Top Ten Things to Do
1| Lake Garda
The largest of the famous five, Lake Garda is the perfect place to start your journey. Not only is it the largest lake in Italy, but it also covers three of its beautiful provinces (Brescia, Verona and Trentino), giving you plenty of ground to explore. With the intense blue hues of its water and beautiful transparency, Lake Garda is the perfect holiday destination for swimmers and bathers. Conveniently located between the two iconic cities of Venice and Milan, it’s also a perfect base for shopping daytrips.
2| Daytrip to Venice
From Lake Garda, you can drive to the beautiful city of Venice in less than 2 hours. Although there is much to see in Venice (and we are certainly not saying that a daytrip can do the city justice), you can tick off some of the major sights. Head to St. Mark’s Square which is bustling with charm in the day and dazzling at night, go and see the famous Rialto Bridge, hop on the Vaparetto water bus to the islands of Lido and Murano, and soak up some of the stunning architecture such as the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo or the Biblioteca Marciana.
3| Lake Como
Overlooked by snow-topped Gringa Mountains and the quaint commune of Bellagio, this striking ‘Y’ shaped lake offers a peaceful and tranquil retreat for holidaymakers. Take a ferry trip around the lake and stop off at the towns Bellagio, Verenna, Menaggio and Cadenabbia. Bellagio is the most popular destination and here you will find some fantastic hotels, shops and restaurants.
4| Lake Maggiore
Stresa is a charming town which sits on the shores of the wonderful Lake Maggiore – and this makes a great base for exploring the vast blue lake. Shared also with neighbouring Switzerland, Lake Maggiore is Italy’s second largest lake; over 64 kilometres long and up to 5 kilometres wide. To catch the best sunsets, head to Stresa’s Hotel La Palma Rooftop Bar where you can relax with a Prosecco and enjoy a panoramic view.
5| Explore Orta San Giulio
If the big five aren’t enough, take to Orta San Giulio, a small commune and promontory by the shores of Orta Lake. This small but pretty body of water is lit up by the night lights of Orta San Giulio, and the town is charmingly built on slopes. The lake and the town are both relatively untouched by tourist footfall so you are guaranteed some peace and some spectacular sights.
6| Lake Lugano
Situated on the border with Switzerland, many travellers are tempted by a few nights over in Switzerland’s Canton of Ticino. With much of the lake located in the Swiss region of Lugano (its namesake), a visit to this region will give you a fantastic fusion of two nations and two cultures.
7| Lake Iseo
As the less visited side to Italy’s Lake District, Lake Iseo is a picturesque retreat for those in search of a little paradise. Dotted with elevated balconies of charming hotels and restaurants, the Iseo shoreline is sure to give you a fantastic view high in the hills. Take the Taste Train Tour through Franciacorta and Valcamonica, walk the ‘Antique Roman Trail’ or take an island trip to Lido Belvedere for its beautiful beaches.
8| Spend a Day in Brescia
Close to Lake Garda and Iseo is the spectacular city of Brescia. Capital of the Province of Brescia, Brescia City is a bustling centre of history, culture and nightlife. Eating and drinking here is a true delight and as well as some of the most prestigious restaurants, the city also offers many food and drink events throughout the year. Visit the Santa Giulia Museum, stroll the Botanical Garden Andrew Heller, visit the Castello Di Padernello and the city’s cathedrals, or enjoy biking and trekking around the lakes.
9| Go Shopping in Milan
CFor the ultimate glam, step into the opulent and extravagant world of Milan. Nightlife here is a glitzy affair; a magnet for the rich and fashionable. And a Milan shopping experience is just as dazzling for those who love designer labels. Frequent the Golden Rectangle for the likes of Armani, Prada and Versace – and be sure to visit Quadrilatero della Moda for some people-watching and street-style spotting.
10| Go to the Teatro alla Scala
Giuseppe Piermarini’s grand theatre is one of Milan’s biggest features and has also be named “the most famous theatre in the world”. Neo-classical and so very typically Milanese, any visitor to Milan should not miss this truly ornate attraction.