Want to visit Italy but fancy something a bit different? For an alternative to the Mediterranean coast or the usual tourist destinations of Rome and Venice, why not consider the Italian Lake District? Situated in the north of the country near the Alps, the area includes the six most beautiful and historic lakes in all ofItaly, as well as an impressive number of towns and villages by the water’s edge. Each different in character, the lakes offer travelers views, a range of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes.
Take Lake Como, for instance. A favorite for generations of international poets, artists and tourists, this romantic location boasts both scenery and in towns like Bellagio, delightful architecture, including world class gardens, cobbled alleyways and glorious promenades.
Lake Garda on the far east of the region, and which you can see with Saga Travel, is the largest of the Italian lakes and offers a surprisingly mild climate for the altitude — pretty citrus trees and olive groves are widespread here. Garda is easily the most popular of Italy’s lakes, particularly with families. In a relatively small area (it is just over 30 miles long), Lake Garda offers everything from historic and picturesque villages like Malcesine and Peschiera del Garda, to theme parks, beaches and water sports. It’s probably the area that has the best nightlife too, especially for the younger traveler.
As famous as these first two lakes are, there’s much to be said for some of the region’s lesser known locations.Lake Maggiore has an island called Isola Bella that you can reach by boat without any hassle. This pretty island lives up to its name with a spectacular Baroque palace and gardens. A little further west, just beforeLakeOrta, lies the Mottarone peak, accessible by foot, car or cable car. It is said to be the best viewpoint from which to see both theAlps and the lakes.
Whether you desire glorious scenery, fine architecture or a rich historic legacy, the Italian lakes offer the discerning traveler the experience of a lifetime. A quick tip: make full use of the many boats trips, ferries and excellent rail services to avoid time spent in your hire car in traffic jams!
Image by lostajy, used under Creative Commons license