Lakes in Italy come in two varieties. The first is the lake, or lago, that is surrounded by wilderness and natural beauty. These lakes are often found in national parks and invite residents and tourists alike to camp beside calm waters and gaze out at the nature surrounding you.
The second style of Italian lake is much more cosmopolitan. These lakes are surrounded by eateries, villages, shops and groomed beaches. Civilized lakes are popular weekend destinations for Italians and a terrific place for visitors as well. With the huge array of lakes throughout Italy, it can be hard to pick just one or two for a visit, but any choice will likely be a good one.
Easily one of the best places for a family to visit, Lake Garda is between Venice and Lake Como and boasts more family-friendly attractions than almost any other location in Italy. While you are there, why not take a boat ride? Cruises leave throughout the day and travel along the shore of the lake allowing for shopping and fun or take a boat to the island in the center of the lake for an afternoon of true exploration.
If you enjoy amusement parks, try out the best Italy has to offer. Gardaland is nearby and rivals Disneyland for excitement and entertainment. Take an afternoon to visit a wine museum and then take a long nature hike before you leave this pretty lake for the next on your journey around Italy’s lakes.
Traseimeno is Italy’s largest lake, but perhaps not as glamorous as the Alpine lakes. You’ll not find many resorts around this large shallow lake, but you can still explore the history of the area based out of one of the many campsites.
Excursion boats travel about the lake and you should take a ride, preferably one that takes you to the two cities on the northern shore – Sanguineto and Ossaia. These two cities commemorate the terrific battles that took place around this vast body of water. You can also tour Castiglione del Lago where you’ll find a ruined medieval castle. Finally, take a boat to Isola Maggiore and view handmade lace and tales of local history.
Lago di Bolsena is a large lake formed in the crater of a volcano. The deep pools of water create a marvelous site and you can drive the entire perimeter of the lake to experience all of the breathtaking views. Bolsena, the most charming town on the lake’s borders is full of historical artifacts and culture. What you won’t see in this town, however, are tourists. Lake Bolsena is one of Italy’s still undiscovered gems.