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Italian Holiday Homes, Villas and Self-catering Apartments in Italy

  • Apartments in Italian Lakes

    View properties in Italian Lakes

    Made up of the most beautiful lakes in Italy, the northern lakes of Garda, Como, Maggiore and Orta all offer a very varied landscape and regions. 

    Lake Garda

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    Lake Garda (Italian: Lago di Garda or Benaco) is the largest lake in Italy. It is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan. The lake and its shoreline are divided among the provinces of Verona (to the southeast), Brescia (southwest), and Trento (north).

    The northern part of the lake is narrower, surrounded by mountains, the majority of which belong to the Gruppo del Baldo. Here you can visit the towns of Riva del Garda and Torbole both very popular among those who love sailing and windsurfing, Arco and Malcesine, town the latter where you can find the Funivia del Monte Baldo, a cableway that connects the town to the Monte Baldo, with cabins on the second section that rotates on itself to give passengers a 360° spectacular view of the lake and its surroundings.

    Thanks to Lake Garda's temperate climate vines and olive trees dominate the landscape of the eastern shore of the lake, called Riviera degli Olivi (Olives Riviera), where excellent wine and oil are produced. Here famous wines like Bardolino, Valpolicella, Bianco di Custoza, Lugana, Soave are produced. On this side of the lake beautiful towns like Torri del Benaco, Garda, Bardolino and Lazise welcome you, for relaxing strolls on the lakes side, sunbathing on the small nice beaches or a bit of fun for the families in amusement parks like Gardaland, Caneva and Movieland.

    In the south Peschiera, Desenzano and Sirmione are the most peculiar villages. In this area you can find the liveliest nightlife of Lake Garda, with small bars on the beaches where to enjoy your aperitivo or a night out in one of the many clubs on the lakes side. In the picturesque peninsula of Sirmione the Scaliger castle dominate the scene and give the landscape a magic touch. Strolling in the quiet centre, among its little nice shops, you can reach the end of the peninsula with the Grotto of Catullus a three-story patrician villa from around 150AD (Catullus died in 54BC) and the Terme di Catullo, thermal baths that use the water which bubbles out of Lake Garda near the northern shoreline of the Sirmione peninsula: this is mineral-rich water at a temperature of 70°C that is used for health treatments in the two thermal baths and spas which exist on the peninsula.

    The western shore is called Riviera dei Limoni (Riviera of the lemons), due to the important presence of lemon trees cultivation, with beautiful villages like Limone, Tremosine, Tignale, Gargnano, Salò, San Felice del Benaco and Manerba, where with an easy climb on its tower, called "La Rocca" , you can enjoy one of the most amazing view on the lake.

    The lake has numerous small islands and five main ones, the largest being Isola del Garda where at the beginning of the 20th century a venetian neo-Gothic style villa has been built an imposing harmonious building, rich in surprising architectonic details. The Cavazza Family, who owns it, organizes tour to visit and discover the beauty of this island.

    Nearby to the south is Isola San Biagio, also known as the Isola dei Conigli ("Island of the Rabbits"). Both are offshore of San Felice del Benaco, on the west side. The three other main islands are Isola dell'Olivo, Isola di Sogno, and Isola di Trimelone, all further north near the east side.

    Verona and Venice are within easy reach for a beautiful day out: they are both well connected to the villages on the lake both by motorway and by public means of transport as trains and buses.

    Lake Garda is the place to go if you are looking for a relaxing holiday, for those who love relaxing on the beaches, sightseeing or also walking in the mountains and the surrounding hills. A holiday that can meet everybody's needs!

    Nearest airports: Milan Bergamo, Verona (Catullo airport), Milan Malpensa.

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    Lake Como

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    Lake Como is one of the three most famous lakes in Italy and has been popular with International visitors for centuries. Renaissance villas, castles and beautiful gardens are a reminder of the times when Como was a playground of the European elite. Its legacy continues today with Milanese fashion designers, footballers and Hollywood film stars all gracing its shores but you certainly don't have to be a celebrity to take part and a holiday in Como need not break the bank. In comparison to its famous sister Garda, Como is a more tranquil and wooded lake with beautiful surrounding countryside. Just one hour from bustling Milan, the lake offers a calm and magical combination of Mediterranean shrubbery and mountain peaks. It is 50km long and very deep. Good food, a relaxed lifestyle, warm summers and autumns make it a perfect destination for holidays.

    The Resorts

    The town of Como itself is very pretty and has an old walled section with an impressive cathedral and many Gothic and Renaissance buildings. Menaggio on the west of the lake offers some lovely beaches and Bellagio in the south is most definitely the prettiest town on the lake with cobbled streets, pretty piazza's and lovely views. Other interesting towns include Limonta, Tremezzo and Lezzeno.

    What to do

    In addition to visiting the various pretty towns around the lake (Como has a twice weekly market which is worth a visit), there are a wealth of activities on offer from golf to tennis, boating and fishing. The lake also offers easy access to the many beautiful cities in northern Italy, such as Milan, Bergamo, and Turin, where there is no shortage of culture, history and designer shops! The increasing numbers of designer outlets are just a short distance away.

    How to get there

    This area benefits from being within easy reach of three airports; Bergamo, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate, which have flights from regional airports throughout the UK.

    Where to stay

    There is a large range of property available around the lake, many with breath-taking views, from wonderful period villas to brand new apartments and smaller properties in the hills. Parts of the lake are extremely expensive and on a par with Tuscany but there are many options that will meet the budgetary requirements of those Where to stay Holiday Homes in Italy offers a wide range of self-catering accommodation on Lake Como, click here to view our collection of properties.

    Food

    Como has a great selection of restaurants, some are situated lakeside, where you can dine with fantastic views, and others are hidden away in pretty back streets. As you would expect, some restaurants can be pricey but there are many serving reasonably priced local dishes.

    Why Como?

    All in all, Lake Como is a great option for a holiday. It is more sophisticated than its sister lakes; it is painstakingly beautiful and offers both relaxation and a host of activities in addition to some excellent standards of accommodation......

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    Lake Maggiore

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    Lake Como and Garda may be the most popular lakes in terms of tourism but one must not overlook Lake Maggiore. It is the second largest lake and winds majestically between Lombardy and Piedmont.

    The lake itself has been popular with International visitors for centuries. Renaissance villas, castles and beautiful gardens are a reminder of the times when it was the playground of the European elite.

    Resorts

    There are a number of lovely resorts along the lake, such as Stresa, Verbania, Ghiffa and Baveno, which have breathtaking views and are surrounded by lush gardens and tree lined roads.

    Stresa is a lovely town with beautiful villas, gardens, cobbled streets and old squares. From the town you can take a cable car up to Monte Mottarone where at 4,000 ft you can enjoy views of the Alps. From the hillside villages of the lake, many properties benefit from jaw-dropping views over the lake and of the Borromeo Islands which are also magnificent.

    What to do

    There is a wealth of activities on offer on the lake from golf to tennis, boating and fishing. In the winter, the area offers excellent access to nearby ski slopes (Monte Mottarone). The lake also offers easy access to the many beautiful cities in northern Italy, such as Milan, Bergamo, and Turin, where there is no shortage of culture, history and designer shops! It is also the perfect destination from which to explore other areas such as Switzerland, Zermatt and neighbouring Lake Lugano.

    Where to stay

    In terms of accommodation, you are spoilt for choice. There is a large range of property available to rent around the lake from wonderful period villas to brand new apartments and smaller properties in the hills.

    Holiday Homes in Italy offers a wide range of self-catering accommodation on Lake Maggiore, click here to view our collection of properties.

    How to get there

    The destination benefits from being within easy reach of three airports: Bergamo, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate.

    Why Maggiore?

    Good food, a relaxed lifestyle, beautiful scenery and great weather make Maggiore the perfect destination for a holiday by the lake.

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    View accommodation in Lake Orta

    Lake Orta is a small romantic lake in the northern part of Italy (Piedmont) close to the Lake Maggiore. It is a minor star in the costellation of the subalpine lakes, but all the fascination and the history of the larger lakes seem to be concentrated in this short space. Lake Orta, just 12 miles (19km) long, is a truly magical place, with a special beauty and peace, and during your first visit, you are quite likely to fall in love with the area, whether for its natural beauty, the warmth of the people, or the beautiful clean water and air.  

    What to do

    The Lake Orta is known above all for the little town that gives the name to the lake, Orta. A must is the visit to the isle in front of Orta, San Giulio island, accessible by hired boat, where the views of Orta with Sacro Monte, or sacred mountain, rising up behind are spectacular in late afternoon. The climb up Sacro Monte from the village takes maybe an hour round trip. On top is a sanctuary built in 1591 with 20 small chapels dedicated to St. Francis, many containing 17th century terracotta statues revealing the high points of the saint's life. The other important resort city to visit in Lake Orta is the Omegna, although while beautiful, it is remarkably less impressive than the Orta San Giulio.

    Where to stay

    Accommodations at Lake Orta are stylish, and they tend to offer exceptional value as well. Many resorts offer an array of water sports and land-based active pursuits, including tennis, cycling, and more. Many are starting points for tours of the cultural sites and ancient ruins scattered around the lake and tucked away in the woods surrounding Lake Orta

    How to get there?

    Air
    If you come to Italy by air and you land to the Malpensa airport, that's about 80 km southeast of the lake. You can take the bus for Gallarate and then the train for Arona/Stresa/Verbania. In Verbania you can take the bus for Omegna

    Train
    Omegna is the only town directly linked to the railway: starting from Arona you have to join Borgomanero and then Omegna

    Car
    The A8/A26 highways from the south links Milano and Varese to the lake, the right exit is Gravellona Toce. However the suggestion is to use the public resources (train, bus and boat) to visit the lake due to the traffic and the parking desease.

    Why Lake Orta?

    For the holidaymaker, the beautiful scenery, amazing local villages, great beaches, superb walking, easy access to the Alps and other Italian Lakes, and wonderful and very reasonably priced local restaurants all make for a fantastic time at Lake Orta.

    View properties in Italian Lakes

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