Italy's Finest Lakes

How many lakes are in Italy’s lake district? Believe it or not, there is no official consensus about the overall number, still less the most famous or the finest.

The one thing that’s for sure is that you are certain to find your own particular favourite by spending a holiday on the shores of one of them – whether from a single base or, more excitingly, as part of one of our Italy multi centre holidays we have tailored here at Bellarome.

Taking the six main lakes that might make it to your list of the finest, let’s take a look at them – from west to east – and discover a little more about Orta, Maggiore, Lugano, Como, Iseo and Garda.


1. Lago d’Orta

This is one of the smallest of the lake district’s gems and frequently overlooked and overshadowed by the much larger and more popular Maggiore.

Although small, it retains its own peculiar charm and if you are looking to get away from it all, this lake in the Piedmont region of Italy might make it to your list of favourites.


2. Lago Maggiore


This is the second largest of the Italian lakes and stretches for some 65 km from Switzerland in the north down through the Piedmont and Lombardy regions of Italy.

It is one of the most frequently visited, not least for its Isola Bella, an especially romantic island in the lake, with its palazzi and gardens. The principal lakeside resort is Stresa, with its promenade, gardens and views out the lake’s islands. There is also a cable car that runs to the top of Mottarone, where you can take in the views of the Alps, the lakes of Lombardy and down into the Po Valley.


3. Lago di Lugano

Although Lake Lugano lies mostly in Switzerland, Italy can claim it as its own too because it strays over the border at both ends into the Lombardy region of Italy. Even the name is taken from that of the Swiss town on its shores and there is an “exclave” called the Campione d’Italia, which is entirely surrounded by Switzerland.


4. Lago di Como


Famously described as an “upside-down letter Y” in shape, Lake Como is perhaps the most beloved by Italians themselves. Its shores have certainly attracted its fair share of international celebrities – George Clooney to name but one.

It is within easy distance of the northern Italian city of Milan and has been a favourite resort since the days of the Roman Empire.


5. Lago d’Iseo

Another gem that is frequently – and thankfully you might say – overlooked is Lake Iseo. Its shores sit entirely within the Lombardy region, and what the lake lacks in size it makes up in peace and tranquillity away from the main tourist paths, making it an excellent choice if you want a relaxing vacation in nature.


6. Lago di Garda


This is the largest of the Italian lakes and probably the best known to foreign visitors. Its shores cross three of Italy’s northern regions – Lombardy, Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige.

The principal cities of both Venice and Milan are about the same distance away, making Lake Garda an especially wise choice for those looking to combine city and scenic majesty in the same multi centre holiday.


If you’re considering a holiday in the Italian lake district, perhaps alone or as part of a twin or multi centre holiday in Italy, please get in touch with your requirements and an expert member of our team will put together a tailor-made holiday quote just for you.

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