High on the list of the most captivating destinations in the world for a luxury second home or vacation property is northern Italy’s fabled Lake District. Along with international property buyers, Milanese residents love to escape to the Italian Lakes for a weekend getaway.
Maggiore, Como and Garda are the three big lakes in the region, with their undeniable charm and their extravagant beauty.
The region’s unsurpassed natural setting of picturesque lakes surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the mild climate, ancient towns painted in terracotta and ochre, and magnificent gardens combined with a rich history, plus the distilled quintessence of Italian lake romanticism, have attracted global property buyers for decades.
Six airports serve the Italian Lakes. Just 15 kilometres from Lake Maggiore, Milan Malpensa is the most convenient to the western lakes, whilst being handy to Orta and Como as well. Milan Linate is just a short drive from Como. Bergamo’s Orio al Serio Airport – Milan’s third – is a gateway to both Como and Garda. Airports within easy reach of Lake Garda include Brescia and Verona, whilst Lugano may be reached via Zurich.
Each lake possesses its own unique environment and atmosphere, along with distinctive scenery and quaint little lakeside towns and villages.
Lake Maggiore emits a grandeur beyond that of the other lakes, with the Alpine backdrop and the beautiful Isole Borromee seeming to float on its tranquil waters. Graced by stately elegance and classical charm, a great number of fine Baroque villas and magnificent gardens dot Maggiore’s shores. The main resort towns are Stresa, Cannobio, Arona, Verbania, Dormelletto and Baveno. Amongst the Borromean Islands, Isola Bella is the most famous, with its palace and ornamental gardens.
Situated just north of Milan is the outstandingly beautiful Lake Como, with its blue-green waters set out to stunning effect against the Alps. Well-to-do Milanese love to come for the weekend. The lake is lined with wonderful villages and towns that include Tremezzo, Menaggio and Bellagio.
Bellagio has been called one of the most scenic towns in Italy. A beautiful promenade planted with oleander and lime trees, plenty of fin-de-siècle buildings and an old quarter of cobbled streets and alleyways transform Bellagio into the quintessential Italian Lakes destination.
Lake Garda is the largest in Italy. Cloaked in a mild climate and diverse landscape, with Venice perched to the east and Milan on the west, Garda is, for many, the finest amongst the North’s outdoor playgrounds. With its kilometres of sparkling blue water and mountainous backdrop, it makes the perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities and nature.
From horseback riding, mountain biking, sailing and windsurfling, to canoeing and hiking, the lake and its wonderful towns and villages make a perfect destination for fun-filled activity holidays. Most of the pretty villages and towns around the lake feature historic centres, with squares and waterfront promenades filled with cafés.
Property prices along the lake are robust and resale values are good. It is a market fuelled not only by Italian buyers, but being close to the Alps and Milan, it is popular with foreign buyers as well. Many buyers come from Netherlands, the UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, the U.S. and Middle East.
The property market in the Italian Lakes is in high demand with buyers attracted by the area’s immense beauty, up-to-date communications, nearby skiing and excellent rental potential year-round. Renowned for their natural and timeless elegance, the Italian Lakes have long been a destination for refined lakeside living.