From pristine Mediterranean beaches, rolling Tuscan hills, and snow-capped mountain peaks, Italy's landscape is quite diverse. The Lake District in Northern Italy is one of the country's most picturesque, but less traveled regions and is certainly worth a visit. Here are three lake towns you won't want to miss if you travel through Northern Italy:
The town of Bellagio sits at the heart of Lake Como, perhaps Italy's most well-known lake. The long, narrow arms of this lake form an inverted Y shape, and Bellagio sits at the peak of the triangular land mass between the two.
Often referred to as the "Pearl of Lake Como," many consider Bellagio to be the most beautiful town in Italy. Here you'll find a grand tree-lined promenade that is set against grand villas, luxury hotels, and a host of world-class restaurants and shops.
Also set on the shores of Lake Como, Varenna is located on the opposite side of the lake from Bellagio and is only about 10 minutes away by ferry. Despite its close vicinity, however, Varenna offers a much more relaxed atmosphere from posh Bellagio across the way.
Originally a fishing village dating back to the eleventh century, Varenna is considered a hidden jewel of Lake Como with its colorful buildings and peaceful, wisteria-lined boardwalk that features breathtaking views of the surrounding blue water and towering mountain peaks.
About two hours east of Lake Como is Lake Garda, the largest of the glacial lakes in the Italian Lake District. The town of Sirmione is one of the most popular sights on this lake and sits on the southernmost shore on a narrow peninsula.
Sirmione is packed with history with its iconic thirteenth-century castle, Rocca Scaligea, and the largest collection of Roman ruins in Northern Italy at Grotte di Catullo. Or, if a relaxing holiday is calling your name, the thermal baths of Sirmione is the perfect place to spend the day where the Romans once bathed, too.
If your Italian travels will be taking you toward the Northern borders, these three towns deserve a spot in your itinerary!