Experience shimmering natural beauty on a tour of Italy’s lakes

Poised along the foothills of the Alps, within sight of the Swiss border, are the Italian Lakes. With their crystal-clear waters, mountainous surroundings, and reputation for luxury, they together comprise a destination that’s one of the most coveted and romanticised in all of Europe.

On your tour of this incredible region, begin with luxurious Lake Como. Long a retreat for royalty, celebrities, and famous writers (Shelly and Wordsworth were once visitors), Lake Como is known for its distinctive Y-shape, as well as its extraordinary beauty. Some of the best views can be had from the vantage point of Bellagio, an elegant resort town.

Next on your tour, head to the exquisite Lake Maggiore, which sits at the juncture of Lombardy, Piedmont, and Switzerland. Explore the lovely lake by boat and spend an afternoon wending your way among the Borromean Islands. See Isola Bella’s baroque palace, drop by the centuries-old fishing village on the Isola Pescatori, and drink in the sunshine while exploring Isola Madre’s gardens.

Then there’s the glorious Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. Flanked by cypress and lemon trees, and framed by snowy peaks, it’s one of the country’s loveliest corners. Tour by bike or by foot to get acquainted with the stunning scenery.