Italy has beautiful, romantic lakes that make good vacation destinations. Use this guide to Italian lakes to choose your favorite lake, or lago, in Italy.
Lake Como is Italy's most popular lake and a top romantic destination. With fairly temperate weather, Lake Como can be visited any time of year. The lake is surrounded by beautiful villas and resort villages as well as hiking paths and it's popular for boat trips, water activities, and photography. Lake Como is in the northern Italian Lakes District between Milan and Switzerland.
Lake Garda is Italy's largest and most visited lake and is popular with families. Picturesque villages, medieval castles, and lakeside promenades dot the shoreline. The lake has a diverse landscape with beaches along the southern shores and rocky cliffs above the northern shoreline. Its clear water makes it a good place for swimming, sailing, and wind-surfing. Near the lake you can visit Gardaland and other amusement and recreational parks making it a good place to take kids. Lake Garda is in northeastern Italy between Venice and Milan.
Lake Maggiore is another large and popular lake in northern Italy, north of Milan and west of Lake Como. The northern part of Lake Maggiore extends into Switzerland. The lake was formed by a glacier and is surrounded by hills in the south and mountains in the north, giving it a farily mild climate all year. Three picturesque islands in the center of the lake are popular with visitors.
Lake Bolsena, Italy's fifth largest lake, is in the Northern Lazio region between Rome and Tuscany. The lake lies in the crater of an extinct volcano. Bolsena, the main town on the lake, has a medieval center with a fortress at the top. You'll see photos of the town of Bolsena and the lake by clicking the link above.
Lake Massaciuccoli is one of Italy's small, peaceful lakes. On one side of the lake there's a wildlife preserve and on the other, close to the sea, is the small town of Torre del Lago Puccini and the villa on the lake where Puccini lived and wrote many of his operas. Puccini's villa is now a museum and there's a summer opera festival in the outdoor theater overlooking the lake. Lake Massaciuccoli, near the Tuscany coast, is a good place for a relaxing vacation.
Lake Trasimeno is in central Italy in the Umbria region near Tuscany, just about at the center point of mainland Italy. Trasimeno is Italy's largest non-Alpine lake and is fairly shallow. The lake was the site of a famous battle between Hannibal and Rome. There are several interesting, historical towns around the lake and the large island, Isola Maggiore, famous for its lace-making is a good place to visit. One of the prettiest towns is Castiglione del Lago with a medieval center and castle by the lake. There are beaches around the lake.
The small lake of Orta is west of Lake Maggiore in the northern Italian lakes district. In the past Lake Orta was a popular retreat for poets and artists. From the charming village of Orta San Giulio you can visit the one island in the lake or climb Sacro Monte, or the sacred mountain, where there's a sanctuary built in 1591 and small chapels dedicated to Saint Francis.