When you think of Italy, images of the Colosseum, the leaning tower of Pisa, Venetian gondolas, pizza, and pasta may come to mind. But Italy has lots more to offer than that, including some of the world’s most beautiful lakes.
If you’re planning a trip to this Mediterranean country, be sure to visit some of them. Here is our selection of the 7 most beautiful lakes in Italy.
Located near the Rhaetian Alps in Italy’s Lombardy region, Lake Como may be the most famous lake in Italy. A favorite holiday destination of the Milanese, it attracts its fair share of celebrities too.
Water sports and boat rentals on Lake Como are very popular, but there’s plenty to do onshore as well.
Go hiking, explore the resort town of Bellagio, or head out to the only island on this lake, Isola Comacina, a paradise for wildlife.
At 1300 ft, Lake Como is one of the deepest lakes in Europe. A ferry service links the charming villages along the lake, and a guided bike or boat tour of the lake is a great way to see the area and decide which beautiful locations to visit in the Lake Como region.
Lake Iseo may be smaller than other lakes in the Lombardy region, but this lovely lake has just as much to offer. Hiking, biking, and boating are all popular here. But it is not as much of a tourist magnet as lakes Como and Garda, so if you prefer a quieter vacation you’ll love it here.
The island mountain, Monte Isola, can be seen here and is the largest populated island of its kind in Europe. Surrounded by vineyards and forests, the area surrounding Lake Iseo has some fantastic bicycle routes, and daily ferries across the waters allow you to get around and see all the sights.
Nestled between the Lombardy, Veneto, and Trentino regions in the north of Italy, Lake Garda offers you all you are looking for on your family trip to Italy. Sunbathing, camping, hiking, and stunning views. Visit the ruins of a Roman villa and fortified castle in the town of Sirmione on the south bank of the lake.
Only 30 kilometers from Verona and 140 kilometers from Venice, this area is an ideal destination for a day trip, on your Italian vacation itinerary. And if you’re traveling with your kids, be sure to visit the Gardaland theme park.
Lago di Garda as it is known here is the largest lake in Italy. Created by glacial action, surrounded by mountains, this beautiful lake is a popular vacation destination for both locals and tourists. Traveling between the towns on the lake is a fun experience with a trip on the ferry.
Lake Maggiore is the second-largest lake in Italy. Maggiore means “great lake” This 40-mile long body of water is shared by the Italian regions of the Piedmont and Lombardy regions of Italy, and Switzerland. Maggiore has it all - islands, villas, old castles, museums, and reserves surround this beautiful lake.
This lake at the foot of the Italian Alps has a Mediterranean climate and is even prettier when spring blossoms are in bloom on the hills surrounding it. For an awesome view of the lake, take the Mottarone cable car up the mountains.
Italian volcanic lakes such as this one, are also a significant area for aquatic plant diversity on a regional and global scale, with a wide range of ecosystems and habitat types.
It is the ideal lake for fishing, canoeing, windsurfing, scuba diving, and swimming. Or take a stroll through Bracciano village and visit the old castle. Lake Bracciano is an ideal destination for a great day trip when visiting the capital, Rome.
Lake Caldonazzo is the perfect destination for a day trip from Verona or Venice. The largest lake in Italy’s Trentino province, situated in the Valsugana valley, the warm waters of Lake Caldonazzo are perfect for swimming, sailing, rowing, windsurfing, and fishing.
The town of Caldonazzo with its cobbled streets and lively atmosphere boasts some great restaurants serving traditional Italian cuisine. Rent a bicycle and cycle around the lake to get to know the area.
Or continue down the Valsugana Valley on the dedicated cycling path. On the return journey, enjoy the views from a train with its dedicated bicycle wagon.
This lake used to be called the Lake of Saint Julius in honor of the patron saint. An island on the lake is still named San Giulio. Located in the Piedmont region, just over an hour from Milan, this beautiful lake and island are a must-see.
A short boat ride will take you to the island of San Giulio, home to a community of nuns. Walk the path called the “Way of Silence and Meditation” up to the 12th - century Basilica.
On the southern shore of this lake cradled by forests and mountains, the town of Orta San Giulio offers stunning views of the island. But for the best views of the lake, walk up the hill to Sacro Monte di Orta, a UNESCO world heritage site dedicated to the life of Saint Francis of Assisi.