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A Guide to the Most Beautiful Towns and Cities in the Italian Lakes

19 April 2024

Laying in the northern stretches of Italy, the Italian Lakes region is a magnificent example of nature's beauty. With its stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and charming towns, this destination has long been a favourite for travellers seeking a mix of relaxation and cultural exploration.

But, with so many lovely towns and cities sprinkled in the region, which ones should you visit? From the majestic Lake Como to the picturesque Lake Garda, there's no shortage of enchanting towns and cities to explore. Here are some of the most beautiful destinations in the Italian Lakes region.

Lake Como - Bellagio

Lake Como, often described as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, is home to several charming towns. Bellagio stands out as the jewel in the crown of Lake Como. Known as the 'Pearl of the Lake,' you'll find elegant villas, lush gardens, and quaint cobblestone streets. Don't miss the stunning Villa Melzi and its peaceful lakeside gardens, take leisurely strolls along the promenade, and savour Italian cuisine at waterfront trattorias, all while enjoying panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Lake Garda - Sirmione

Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is known for the captivating town of Sirmione. This picturesque peninsula town, located at the southern tip of the lake, offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty. Sirmione's most famous attraction is the Scaliger Castle, a medieval fortress perched at the entrance to the town. Wander the charming streets of the old town, relax on the beaches, and rejuvenate in the town's thermal baths. Be sure to visit the Grotte di Catullo, the ancient Roman villa ruins that offer a glimpse into the region's rich history.

Lake Maggiore - Stresa

Lake Maggiore is a place of timeless elegance and Stresa is its quintessential embodiment. Surrounded by the beauty of the Borromean Islands, Stresa is a town that captivates with its grand hotels, pretty gardens, and Belle Époque charm. Take a boat tour to the Borromean Islands to explore the lavish palaces and vibrant gardens. For a touch of adventure, ride the Mottarone Cable Car for panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains or stroll along the lakefront promenade and enjoy some gelato as you watch the world go by.

Lake Orta - Orta San Giulio

Lake Orta, often overlooked in favour of its larger neighbours, is a hidden gem with the town of Orta San Giulio as its heart. This enchanting village is a delightful maze of cobbled streets and pastel-coloured buildings. The main attraction is Isola San Giulio, a small island in the middle of the lake, home to a beautiful basilica and peaceful cloister. Take a boat ride to the island and then explore the town's charming shops and restaurants, offering a true taste of Italian culture in a serene, idyllic setting.


The Italian Lakes region offers the best of both worlds - stunning natural beauty and charming towns and cities filled with history and culture. From the elegance of Lake Como to the grandeur of Stresa on Lake Maggiore, each of these towns and cities has a unique appeal. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway, an adventure-filled holiday, or a peaceful retreat, the Italian Lakes has something for every traveller.

Experience it for yourself, check out our Italian Lakes holidays.