The more well-organized people among us are already preparing for summer holidays, and even if a lot of us are beach lovers, going to the lake has been a growing trend for the past few years. Italy has beautiful coasts, but lakes are often overlooked, despite them being actually very attractive for tourists visiting the country. Do you feel like trying something new? We picked 5 of the most beautiful lakes in Italy, and we are going to tell you why you should go to each of them. So, are you ready for some lakeside sunbathing?
It might not be the biggest lake in the country — that title goes to Garda lake — but it is definitely the best known internationally, thanks to the beautiful landscapes lining it. Bellagio, Cernobbio and the entire Lecco province are the main points of attraction along the lake. And of course, let’s not forget about Como, one of the most elegant and fascinating towns in the region.
Why choose it. Villas, palaces, forests, gardens, and pastel-colored houses. Don’t miss your chance to see for yourself what was eulogized in Manzoni’s novels, and loved by Leonardo da Vinci.
You will have to go to the far North of Italy for this one, in the region of Trentino Alto Adige. Molveno Lake is an excellent example of local communities taking good care of a natural site, and protecting nature. You can enjoy mild temperatures in summer here, and expect magical snow landscapes in winter, with the beautiful backdrop of the Dolomite mountains.
Why choose it. Its crystal-clear waters and its white sand beaches will make you forget about the sea in an instant. The clear waters of the lake were rated “5 sails” by the Legambiente prize for the 5th time in a row… It’s a record!
Once more, we are in the North of the country, to tell you about Italy’s most picturesque lake. Iseo Lake is located between the cities of Brescia and Bergamo, and it is very popular in the summer months, with a lot of tourists counting the days until they can dive into these wonderful waters.
Why choose it. Have you ever seen the largest lake island in Europe? It is called Monte Isola and, together with the inlets of Loreto and San Paolo, is part of what makes this lake special. You will feel like you are in a fantasy TV show, and if you are a birdwatcher, make sure you visit the natural reserve of Torbiere del Sebino.
(Flickr Pom Angers)
Let’s move further down the peninsula to Umbria, in Central Italy, whose Trasimeno Lake is among the most popular attractions in the region. Its waters are constantly monitored and good for swimming, the biodiversity in the area is considerable, and you might run into foxes, porcupines, peacocks, pheasants and herons. There is a popular legend here, telling the story of a prince who was so in love with the lake that he chose to rest on the shore. Nymph Agilla saw him from the shore and beckoned him to come to the center of the lake, causing him to drown in the process. From then on, when the breeze blows over the lake during hot nights in August, people say it is nymph Agilla, lamenting the loss of her handsome prince.
Why choose it. For the past ten years, this lake has been part of the Living Lakes project, taking care of the environmental protection and maintenance of lakes. If you feel like breathing some clean, fresh air, this is the place for you!
Last but not least, let’s mention the largest Alpine lake that spreads over two nations, Italy and Switzerland. Its deep blue waters are very famous, and the Alps framing its landscape, with small houses on the mountain slopes, make this lake every bit as good as an ocean landscape. The towns of Verbania, Luino and Stresa are the ones with the most enchanting, fascinating shores.
Why choose it. It’s impossible to get bored on this lake, there are so much history, art and nature, as well as outdoor activities. Come here for hang-gliding, canoeing, windsurfing, hiking and playing golf — but the most popular activity here is actually sailing.
(Flickr Roger W)