Julia’s House Airbnb is an absolute dream vacation location. This is where you stay to live like a Lake Como local, not experience it like a tourist. The expansive view of the middle lake area of Lake Como, which you have a panoramic view of from each of the four floors, is worth booking alone. The adorable and well-equipped inside, plus the nicest hosts I’ve ever had, make it perfect.
And it’s so easy to relax here. I promised myself I would spend some time editing my novel (I finished the first draft right before we arrived) and the rest of the time learning how to chill. I read so many books during the two weeks we were here!
The ground floor consists of a patio with seating, and is where I spent the majority of my time. That area is covered, and we had a good amount of rain while we visited. Inside there is a sitting area, table, and kitchen.
The second floor has an office, a TV area, and a full bathroom. I used the downstairs table instead of the office, because the wifi was faster there, but the couch in the TV area was very comfortable.
The third floor has a bedroom, with a balcony and cute sitting area overlooking the lake, a full bathroom with washer, and a backyard. Yes, an actual backyard. Their beautiful flowers were in bloom while we were here and it was so lovely. While it doesn’t have a lake view, it has a mountain view, which is almost as nice. The birds also loved it, and I actually saw a common cuckoo, a bird I was hoping to see while in Europe! It sounds just like a cuckoo clock! The bed was extremely comfortable, which I was extra grateful for after the hard bed at our Rome Airbnb. The washer was easy to use and the drying rack was plenty big enough (side note: we’ve gotten pretty good at using drying racks now).
There was yet another bedroom and full terrace on the fourth floor. We didn’t use that room so I don’t know if it was as comfortable as the one we did use, but it was very charming. The terrace has a large table and views everywhere you look.
The hosts were by far the nicest hosts I’ve ever met. They were so kind and considerate and wanted to make sure we had everything we needed and were happy at all times. The went above and beyond every single day. Honestly, I would book a shack if they were in charge of it.
In addition to being four stories, it is also uphill from the parking area, and even farther uphill from the lake and the main road. That is the payoff for having such incredible views. We didn’t have a car but the walk to Varenna is about a mile and pretty easy to get to, since it’s downhill. The walk back was a bit harder, as you either have to climb dozens of steep stairs, or walk up a windy road. Most of the time, we would walk into Varenna and get a taxi back, which cost between €15-20, depending on the cab. If you have mobility issues, unfortunately almost all of Lake Como is like this and it will be difficult.
There was a landslide the first few days we were here, and it caused a closure of the road and railway out of Varenna and back toward Milan. Luckily, the ferry system was able to add ferries to take people to the next town past the landslide to get the train there. The ferries from Varenna also go to the rest of the lake.
One interesting side note about the area in general is that there are AEDs everywhere, including in the parking lot in front of the building. As a nurse (well, former I suppose) and Bills fan (Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during a game) it was so incredible to see. They can be found pretty much everywhere, and there is a website that shows a GPS map of where the closest one is. There are also basic instructions in Italian and English, with pictures, so anyone can use it in an emergency.
After 2o Airbnb stays I can honestly say this was the best experience of them all. We’ve been here two weeks and I’m still not ready to go. Honestly, if Julia would sell the place, I’d buy it right now and cancel the rest of our trip. But seriously, if you are visiting Lake Como this is absolutely the place to stay!