My fiancé and I stayed for two nights in Casa Maddalena during our recent visit to Varenna. The only negative thing about our stay was that it was too short!
We loved the apartment. It was so conveniently located to everything and gave us loads of space compared to a hotel room. It was also very good value compared to a hotel. It was very clean and well equipped with everything you'd have in your own home - fridge, freezer, washing machine, washing line, coffee machine, kettle. Our favourite part of the apartment was the balcony where we would sit in the evening and watch people walking in the street below. It felt like a real Italian experience!
Marilena was very kind to collect us from and drop us back to the train station. She gave us great tips on restaurants close by, and even let us leave our luggage in the apartment when we arrived hours earlier than check in. We could not have asked for a better host!
Thanks again Marilena! From Louise and Andy.
My wife and I had an absolutely delightful time in the picturedsque town of Varenna, in no small part due to the wonderful apartment we were lucky enough to find, and to the apartment's extremely charming owner, Marilena. First of all, the apartment is ideally located, smack dab in the middle of town. It has everything you need, including a lovely kitchen. As nice as the living quarters are, it was the town we came to see, and Marilena couldn't have been more helpful. She picked us up at the train station when we arrived and gave us an guided tour. Her restaurant recommendations were spot on, and her general knowledge of Varenna added so much to our enjoyment of it - not to mention that Marilena was herself a delight, making us feel like family. At the end our all too brief stay, she was kind enough to give us a ride back to the station. We were very sorry to be leaving, but fully expect to return one day. When we do, we will surely again be staying at Casa Maddalena.
We stayed at Casa Maddalena for 3 weeks. The apartment is ideally located with views onto Varenna's piazza San Giorgio and to the San Giorgio church, and minutes away from the lake shore, restaurants and ferry dock. The apartment was spotlessly clean, tidy, light and spacious and equipped with everything you could possibly need for a comfortable stay. A good-sized bedroom with ensuite and plenty of storage, a large lounge room tastefully decorated in traditional Italian decor, and a fully equipped and modernised kitchen. Marilena (who lives in the same building) was an exceptional host - kind, caring and could not do enough for us to make sure we enjoyed our stay and had everything we needed. She met us at the train station and during our stay kindly took us (twice) to a larger village nearby to do some grocery shopping. Varenna has two small food shops - a butcher and a general food/fruit and vegetable store, and a pharmacy, located on the piazza. During our stay we took several ferry trips to other villages on the lake and found Varenna was easily the pick of them. The ferries were reliable and efficient and a great way to see the lake. This was our first visit to Varenna and part of a 10 week holiday in Europe. Our stay at Casa Maddelena was certainly a highlight. We will be back. Grazie Mille Marilena.
Varenna and Maddalena are two names that are inseparable. My wife and I spent two weeks in Maddalena's apartment which is right on the main piazza in Varenna. The apartment was perfect for two and it had everything we needed. Maddalena gave us the warmest greeting and then took us through everything we needed to know about the apartment. She was always available and a lot of fun to discuss any issue. Her information about Varenna was always spot on. We visited other towns around Lake Como, but none of them had the serenity or character of Varenna. While we did have a car, the additional train and ferry services made everything extremely easy. We loved our time on Lake Como and will treasure our time with Maddalena. I will always remember the fish seller's apartment, our lungalago walks and the piazza fight outside of our window.
My husband and I were very fortunate when we decided to rent Casa Maddalena for our first stay on Lake Como: two weeks in October, 2015. We loved the charming village of Varenna; the gorgeous lake and the towns lining it; the ease of traveling around the lake by ferry, or going elsewhere by bus or train; the food; the people; and Marilena. So we returned for five weeks in January, 2016, and we’ll be back for four weeks in April of 2017 and two more weeks in October! You know how you’re sometimes reluctant to return to a place that you really liked, for fear of being disappointed because your first experience of it was so wonderful, and you can’t imagine how a second visit could top that? Well, not to worry – if you are returning to Casa Maddalena and Marilena’s excellent care.
If you’ve read any of the other reviews, you know how comfortable, clean, and well-appointed the apartment is; that it’s in the perfect location; that it has everything you could possibly want/need to truly make it your “home away from home;” and that Marilena will do everything in her power to make your stay an unforgettable one.
But you need to understand how precious Marilena really is. This is not someone who will meet you, collect the rent, hand over the keys, and disappear – never to be seen or heard from again. Instead, she is like your own private tour guide; a restaurant critic; a personal consultant; a font of information about the village and its people; and most of all an intelligent, beautiful, delightful, and caring woman. Always unobtrusive, she will occasionally check in with you to be sure you are enjoying yourself, answer any questions that may come up, solve any problems that might arise, and simply work very hard to see that you’re happy.
Renting this apartment, instead of booking a hotel room, creates an entirely different travel experience; rather than feeling like a visitor, you have a real sense of living like a local, whether for a few days or several weeks. You have a lovely living room with comfortable seating, sat TV, internet, and many books for your reading pleasure – one of my favorite amenities! The bedroom has sufficient storage and hanging space for all of your clothes (there’s even a cupboard just for shoes!); the bed is sublimely comfortable and, if the weather is cold, blankets and a duvet will keep you toasty warm. The bathroom is well equipped with plenty of towels and a large cupboard for all of your toiletries. The full kitchen is well equipped with several different types of coffee makers, pots, pans, and enough dishware that I think you could probably serve a crowd of 50 with no problem! So you can definitely “eat in” if you wish; when you do go out to dine, if there are leftovers, you’ll have a refrigerator and stove to keep the food and enjoy it later. You’ll meet the local business owners as you shop for fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, bread, and wine. Or go next door for a delicious pizza and a carafe of wine at Albergo del Sole, now our traditional meal on the first night of our stay.
If you are trying to decide among several options, as we did in 2015, do yourself a favor and choose Casa Maddalena. You will not be disappointed, and I promise that you will return home with treasured memories that will last a lifetime.