North Italian Lakes
Before the Versaces and Clooneys, many wealthy Romans, writers and poets had villas in the northern lakes of Italy. The Italian lakes are surrounded by striking scenery with snow-capped mountain peaks,
glistening blue-green lakes, lush forests and medieval villages.
Como is a jewel-like oasis of tranquility, with its sparkling waters set against a majestic mountain backdrop. Just half an hour from bustling Milan by rail or car and nestled on the shores of the fabled lake of the same name, the enchanting towns of Como, Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio, Tremezzo and Cernobbio lie snugly at the foot of the Italian Alps.
Lake Garda is located halfway between Milan and Venice and close to Shakespearean Verona, the largest lake in Italy, Garda is beautifully embedded between high mountains, olive groves and vineyards. Scattered around its shoreline are enchanting villages, ancient villas, castles and historic sites. Surrounded by three distinct regions, Lombardy, Trentino Alto – Adige and Veneto, its cultural diversity attracts a cosmopolitan crowd.
Lake Maggiore, Italy’s second largest lake, has its western shore in the region of Piedmont, its eastern shore in Lombardy and its north side borders Ticino in Switzerland. The picturesque, flower-filled Isole Borromeo (Borromean Islands) are the gems of the Lake – Isola Bella, Isola Superiore Pescatori (or tiny fisherman's island) and Isola Madre, magical landscapes with ancient palazzos, private villas and gardens, set in the middle of tranquil blue waters. The main lakeside town of Stresa is a favourite for European aristocracy and provides a base to explore the area.
When to visit
The ideal time to visit the Italian Lakes are Spring (April to June) and Autumn (September to October) with comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds. If you love flowers, the beautiful gardens that line the shores are at their best between April and June. During summer (July - August) is peak season and a popular holiday spot for locals as well.