Lakes Garda, Como & Maggiore – Italy

21st Aug 2017

The Italian Lakes

The glorious lakes of the north of Italy are surrounded by picturesque ornamental gardens, ancient villas steeped in history and breathtaking backdrops of majestic snow-capped mountains. From bustling Lake Garda to splendid Lake Maggiore and scenic Lake Como, this region offers a range of experiences and stunning scenery.

Lake Como

The jewel in the crown of Italy’s lakes is a haven of tranquility, superb cuisine and majestic snow-capped mountains. This magnificent lake is some 30 miles long, with depths of over 400 meters making it Europe’s deepest.

Shaped like an upside-down letter Y the lakes shoreline is scattered with villages and palatial villas. One of the main attractions of Lake Como is the town of Bellagio, it is here that the Lake divides into three branches and the views are not to be missed. The town of Lecco is also a must see as it sits where the southern shore meets the lesser-explored eastern shore.
Many visitors to the Lake are attracted by the famous gardens and there are certainly plenty to choose from. At Varenna, you’ll find the Villa Monastero home to one of the most beautiful gardens found at Lake Como. At Tremezzo, explore the Villa Carlotta which has over 70,000 sqm’s of gardens showcasing rare species of flowers and plants from around the world. At Lenno you will find the Villa del Balbianello which is one of the most famous Villas on the Lake. The outdoor scenes of the movie Casino Royale were filmed in front of this Villa and it can also be seen in Star Wars, “Attack of the Clones” & “A Month by the Lake” making the photos of this lake probably the most published of all the lakes.

Lake Como is mild all year round. With short winters which can be cold, but snow is seldom seen, except on the surrounding Swiss and Italian mountains making for a spectacular winter. Spring comes around quickly but Summer really does linger longer. View Lake Como Tour

Lake Garda

The beautiful lakeside towns around Lake Garda have charmed foreign visitors for centuries and it’s easy to see why, the large lake is long and slim with contrasting views on each side. The southern lakeshore has a low and rolling countryside with towns and villages nestled amongst the hills and verdant landscapes, whilst the northern side has dramatic fjord-like views, thanks to the surrounding mountains and cliffs. The Eastern edge is dominated by the peak of Monte Baldo standing at over 2000m.

With its enviable climate all year round the Lake is made even more attractive with it’s lush vegetation and Mediterranean trees of, Cypress, Cedar, Olive and Palm. For the more active there are plenty of activities to take part in on the Lake itself. Torbole, Riva and Limone are popular for windsurfing and sailing. Hiking, trekking, horse-back riding and fishing are also popular with both locals and visitors.

The food in this area is prepared slightly differently in each town with each place having it’s own variation of ways of preparing each dish but one thing that they all have in common is that they all use the same locally grown ingredients which are prepared with very little fuss. Fresh sun-dried Lake Garda Fish is one of the most popular dishes, and of course pizza and pasta are a must. View Lake Garda Tour

Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore can be described as many things with it’s majestic mountains, water, and villages but perhaps the best description was given by Hilaire Belloc who thought that visiting the lake was such “an enchanted experience” that he suspected sorcery.
Even though the northern most point of the lake is in Swiss territory the majority of the lake falls well inside Italy.

The Lake offers a wealth of amazing lakeside villages which can be appreciated in the most relaxing of ways on-board boat trips around the islands found on the lake.
Water skiing, windsurfing and sailing are all very popular activities to take part in on the lake for the more adventurous. For those who like a slower pace you can fish or enjoy the nearby golf courses.

The weather here is generally mild and thanks to the Mediterranean-like climate tropical and sub-tropical plants grow year-round. The water plays a large role in dictating the weather, during the winter it helps to maintain a higher temperature whilst in summer the temperatures are cooled down by the breezes that blow on the water but with an average summer temperature of 22c (72f) it is perfect weather for sightseeing . In winter snowfall is erratic and primarily affects the mountains. Rainfall is heaviest in May and lowest during the winter. View Lake Maggiore Tour

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