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Lake Maggiore, Lakes


Five magnificent lakes occupy the so-called Italian Lake District in the north of Italy, at the foot of the Alps: Maggiore, Como, Iseo and Garda. While each has its own distinct flavor and atmosphere, the Italian Lakes are all equally beautiful and offer a range of activities and sights to entertain visitors: gardens, villas, historic buildings, lakefront towns, hiking trails, boat rides, and a stunning scenery surrounded by mountains.

The westernmost lake, Lake Maggiore is Italy’s second largest lake. Mediterranean vegetation grows in abundance thanks to the mild climate both in summer and winter, with many gardens displaying rare and exotic plants. The main town is Stresa; located along the shores of the lake, it features a pleasant lakeside promenade adorned with flowers along with spectacular views of the lake’s Borromean islands.

Just west of Lake Maggiore is Lake Orta, one of the least known Italian lakes, yet just as beautiful as the others. If you’re looking for tranquility, consider a stay on Lake Orta at the exclusive Hotel Villa Crespi. Located in a Moorish-style villa surrounded by lush gardens, it boasts a two-Michelin starred restaurant headed by award-winning chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo.

Perhaps the most famous of the five Italian lakes, Lake Como offers breathtaking scenery and a romantic atmosphere, highlighted by the number of elegant villas and superlative gardens. Lake Como is the Milanesi’s favorite lake as it is only an hour from Milan. The best way to enjoy the splendors of Como is from the water. Staying on Lake Como is a great opportunity to visit a much praised wine region of Italy: Franciacorta, where the wine of the same name is produced using the Champagne Method.

Little-known and away from the major tourist itineraries is Lake Iseo, framed by lush green mountains surrounding its crystal clear waters. The main town of Iseo is the perfect base for exploring the lake and its surroundings such as the Val Camonica, famous for its Stone Age rock carvings, to the north, and the rolling Franciacorta wine region to the south.

Lake Garda is Italy's largest lake and the easternmost of the Italian Lakes. Shared among the regions of Trentino, Lombardy and Veneto, Lake Garda offers a varied landscape, from rolling green hills to tall mountains, from lakeside beaches to vineyards, lemon trees and olive groves.

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