Staying in Varenna for about a week (Aug 26-Sept 4) at the Royal Vic. We like to have very long dinners.
1. Any recomomendations for the general area?
2. I see the Isola Com. is not to miss - > lunch or dinner?
3. What about the Vecchia Varrena?
We've only been to Isola Comacina for lunch so I can't comment on dinner but it seems to me that the place is quite pretty and even provides some nice hiking such that lunch may be the more appropriate meal. We never made it to the fire ceremony (having been summoned by the local parking authorities to move our car back on the mainland) that follows the meal. That would probably be better at night. On balance, it may be a toss up.
We liked Vecchia Varenna quite a bit. Try the Pizzocheri (pronounced peez ahk ery not pizzo cherry as I erroneously did) a cabbage/swiss chard, local cheese and buckwheat pasta concoction that is heavenly.
The Hotel du Lac has fairly pleasant dining especially if it's a nice day so that you can sit in the courtyard with the vines overhead and the lovely view of the lake.
We enjoyed dining at the GH Victoria in Menaggio, also at the Hotel Florence in Bellagio. I'm presuming that dinner at the Serbelloni in Bellagio would be pleasant and quite a production. Enjoy.