Como and Maggiore are the elegant ladies of the Italian Lakes, each with its own unique atmosphere.
Colourful Lake Como is the glamour puss of the two. Its three slender arms of glacial water reach through the Grigna Mountains in a fjord-like landscape that’s attracted Europe’s rich and famous for centuries. These well-heeled visitors built the lavish palaces and gardens that still dot Como’s southern shores. They were designed to impress from the water and the best way to see them is by boat trip, passing one of George Clooney’s summer pads, and villas and views that have been used for countless film settings.
Once you’re back on shore, take in the dramatic landscape from one of Como’s pretty harbour towns – a jumble of churches, piazzas and brightly painted fishermen’s houses that cling to the cliff face. Bellagio is known as the pearl of the lake for its cobbled streets, Baroque gardens and views out onto all three of the lake’s channels from its position on a promontory. It’s also the perfect place to stop for lunch. Try the local speciality, missoltino, a salt-cured fish that’s traditionally served grilled, with polenta and a glass of young red wine.
To the glitz and glamour of its dramatic neighbour, Lake Maggiore brings a timeless grace. For centuries, the wealthy Borromeo family embellished its shores, which stretch up into Switzerland and are lined with palms, promenades and world-renowned botanical gardens.
Nearby Milan has always brought visitors to the towns of the Italian Lakes, and no more so than in Stresa. Its waterfront palaces and elegant square blend with pedestrianised streets and a bustling open-air market where you can try the local meats, cheeses and wines. Across the water, you might spot the Santa Caterina del Sasso monastery perched on a rocky crag. It was reputedly built by a local merchant to settle a promise he’d made while being rescued from a storm.
Take the Mottarone cable car up to see 360-degree views of the lakes and your gaze is likely to settle on the Borromean Islands below, a short boat ride from Stresa. The Borromeo family brought only the best architects, botanists and artists to decorate this lush lake archipelago. White peacocks walk the tiered gardens of Isola Bella, whose grounds and palace were designed to resemble a ship sailing through the waters. And there’s no better way to lose an afternoon than in the characteristic village alleys and tiny traditional shops of Isola dei Pescatori.
Gardens, lake islands and villas dripping with history. Como and Maggiore show you the best of Italy, whichever you choose. To make the most of your time on the lakes, we’d recommend a stay in the Hotel Regina Palace in Stresa, Lake Maggiore or the Hotel Grand Cadenabbia in Cadenabbia, Lake Como.
Traditional mountain villages, laid-back lakeside towns and musical cities – Austria has...
Beaches with a difference. Think you have to go somewhere tropical to...
What's hot for summer 2020?. Find out more about some of our...
Author: Clarice Hine
Published: December 6, 2017
Our top deals tailored to you, straight to your inbox Sign up for offers
Shop Finder Ask a question? Contact us
We're part of TUI Group - one of the world's leading travel companies. And all of our holidays are designed to help you Discover Your Smile.
Registered address: Wigmore House, Wigmore Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, LU2 9TN
More from TUI
Terms & conditions
Ways to Pay
Google Play Store
App Store for Ios
Holiday Budget Calculator
TUI Credit Card
Travel After Brexit
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and National Travel Health Network and Centre have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check www.gov.uk/travelaware and follow @FCOtravel and Facebook.com/FCOtravel
More information is available by checking /destinations/info/travel-aware
Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting www.travelhealthpro.org.uk
The advice can change so check regularly for updates.
All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Some of the flights on this website are also financially protected by the ATOL scheme, but ATOL protection does not apply to all flights. This website will provide you with information on the protection that applies in the case of each flight before you make your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.caa.co.uk. ATOL protection does not apply to the other holiday and travel services listed on this website.