This month we’re featuring Lombardy, and, among the region’s highlights, is the lakes area (Lake Como, Garda and Maggiore). Exploring the Italian lakes by boat (battello) provides a good vantage point over the beautiful landscapes that surrounds them and allows you to disembark at several lakeside villages to explore further.
On Garda Lake, you can choose between faster catamarans or slower motorboats where you could even enjoy a nice lunch on board. Get off in Sirmione to see the Scaligera Fortress and Grottoes of Catullus, or in pretty Desenzano sul Garda, with its castle overlooking the village, or Gardone Riviera with its Vittoriale, the former home of Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio.
Lake Maggiore is located between Lombardy, Piedmont and Switzerland, and, when you explore it on a boat, you’ll be able to take in the amazing natural landscape that surrounds the lake, cast as it among mountains, valleys and villages. These include Angera and its Borromean Fortress, the lakeside promenade in Laveno Mombello, Luino, with a famous open-air market held on Wednesday, the Santa Caterina hermitage; also, get off the boat and hop on the Sasso del Ferro funicular for spectacular views.
Visiting Lake Iseo on a boat provides great views over the historical palaces and villas built on its shores. The many picturesque villages invite for a stroll, and Monte Isola, a tiny fishermen’s islet within the lake, is one unmissable stop.
On Lake Como, there are many boats connecting the two main centers on the lake, Como and Lecco, with the lakeside villages. From the boat, you can gaze at amazing villas and their beautiful parks: Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi in Bellagio, Villa Carlotta and Villa del Balbianello in Tremezzina, Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi in Varenna. Don’t miss Isola Comacina, the only island in Lake Como, and learn about its fascinating history. Get off and explore gems like Varenna, Bellagio, Tremezzina and Menaggio.