Head to the north of Italy and you'll find stunning alpine lakes, the most famous of which is Lago di Como. But there are plenty of lesser-known bodies of water in the region that rival the beauty of Como—let this guide take you to the islands of Maggiore, the crystalline waters of Garda, and beyond.
Best of Lake Como
There are a handful of main towns around the lake where you can opt to be based, including Como, Varenna, and Bellagio. Each is uniquely charming and easily accessible using the lake’s ferry service (which doubles as a great way to admire the scenery). Como is on the southern end of the lake and makes a good base for a quick visit. City highlights include the Gothic 14th-century Cathedral of Como, sprawling Villa Olmo park, the Museo Didattico della Seta (Museum of Silk), which chronicles the region's historic silk industry, and the city’s waterfront promenade. Postcard-worthy Varenna and Bellagio are smaller and located further north on Lake Como where its two southern branches meet. Varenna is divided into a grid of streets lined with colorful houses that slope steeply down towards the lake. Similarly, Bellagio is renowned for its beautiful villas and scenic shoreline. No matter where you stay on the lake, be sure to stroll through both of these villages to see grand buildings and picture-perfect cobblestone lanes lined with cafes and shops.
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Explore three beautiful villages of Lake Como on a quick 5-day trip to Northern Italy. Learn about the history of Como during a guided tour of Villa Olmo and the Basilica of San Fedele. Take a scenic ferry ride to travel to the traditional village of Varenna. Learn about the significance of iconic villas including Villa Monastero in Varenna, then hop across to Bellagio by boat to visit the botanical gardens of Villa Serbelloni and the neoclassical Villa Melzi.
This 6-day trip will take you through the beautiful villages of Lake Como in Northern Italy. Learn about the history of Como's cathedral and the silk industry at Museo Didattico della Seta. Stay in the traditional village of Varenna and visit the iconic Villa Monastero. Travel across the lake by boat to wander the cobbled streets of Bellagio and round off the trip with free time to discover Villa Mylius Vigoni in Menaggio.
Spend 8 days exploring the villages of Lake Como, at the heart of the Lake District. Begin in the main town of Como with a guided tour of the 14th-century Cathedral of Como and Villa Olmo park. Travel by boat to Tremezzina and walk through charming villages along the Greenway of Lake Como. Discover the elegance and history of villas and botanical gardens in Varenna, Bellagio, and Menaggio.
Enjoy 7 days exploring romantic Lake Como in Italy's Lake District. Take a guided tour of Como, visit Villa Olmo park, and ride up to Brunate on the funicular railway for unrivaled views across the lake. Walk the Greenway of Lake Como, a 6-mile route along the lakeside, and stop at Villa Balbianello in Lenno. Hop across the lake by boat to wander the cobbled streets and botanical gardens in Varenna and Bellagio.
This 6-day trip will immerse you in the bustling local life of Milan and the beauty of one of the grandest lakes in Northern Italy, Lake Como. Visit the villages of Como and Bellagio and be charmed by grand villas, romantic sunsets, and scenic boat rides. In Milan, explore the history of art at the Gothic Cathedral and see Da Vinci's Renaissance masterpiece "The Last Supper", and enjoy apertivos in vibrant neighborhoods.
Explore Northern Italy's natural charm starting with Lake Como, where you'll take a boat tour of its extravagant shore lined with mansions. Ride the funicular to the scenic vista in Brunate where you'll catch a panoramic view of Como and the stunning surrounding nature. Transfer to colorful Cinque Terre, where you'll hike from one seaside village to another while enjoying breathtaking sunsets and views of the Ligurian Sea.
With this quick 5-day trip, discover Milan and the grandeur of Lake Como. Experience elegant villas, charming cobblestone lanes, and romantic gardens in Bellagio, explore the historic center of the town of Como, and take in the views from a funicular at sunset. Delve into centuries of Italian history at Milan's Duomo, admire Da Vinci's masterpiece "The Last Supper", and get a feel for local life in the capital of Italian culture.
During this 10-day trip, you'll experience the best of Milan and visit two of the most beautiful lakes in Northern Italy. Admire the mix of Gothic and Renaissance art and architecture in Milan, and taste local street food. On Lake Como, enjoy a guided tour of the traditional lakeside villages of Varenna and Bellagio, and take the scenic route by boat to the town of Como and visit its cathedral. On Lake Maggiore, discover the picturesque town of Stresa and the island of Isola Bella, and take a cable car ride for views out over the lake at sunset.
If spending eight days soaking in the sunshine and views of Italy's Lakes district sounds like a dream come true, this relaxed trip is for you. Explore the fashion & cultural capital of Milan, with time to go shopping and to enjoy the buzzing nightlife. Spend five days on the lake, enjoying leisurely afternoons by the water, trips to the spectacular Dolomite mountains, and touring Napoleon-era villas of Italy's rich and famous.
On this 8-day trip, you'll get to explore the cultural capital of Milan as well as two of the most beautiful lakes in Northern Italy. Discover Milan's Renaissance art and Gothic architecture with visits to the Duomo and Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" painting. Explore the villages of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore by boat. Visit the magnificent villas in Bellagio and learn how to make fresh pasta in Como. On Lake Maggiore, hop from the charming town of Stresa to Isola Bella, "the beautiful island". Ride a cable car and enjoy panoramic views over the lake at sunset.
Spend eleven days visiting the fashion and culture capital of Milan and relaxing on Italy's northern lakes. See world-famous art by da Vinci and shop for luxury items in the city, then head to the countryside for 8 days of sunshine. Explore sprawling summer villas and take a pasta-making class on Lake Como, then tour medieval castles and see Juliet's balcony in Verona near Lake Garda.
This 6-day tour is perfect for those wanting to relax on the peaceful shores of Lake Como while still tackling Italy's impressive history. You'll hike the villages of Cinque Terre and enjoy the ancient cities of Parma and Florence, where you'll discover endless monuments, art galleries, and museums, including the Accadmia Gallery to see the David. After reveling in the scenic vistas of Levanto on the Ligurian Sea, explore vibrant neighborhoods in Florence, where you'll eat late into the night in buzzy neighborhoods.
Spend six days savoring the luxury of northern Italy and Switzerland on this trip. Whether you're wandering lakeside streets, hiking up the mountain trails, or taking in the views from outside your train window, you're sure to find something to delight you.
This packed 9-day itinerary is the perfect blend of metropolitan culture and a relaxed lake vibe. Start in Milan, the fashion capital, to see world-famous art and medieval churches. Head to the countryside for a week of exploring lakeside villages and villas, swimming, and market shopping for picnic lunches. From wine tasting to paragliding, Italy's Lakes are waiting to be explored.
On this 9-day trip starting and ending in Milan, discover two of the most beautiful lakes in Northern Italy. Explore Lake Como by boat, and visit the elegant villas in the villages of Como and Bellagio. On Lake Maggiore, be charmed by the picturesque town of Stresa and the island of Isola Bella, and enjoy panoramic views over the lake with a cable car ride. While in Milan, hit all the highlights including the Duomo and Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" painting.
From sophisticated Milan to leisurely Bellagio, this 10-day itinerary of Northern Italy is the perfect getaway. See da Vinci's "The Last Supper" and take in the buzzing Milan nightlife, then visit Lakes Como and Garda for a spectacular week on the water. Rent a kayak, go for an afternoon stroll through a sprawling lakeside estate and garden, and take a day trip to the Dolomite Mountains with a visit to the charming Tyrolian village of Ortisei.
Explore Northern Italy's Lakes district on this weeklong getaway trip. Tour the Royal Palace, see art in the Castello Sforzesco, and enjoy the nightlife on Milan's Navigli canals. See da Vinci's The Last Supper, then head to Lake Como and Lake Garda to enjoy small lakeside villages, sprawling summer villas, and a day trip to the Dolomite Mountains.
Wander through a week of luxury with this seven-day itinerary. You'll take two panoramic train routes, cable cars, and boat rides across some of the best of what the region has to offer with ruins, mountain views, and culinary experiences along the way.
Thirteen is considered a lucky number in Italy, so take time off and explore Northern Italy for thirteen days. Take in the history and amazing street food in Milan, then head to beautiful Lake Como for a week of sunshine, sprawling lakeside gardens, and wine tasting. Continue to Lakes Maggiore and Garda for Sunday mornings at the market, Napoleon-era villas, and the stunning Dolomite Mountains.
Explore the best of Northern Italy on this 7-day trip to Milan and Lake Como. Discover Rennaissance art in Milan, learn how to cook your own homemade pasta, and mix a classic Italian aperitivo. Taste your way through Parma's famous food scene and relax on Lake Como as you visit magnificent villas and the villages of Bellagio and Varenna.
During this 7-day trip, you'll experience the best of Milan and explore two of the most amazing lakes in Northern Italy, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. Discover the picturesque villages of Bellagio and Como, and visit elegant villas, historic churches, and ride a funicular to mountaintop Brunate at sunset. On Lake Maggiore, stay in the charming town of Stresa, and enjoy a boat ride to Isola Bella, "the beautiful island". In Milan, delve into Italian culture, history, and art when visiting the Gothic Duomo and hip neighborhoods.
Spend two relaxing weeks enjoying art, culture, and food. Shop for treasures at the Quadrilatero della Moda district and join the locals at the Navigli canals for high-energy nightlife in Milan. Spend four days on peaceful Lake Como, touring sleepy fishing harbors and learning to make the perfect pasta dish. Visit serene lakeside estates on Lake Maggiore, then end on Lake Garda for award-winning wine tasting and Tyrolean charm.
Enjoy 11 days' worth of picture-perfect scenery on this itinerary. Whether you're posing in front of a lakeside villa, Roman castle, or mountain panorama, you'll be surrounded by sights that you want to save for repeat viewings.
Get away from the hustle and bustle on this 15-day Lakes District itinerary. See da Vinci's "The Last Supper" and catch a football game in Milan, then enjoy the city's buzzing nightlife. Tour resplendent summer villas on Lake Como, shop flea markets on Lake Maggiore, then end your trip on Lake Garda, where sunny beaches, charming Tyrolean villages, and the Valpolicella wine region await.
Enjoy eight days of indulgence through Italy and Switzerland on this itinerary. You'll go from the lakes into the mountains, then back down to lakes and back up to more mountains, taking in countless viewpoints and historic landmarks before you end with a day in the city of Zurich.
Explore the historical heritage of Italy combined with its natural splendor, starting with the scenic areas of Lake Como and Cinque Terre, where you'll cruise the shore by boat and hike from village to village. Stop in Parma to learn the secrets of world-famous prosciutto curing and discover the hidden side of Pisa beyond its leaning tower. End your trip in the ancient cities of Florence and Rome, where private tours will guide you to all the best monuments, museums, and art galleries, including the Accademia Gallery, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Roman Forum.
This twelve-day itinerary in Northern Italy is perfect for adventurous travelers with some time to spare. Start in Milan, the fashion and cultural capital, to see world-famous art and shop for luxury and designer items. Explore botanical gardens and family restaurants in Bellagio, then tour the Borromean Islands and browse the lakeside market in Lake Maggiore. End at Lake Garda for a Dolomite day excursion and wine tasting.
From a romantic gondola ride in Venice to exploring ancient ruins in Rome, this 12-day tour is the perfect harmony of history and nature. Aside from Venice and Rome, you'll also discover the ancient cities of Pisa, Florence, and Parma by sampling the region's famed prosciutto, visiting monuments and museums, eating traditional dishes in hip neighborhoods, and encountering some of Italy's most treasured art. Enjoy the country's natural charm with boat rides and scenic hikes in Lake Como, and walking from one colorful village to another in beautiful Cinque Terre.
Take the time to traverse northern Italy and Switzerland at a slower pace over the course of 12 days. Traveling by train means that you can truly take in the views and lifestyle of the lakes, mountains, and towns that you'll encounter on your route.
Take a five-day frolic through Italy and Switzerland with this itinerary. You'll split your time between lakes and mountains, often enjoying views of both simultaneously, as you take in waterfront historic sites, luxurious villas, and more.
Find the perfect balance of Italy's history and natural beauty on this tour, starting with boat rides and scenic vistas on Lake Como before heading to the scenic hills of Cinque Terre, where you'll hike from one colorful village to another. Transfer to Pisa and Florence, meandering the cobblestone streets in search of endless monuments, museums, and art galleries, including the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and The David. End your trip with a private tour of Vatican City and Ancient Rome, all while enjoying traditional dishes in Rome's hip and buzzy neighborhoods.
Go from lakes to mountains and back again with this nine-day itinerary. Wander the shores of Lake Garda, take a cable car up to the top of Monte Baldo, ride some of the most famous Swiss train routes, and more as you enjoy the views, history, and more along the way.
Your exploration of Italy's historical and natural charm starts in the streets of Venice and continues through the ancient cities of Parma, Pisa, Florence, and Rome, where you'll discover museums, art galleries, monuments, and more. Enjoy a sunset gondola ride, a private food tour, traditional dishes in hip neighborhoods, and a guided visit to Vatican City and the Roman Forum. Trade bustling city centers for outdoor experiences like boat tours and day hikes in Lake Como, as well as the unforgettable memory of traversing colorful villages in Cinque Terre.
Go from lakes to mountains and back again over the course of this 13-day journey. You'll start off in the Italian lake region before riding the classic Bernina Express train through the Alps across the border, where you can sample a range of Swiss favorites from hiking to chocolate. Return to Italy to lounge by Lake Como, then back to Switzerland once more for the valleys of Bernese Oberland before you depart.
On this 9-day trip, head from Venice to Milan with time to relax along two of Italy's top lakes. Venice's canal network, gondolas, and grand piazzas are iconic. Take a tour with a local guide and learn about the significance of St Mark's Square and Basilica. Explore Lake Garda and Lake Como by boat as you visit Bellagio's villas and Lake Garda's castles, and admire the views from Monte Baldo mountain. Immerse yourself in Milan's history and art as you spend a day walking through the city from Piazza del Duomo to the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where "The Last Supper" painting awaits you.
Combine the historical splendor of Italy with its natural charm in this 14-day tour, highlighting the ancient cities of Venice, Pisa, Florence, and Rome with sunset gondola rides, regional dishes in local neighborhoods, and guided walking tours, plus visits to many museums, art galleries, and monuments. Enjoy tasting wine in the picturesque hills of Tuscany, plus guided tours of Siena, Vatican City, and the Roman Forum. Swap lively city centers for outdoor experiences in Lake Como and Cinque Terre, like boat tours, day hikes, and traversing the seaside in search of colorful villages.
There's no need to choose between water or mountains on this two-week trip. You'll visit both the lakes and peaks of northern Italy and Switzerland, scouting out real estate that ranges from luxurious villas on the shores of Lake Como to Alpine hiking huts over the course of your trip.
Savor the slower-paced, scenic world of train travel with this 10-day trip plan. You'll ride panoramic train routes, cable cars, and boats as well as using your own two feet to traverse the mountains and lakes of northern Italy and Switzerland.
With this 10 day trip, you'll travel across Northern Italy, connecting its top cities and the Lakes region. Beginning in Venice, explore the grand Doge's Palace with a local guide on a walking tour and experience the city's charming canals. Relax on Lake Garda and visit the charming village of Malcesine. Explore the beautiful villas and botanical gardens around Lake Como and admire the views from the water as you travel by boat. Finally, discover the cities of Milan and Turin, steeped in history, with tours of palaces, castles, and cathedrals.
Spend two weeks exploring the historical and natural charm of Italy, focusing on the highlights of ancient cities like Venice, Pisa, Florence, and Rome, where you'll enjoy sunset gondola rides, guided tours, traditional meals in hip neighborhoods, and endless visits to museums, art galleries, and monuments. Travel in style with private, guided tours of the medieval city of Siena, the Chianti Wine Region, Vatican City, and the Roman Forum. Swap the bustle of city life for solitude in Lake Como and Cinque Terre, enjoying boat tours, day hikes, and traversing the seaside in search of colorful villages.
Enjoy the famously punctual trains of Italy and Switzerland on this 15-day itinerary that will take you through the beautiful Alpine lakes via a relaxed scenic route. In addition to the many lakes themselves, you'll experience historic castles, Alpine peaks and passes, and culinary creations on your journey.
Perfect for those looking to explore Northern Italy's range of historical and natural charm, this 11-day trip visits important sites in Venice, Pisa, Florence, and Rome, plus Lake Como and Cinque Terre. Enjoy your trip in style with private guides and transportations ensuring your discovery of museums, art galleries, and monuments, as well as the region's famous prosciutto. Satisfy your bucket list with a gondola ride at sunset, authentic meals in hip neighborhoods, a boat tour of Lake Como's famed mansions, and an incredible hike from one Cinque Terre village to another.
This 11-day trip will take you through some of the highlights of Northern Italy, from Veneto in the east to Piedmont in the west. Start your trip in Venice, with a guided walking tour of the major highlights beginning at St. Mark's Square. Then, head to Lake Garda and Lake Como, two of the most beautiful areas in Italy surrounded by picturesque villages and magnificent villas. Explore the lakes by boat and take a cable car ride to enjoy the sunset over Lake Garda. Explore Milan's Cathedral and see Da Vinci's "The Last Supper", then make your way to Turin to indulge in chocolate and street food at Porta Palazzo market.
Discover the best of Italy's northern regions, starting in the medieval city of Florence, with guided walking tours and wine tastings in Tuscany. Make your way through San Marino and the coastal cities of Riccione and Ravena before heading into Emilia-Romagna for a culinary exploration through Bologna and Parma. Take a cooking class and learn how to identify wine with a sommelier, then enjoy exploring the extravagant shores of Lake Como and the fashion-focused streets of Milan.
Take a 12-day trip across Northern Italy and the Lakes region with this itinerary. Start your trip in Venice with a guided walking tour of Piazza San Marco and the canals of the 'Floating City'. Visit two Italian lakes rich in natural beauty, Lake Garda and Lake Como, and enjoy a cable car ride to the top of Monte Baldo for panoramic views and walking trails. Take a day trip to the romantic city of Verona, and tour elegant villas in the villages of Varenna and Bellagio. Explore history and art at Milan's Cathedral and eat your way through Turin's street food scene.
An excellent combination of nature and history, this tour starts on the shores of picturesque Lake Como before heading to the colorful hills of Cinque Terre. Enjoy relaxing on the waterfront and hiking from one colorful village to another. End the tour in the ancient cities of Florence and Rome, where private guides will take you through the historical streets to the best art galleries, museums, and monuments, including the Vatican Museums, the Roman Forum, and the Accademia Gallery to see the David.
Combing nature, history, and culture, this Italian tour takes you through the ancient cities of Venice, Pisa, Florence, and Rome, plus Lake Como and Cinque Terre, all with luxury private transfers and guides. Enjoy meandering through museums, art galleries, and monuments, as well as trying the regions famous prosciutto, riding a gondola at sunset, and discovering hip neighborhoods. Relax on the shores of Lake Como before settling in Cinque Terre, where you'll hike from one village to another.
Explore Northern Italy's cities and landscapes in this packed 5-day trip. Start in Milan, the fashion, culture, and business capital of Italy, to see the 16th-century Royal Palace-turned-art-museum and enjoy buzzing nightlife at the Navigli canals. Continue to Lake Como to enjoy a day on the lake and a trip on the funicular to see views of the snow-capped Alps. End in Bologna and Turin to explore medieval churches, the National Cinema Museum, and endless cafes and aperitivo bars.
Balance your travels between the city and countryside with this week-long itinerary. In between the art and history found on the busy streets of Milan and Florence, you'll also visit the peaceful villas of Lake Como, seaside towns of Cinque Terre, and vineyards of Chianti.
Follow the highlights of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region for more than two weeks with this itinerary. The region encapsulates the Italian experience, spanning from the peaks of the Alps through vineyards and down to seaside towns to give you a full panorama of culture, nature, and cuisine.
One of Italy's biggest attractions has always been its food, and you can sample plenty of it over the course of these two weeks. You'll relax by the seaside, walk through former Roman cities, and hike over mountains as you make your way to various tasting and art experiences to satisfy all of your sense.
The Friuli Venezia Giulia region and its neighbors are a work of art in themselves, but you can explore some of its smaller properties as well on this 13-day trip. Study the art of mosaic-making, visit Roman ruins at Aquileia, and hike the mountain scenery of the Carso Ridge before you leave the region for its neighbors. Then seek out Da Vinci's works in Milan and handmade traditions in Venice before you return home.
Explore the best of Northern Italy on this 6-day trip to Milan and Lake Como. Start your trip in Milan to learn about Rennaissance art and history, and discover the secrets of making your own homemade pasta and classic cocktails from a local expert. Spend a day in Parma eating prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, then escape the city with a day trip to the villages of Bellagio and Varenna on Lake Como, before heading home from Milan.
On this 9-day food and wine itinerary, indulge in Italy's best regional produce. You'll start in Bologna and Parma sampling the high-quality cured meats and cheeses sold in bustling markets, as well as exploring iconic buildings and piazzas. Move on to the foodie-friendly city of Mila and, wander the Navigli District, enjoying aperitivos with locals along the canals. Take a day trip out to Lake Como for a relaxing tour of the villages and a boat ride. End your trip in the Piedmont region, origin of the Slow Food movement, and go on a full-day wine tasting experience in the Langhe Hills.
Italians are deservedly proud of their food and wine culture- discover why on this 7-day trip. Taste Parma prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Wander the markets and drink full-bodied red wines in Bologna. Enjoy aperitivo time in Milan as you learn how to mix classic cocktails from local experts, and explore the city on your own from Piazza Duomo. Escape the city (but not incredible cuisine) for a day, and visit the beautiful Lake Como with a local guide.
Explore the best of Northern Italy on this 5-day trip to Milan and Lake Como. Milan is a city full of Rennaissance art and historic architecture, as you'll experience as you visit its famous Gothic Duomo and other highlights. Learn how to make fresh pasta and Italian cocktails during a cooking class, and take a day trip to Lake Como and visit the beautiful villages of Bellagio, Varenna, and Como.
Travel across Italy from Venice to Milan with this 8-day itinerary. Discover why so many people fall in love with Venice as you take a tour of the canal network and St Mark's Square and explore the Cannaregio district. Experience the Italian lakes district as you stay on Lake Garda and enjoy day trips to the village of Malcesine and a guided tour of two of Lake Como's most spectacular villages. In Milan, learn about the history of the Gothic Duomo and Renaissance art on a city tour led by a local expert.