Maggiore, Como and Orta could easily steal the title of Great Lakes. Shimmering blue waters set against a stunning alpine backdrop. Majestic palazzos, timeless villas and lovely lakeside towns. And quiet hikes above it all. The views, the flavors, the wines. And every beautiful detail that makes these lakes—great.
1-2 Admire enchanting Lake Orta, creative inspiration of Flaubert and Tchaikovsky | Explore quiet lanes in the charming medieval hamlet of Orta San Giulio | Savor modern Mediterranean cuisine | Marvel at breathtaking scenery, including dramatic views from Monte Mottarone, 4,000 feet above Lakes Orta and Maggiore | Visit the town of Stresa and boat to Isola Bella, home to Palazzo Borromeo.
3-4 Walk along Lake Maggiore from Cannobio to Cannero Riviera, passing tiny chapels and crossing small bridges | A beloved enoteca invites us in for a tasting of local vintages | Hike past magnificent villas, colorful gardens and castle ruins to Varenna | Walk to Italy's shortest river, the 800-foot-long River of Milk—not even Leonardo da Vinci could discover its source! | Ferry to beautiful Bellagio, the pearl of the lake | Stroll Bellagio's scenic waterfront promenade and shopping district.
5-6 Walk lakeside trails and mountain paths amid frescoed hamlets | Marvel at Villa Melzi, one of Lake Como's grand estates | Visit a farm that produces cheese, cream, milk and yogurt en route to Baita Belvedere, where a mountain lunch awaits | A private boat takes you to the western shore of Lake Como | Explore 18th-century Villa Balbianello, owned by famed mountaineer Guido Monzino, and relish the vistas of the lake and surrounding hills.