The Lakes in Northern Italy are the destination of local and international tourism. They are an oasis of a mild climate in the middle of the Pianura Padana’s hot and humid summers, and cold and foggy winters.
Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, and Lake Como have been for centuries the vacation destination for the Milanese, both the rich and the poor. It takes just a few euro to go from Milan to one of these lakes using the cheap regional trains, and people used this means of transportation for decades before the mass use of the car. Today, with the traffic becoming unbearable, people are discovering the use of regional trains again.
The advantage of the car is though that it allows you to pass from one lake to another, without necessarily going back to Milan, as you would do with the train.
You have here a guide to a multi-day car trip to these lakes. It starts from Novara, then it goes to the lakes region, touching the Orta Lake, small and not so famous as the others.
The itinerary goes then to Stresa on Lake Maggiore, the internationally renowned locality, with its beautiful Borromean Islands: Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Madre.
The itinerary continues driving on the west coast of the Lake with a visit to Villa Taranto, with its outstanding gardens, a real beauty in springtime when the azaleas are blossoming, the best time of the year to visit the area.
It continues then on the west coast of the Lake, through Cannero Riviera, and Cannobbio. Here we enter in Switzerland: don’t forget to bring your passport with you!
Brissago is the next town, then Locarno, and continues to Lugano and its Lake.
We re-enter Italy near Como on Lake Como, and we visit the city. We also visit Villa Carlotta, and the tourist locality of Menaggio, Bellagio, Varenna, and Lecco. The itinerary ends in Milan.
The guide has a listing of many reviews for the best-recommended restaurants in the localities described. The digital edition includes active links to the review pages; you can use them if you have an active Internet connection. Still, if you don’t, you have the necessary information ready: the name, address, and telephone number are included in the guide together with the review. This information is available on the printed edition too.