Italian Lakes

Italy, Europe

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  • Italian Lakes View 1

    A sublime balance of still waters and soaring mountains

  • Italian Lakes View 2

    A sublime balance of still waters and soaring mountains

How to enjoy Italian Lakes

The combination of high mountains framing the still waters of Italy’s northern lakes creates a place of unique perfection

  • South of Lake Maggiore are the Borromeo Islands, chock full of surprises like Baroque palaces, exotic plants and free-roaming animals
  • Hop a boat to Eremo di Santa Catarina del Sasso, whose cliff-hugging Hermitage is a spiritual and architectural powerhouse

The Italian lakes region proves that Italy is more than art and architecture. This chic district wows with a network of lakefront towns that entices celeb globetrotters to put down roots (we’re looking at you, George Clooney).

There are lakes throughout Italy, but when people talk about “The Lakes,” they mean this northern slice of heaven encompassing four major lakes: Como, Garda, Lugano and Maggiore. Lake Como gets all the love from celebrities, but don’t skip gems like the smaller Lake Orta, whose fairytale island houses a monastery.

This breathtaking region may be Italian in geography, but it feels like a whole other world. The living is more orderly and more formal—but with the same Italian flair, of course. Tourists flock here from all over, but locally, it’s a convenient weekend escape for the (very) wealthy of Milan. A fun game for tourists is debating which ultra-rich family has built the largest waterfront villa.

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    When to visit Italian Lakes

    Winter is a cold, damp bummer. Spring and autumn are great times for a visit, as is summer, though you may have to cope with some big thunderstorms as the humid air hits the edges of the Alps.

Hotels we adore in Italian Lakes

Here are the hotels that we love in Italian Lakes. We've shared our insight about what makes each one special to help you select the perfect place to stay

  • Did you know

    Two of the major lakes wander into Switzerland, so while you’re sunbathing in the blistering summer sun, you may be gazing at snow-capped Swiss peaks.

  • Gourmet guide

    There’s some exquisite dining on offer around the lakes region. Try the one Michelin-starred Mistral in Bellagio or L’Osteria di via Solata in Bergamo.

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