There's no better way to start a year than travelling somewhere. I bet Ara agrees with me. Last January she traveled to Italy.
Varenna is an attractive village on the eastern shore of Lake Como, looking over the central part of the lake towards Bellagio. Varenna's picturesque lanes and old fishermen's houses are unpretentiously appealing, and some visitors prefer the town to its grander neighbours. Although Varenna is a tourist destination, and its pretty waterfront and tiny stone beach fill up with holidaymakers, it has somehow a more authentic air than the other hotel-packed resorts. The main tourist activities in Varenna are relaxing by the lake, and visiting the gardens of two villas, Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi.
Varenna is a useful gateway to Lake Como, as it lies on a railway line with direct trains to Milan, and is connected to the other lake resorts by regular car and passenger ferries. - in: http://www.italyheaven.co.uk/lombardy/varenna.html