Imagine a place where sprawling forests intertwine with ancient castles on a shore, and just around the corner, a succession of historic villas rise in the distance.
A place where architectural gems coincide with pathways straight from a fairy tale, and bringing all of this together is a magnificent crystal-blue lake.
It sounds too good to be true, but this is just a small taste of Italy’s gorgeous lake regions! This guide will explore the best of Italy’s lakes. You’ll find some of these lakes included in Globus vacations.
Lake Como seems to have it all with gothic cathedrals, cobblestone streets, and even George Clooney. As one of the most famous lake destinations in Italy, Lake Como provides access to numerous historical towns and natural beauty.
Como is a large district full of rich cultural sights, whereas Laglio is a hillside village full of multi-million dollar properties owned by the likes of Clooney and the late Versace. The nearby Bellagio is a Renaissance-era district with wonderful cathedrals, public squares, and breathtaking palaces.
Lake Como itself is a vast and majestic natural wonder, and nature lovers will never run out of things to enjoy.
There are many hiking trails right along the water that offer amazing views and picturesque rest-points. Some hikes are as simple as a morning stroll, while other routes can be difficult for even the most hardened explorer. Tour guides can lead the way on mountain-to-mountain hikes with stops along historic villages, or one can simply enjoy walking along the shore for a peaceful event.
The expansive lake offers many unique destinations that can be reached by private boat, ferry, or even by walking if time and energy permits. With so much to experience, it’s worth researching the best of the area before arriving so that there’s time to see what’s important.
Lake Orta is one of the smallest lakes in Italy, but it has wonderful areas worth exploring and is close enough to Maggiore to warrant a visit. Omegna is a small commune with breathtaking canals and a colorful village aesthetic.
It’s the perfect place for a historic stroll, and it offers everything from small shops to family-owned restaurants and more!
As the second largest lake in Italy, Lake Maggiore remains one of the most visited and spectacular regions in the country today. The lake runs from Switzerland down to Italy’s Lombardo region, and it features an assortment of castles, fortified islands, and ancient fortresses carved right into the sharp cliff side edges. In short, it’s an area worth exploring!
Stresa is the main resort town, and it features an assortment of architecture from Italy’s greatest periods. Upscale villas line the shore, and walking paths provide access to the best cultural sights and lake views. Varese is a hillside city with fantastic museums, and it’s home of the Sacromonte di Varese which is a cluster of baroque and neoclassical architecture on the top of a mountain. It’s best reached by foot on the cobblestone streets, and it provides one of the greatest views of the lake around!
Visitors can also explore the lavish Borromean Islands for impeccable views and stunning architecture. Cannobio, which is right near the Swiss border, is a colorful port town that has history dating back to the Roman Empire. Verbania, Baveno, and Arona are other towns worth visiting due to their lush botanical gardens, quiet and winding streets, plus classical architecture that dates back centuries!
One of the least visited lakes in Italy, Lake Iseo is still worth exploring for its enchanting beauty and colorful towns. It may not be as bustling or famous as the other lakes, but it provides a calmer and more intimate experience which is perfect for a relaxing or romantic vacation.
Located in Northern Italy, Lake Garda is the largest lake in the country and has a wealth of culture plus awe-inspiring nature. Ride a ferry to Castle Sirmione which nestles beautifully on the shore, or dine along the colorful restaurants on the shore of Riva del Garda. Numerous hikes stretch along the vast coastline, and there is no shortage of 5-star hotels or camping spots along with everything in-between!
Wherever one chooses to go, Italy’s lake regions are among the best in the world, and everyone will find something they love among the vast open nature, vibrant cultures, and historic architecture. Discover the lakes of Italy to experience their everlasting magic today!