Why You need to Luxuriate by These 5 Italian Lakes

by Christopher Atwood

Italy is home to some of Europe’s loveliest lakes. Lakes are sprinkled through the peninsula—from blue-green pools in the Alps to the lochs near Rome.  Lakes like Garda are synonymous with luxury. Others, like the enchanting Lake Orta, offer a retreat from the crowds. 
Whether as an overnight holiday or a day trip, lakes add a glimmering charm to most any Italian itinerary: 
Located near the lush wine country of the Piedmont region, Lake Orta is less crowded than its nearby sibling Lake Maggiore. Travelers can stay in the adorable town of Orta San Giulio.  The town juts out into the waters of the lake, offering easy access by boat to the San Giulio Island – home to an active nunnery and 12th-century basilica, adorned in frescoes. Ideal for travelers looking for a calm, get-away-from-it-all escape. 

Lake Orta, Italy

As Italy’s largest lake, Lago di Garda is the country’s most famous body of fresh water.  It is circled in charming villages, luxe resorts and historic mansions. Known worldwide for the glitterati who grace its shores, Lake Garda is also soaked in history. Visitors can boat to the Island del Garda or take in the sweeping views from the glacier-carved Rock of Manerba. Ideal for travelers seeking natural beauty paired with luxury accommodations.  

Lake Garda, Italy

Visitors to Lake Albano might spot the Pope here, as it is home to the papal summer residence. Tourists can even tour the Papal Palace’s Renaissance gardens with a guide.  A volcanic lake, Albano is located in the “Castelli Romani” area – a string of towns near Rome that are known for their castles. Ariccia, famed for its porchetta, is the ideal spot for an authentic Italian dinner.  Ideal as a day trip from Rome -- especially for travelers interested in Italian food and art history.

Lake Albano, Italy

Perhaps no lake in Italy is more postcard perfect than Lago di Resia — a turquoise pool near the borders with Austria and Switzerland. The lake is famous for the 14th-century bell tower which sticks up from the waters — the remnants of a church submerged in 1950. In the winter months, visitors can walk across the frozen lake to reach the water-rimmed tower.   Ideal for active travelers who will already be staying in the Alps.

Lago di Resia


In just a 2-hours’ drive from Venice, travelers can find themselves in the Italian Alps. Snow-capped peaks guard lush valleys here. Many alpine lakes were first dug by glaciers. As a result, their mineral-rich waters glisten green and blue and sapphire. High in the mountains near opulent Cortina d’Ampezzo, active travelers can hike to the Lago di Sorapis — an otherworldly blue framed by pines and snow-dusted rocks.  Ideal for active travelers who would enjoy a 5-6 hours hike.


Who’s ready for a swim in Italy’s fresh waters? Click below to download our sample LAKE COMO itinerary:View Your LAKE COMO Itinerary
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