The lakes in northern Italy are great all year round destinations. Lake Como is the most scenic lake in Italy and is easily reached from Milan. Como is surrounded by high mountain peaks which fall directly to the lakeshore. In the northeast there is Lake Garda which is extremely pretty, the cleanest of the lakes and a haven for water sports windsurfing and sailing.
Of the other less visited lakes, Lake Maggiore is flatter than Como and the gardens here at Lago d'Iseo are unmissable.
Lake D'Orta is packed at Easter and in summer as the Italians flock to the deep blue waters of the lake known locally as Cinderella.
5 things not to miss
1 Lake Maggiore - Visit the Gardens of Isole Borromee
In the 17th century Count Borromeo created an island paradise. A villa
was designed and thousands of flowers, trees and shrubs were imported. The centrepiece
is the villa which as opulent a place as you could wish for.
2 Lake d'Orta - Isola San Giulio
The highlight of this lake is this tiny island-village dominated by
a seminary. There is a regular boat service to take you to the village founded
by Giulio in 390AD.
3 Lake Como - Bellagio
A town that has been called the "most beautiful town in Italy", obviously
has alot to offer and little Bellagio wont let you down. The hilly centre leads
down to a promenade lined with hotels and lime trees. Take in a tour of Villa
Serbelloni and its splendid gardens.
4 Sports in Garda
This is one of the centres for Italian water sports and each summer
is inundated with British and German tourists keen to do just that. In addition,
there is also the chance to take a walking holiday
5 Walk in the mountains
Whilst the view from the lake up to the mountains is good, from the
moutains looking down at the lake, the views are spectacular. You can follow
the well worn routes or you could take a cycling trip, some companies leave
you at the top and then you free-wheel to the bottom.