on the verdant mountain behind, and the spire of the Chiesa di San Giorgio rising up above the roofs.
Venturing toward the piazza from the lakefront, Varenna has a truly medieval feel, with cobbled streets and steps in narrow alleyways, with shutters and flower pots on the balconies of homes, and small shops, restaurants, and bars along the lanes. Two old churches dominate the piazza centre, the Chiesa di San Giorgio, and the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista.