Have you decided to spend your vacation at the lake in Italy? We at Visit Italy will guide you step by step to choose the lake that's right for you!
Where better to spend your lake vacation than in Italy? Our peninsula has a significant number of lakes, to be precise we are talking about 1500, all with different characteristics. For your lake vacation in Italy, you can choose any destination: from north to south and you can even choose the region that most appeals to you. What will be the purpose of your lake vacation in Italy? This article will point you to the most beautiful lakes on the peninsula, region by region, in order to enjoy a well-deserved relaxing vacation or a sport and fun-filled adventure.
Lake vacation in Italy
Preferring a lake vacation in Italy is one of the best ways to fully enjoy the natural beauty that our peninsula has to offer. The large number of lakes that Italy has given you the opportunity to choose the landscape and atmosphere that excites you the most: from lakes of glacial origin, such as the famous Lake Como nestled among the mountains of Lombardy, to those of volcanic origin characterized by a circular basin formed by the crater of an inactive volcano, such as Lake Bracciano, located in the region of Lazio.
Choosing to spend one's vacation at a lake in Italy is an excellent choice especially because of the variety of activities one can participate in. One can choose to spend a weekend relaxing, having lunch on the shores of a lake, sipping a drink near the shore while reading one's favorite book, or to approach a vacation with an adventurous spirit, taking advantage of the hiking trails that skirt the crystal-clear water. For water sports lovers, on the other hand, this type of vacation will be ideal; they can take advantage of the water activities the lake offers, such as wakeboarding or sailing.
Valle d'Aosta's Arpy lake
Lake d'Arpy is located in the Aosta Valley, specifically in the northern part of this beautiful region. It is a lake of glacial origin that reflects the stunning peaks of Mont Blanc; its clear waters are surrounded by emerald hues that add to the idyllic landscape.
Lake d'Arpy is a great destination for sportsmen and women: the trail to reach this enchanting place surrounded by beautiful beech and larch trees is accessible to everyone, even children. During this trail you can stop in special areas where you can relax by sitting on benches and then fill your water bottle with very fresh water from the alpine springs. You can also reach Lake d'Arpy by mountain bike.
Around the lake, nestled among the trails and green vegetation, you will find multiple waterfalls and rivulets. The best time to visit Lake d'Arpy is definitely summer or autumn, where you can witness the magnificent phenomenon of foliage.
19. Viverone Lake, a walk among villages, wineries and castles
Nestled among Piedmont's glacial mountains of the Serra d'Ivrea, Lake Viverone is the third largest lake in the region but also the most mysterious in Italy.
Lake Viverone offers many activities, not only sports but also food and wine: the neighboring restaurants offer a wide variety of fish products and a wide range of excellent local wines such as Erbaluce, made from white grapes. In the wilder part of the lake one can even practice birdwatching thanks to the multitude of bird species that this lake hosts, such as ducks and mallards.
A special feature that makes Lake Viverone even more magical and mysterious is definitely the underwater village. Dating back to prehistoric times, the pile-dwelling village is located on the southwestern shore of the lake; it is characterized by small wooden piles and paths that are still passable, so it can be visited entirely.
18. Lake Como, a refined destination
If you choose Lombardy as your destination for your lake vacation in Italy, then now is a good time to explore the beautiful Lake Como. Characterized by thriving vegetation that plunges into the deep blue, this lake has thrilled poets and writers enough to extol it in their own works. Lake Como is characterized by Mediterranean vegetation consisting of olive trees, laurels and cypresses that surround its shores.
What to visit around Lake Como? Definitely its five main villages: Bellagio, Cernobbio, Menaggio, Varenna and the Tremezzina, characterized by indescribable beauty and sophistication. Small churches and colorful little houses create a romantic and charming atmosphere.
One of the most effective ways to visit all shores of the lake and fully enjoy the lake atmosphere is definitely by boat tour. You can rent a boat or relax by taking a tour with one of the boats on the lake.
Lake Como is surrounded by numerous mountains where you can venture into the many trails and do some healthy trekking, the views are truly breathtaking! If, on the other hand, you want to walk along the lake you will take the Greenway, a walk that will lead you to discover the wonders of the lake.
17. Lake Idro, a vacation immersed in nature
If you want to enjoy 100 percent of all the energy and beauty that nature has to offer, Lake Idro is an ideal destination. Located in the region of Trentino Alto Adige, it is nestled between the Dolomites and surrounded by the thickest forests in the region.
An ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts, canoeing, sailing, and surfing can be enjoyed. Swimming is one of the recommended sports: you can immerse yourself in pure, crystal-clear water, water that won the infamous Blue Flag in 2023. Fans of extreme sports, on the other hand, can take advantage of the rock walls for climbing and to take a leap into the void by paragliding.
16. Lake Garda, a destination for everyone
What destination to choose for your lake vacation in Italy if not Lake Garda? This lake is located between two regions of Italy: Lombardy and Veneto. Garda located in the Veneto region offers hiking experiences among vineyards and olive groves, lakeside bike rides, and horseback riding in the moraine hills.
Thanks to the cable car you can easily reach Mount Baldo, where you can admire striking views, and when there is no mist, you can also see the Brenta Dolomites, the Apennines, and the Venice Lagoon.
The villages surrounding Lake Garda are very quaint, and there are various festivals and festivities throughout the year. One holiday not to be missed is definitely the Love Knot festival. Originating from a legend, this festival commemorates the latter, where 3,000 diners met to enjoy the famous "Tortellini di Viareggio," also called love knot. It will take place in the village of Valeggio sul Mincio on June 20.
Lake Garda in Veneto is also an ideal destination for families; its shores are home to a water park and amusement park, ideal for keeping your children entertained.
15. Lake Cavazzo, the lake of the 3 municipalities
Lake Cavazzo is the largest natural lake in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. With its crystal-clear waters, this lake bathes three municipalities in the region: Cavazzo, Bordano and Trasaghis.
Why choose Lake Cavazzo for your vacation? Because it is the ideal place to immerse yourself in nature among trails and reeds, admiring the nesting of mallards. There are many picnic areas where you can relax and eat your picnic lunch. It is also a perfect location for children, thanks to the presence of a playground; you can rent rowboats, perfect for exploring every corner of this wonderful lake in company or why not, even alone.
Absolutely not to be missed are the 8km-long lakeside walk to the viewing terrace and enjoy the wonderful colors the lake has to offer.
Culturally speaking, Lake Cavazzo hosts the Ecomuseum, a museum that respects the environment and enhances the lake territory.
Thanks to Camping Lago 3 Comuni you can practice countless sports such as kayaking, canoeing, sailing, paragliding and if you are a beginner don't worry, the Camping also offers courses for beginners.
14. The little Lago delle Lame
Lago delle Lame is located in Liguria, specifically within the Aveto Regional Nature Park. It is a small lake but its colors, ranging from blue to green, make it a very attractive destination. In the summer months, it is possible to go on outings and then stop at nearby picnic areas and enjoy the pure air of the park.
Many small trails branch off around the Lago delle Lame. One of them will take you to the Ravezza waterfall. For nature lovers, near the lake is the Museum of the Forest, an open-air museum where you can discover all the characteristic flora and fauna of the lake area. You can visit it in spring and summer.
Being a small lake, it is not suitable for water sports, but you can have fun while relaxing through fishing; in fact, around the lake, you can rent fishing rods to fully enjoy the lake silence. In addition, there is a restaurant on the shores of the lake where you can enjoy the typical dishes of the Liguria region.
13. A relaxing day at Lake Santo Parmense
This is the largest lake in the Emilia region and is a popular destination for the region's inhabitants. It is located within the Parco dei 100 Laghi.
It is an ideal place for families since the trails surrounding it are easily passable. There is no shortage of viewpoints: in the summer months, you can visit the surrounding peaks by chairlift to make the most of the views this lake has to offer; in the winter months, on the other hand, you can admire the lake entirely covered by a sheet of ice where you can go scuba diving under the ice.
In the October period, you can witness the magical phenomenon of foliage, the natural spectacle of leaves changing color in the autumn period.
Around Lake Santo Parmense there are numerous restaurants where you can relax while savoring the dishes the area has to offer; one of them is Rifugio Lagdei, which favors organic cuisine consisting of zero-mile products.
12. Lake Massaciuccoli, between history and nature
Lake Massaciuccoli is located in Tuscan territory, specifically in the province of Lucca, and is part of the Migliarino Natural Park.
Things to do and see if you visit Lake Massaciuccoli are certainly the Lipu Oasis footbridge, a suspended walkway that allows you to immerse yourself in the flora and fauna of this wonderful lake. This walkway is crossed silently in order not to disturb the animal species that live around it. The Lipu walkway is open year-round and has free admission.
The municipality of Massarosa, very close to Lake Massaciuccoli, is hosting a not-to-be-missed event, the Herb and Flower Trail. This is a 5km bicycle and pedestrian route to discover lavender cultivations, vineyards, peach orchards, etc.
Another way to visit Lake Massaciuccoli entirely is by boat. Small boats moored on the shore will be waiting for you for a magnificent tour of the lake. A 2-hour "trip" will take you to discover all the most exciting views of the area.
Another site to visit, in addition to the beautiful lake waters, is the Roman-era site located right next to the lake. The open-air museum houses the remains of a Roman-era rest station.
11. Lake Trasimeno, the pearl of Umbria
Lake Trasimeno, compared to the lakes mentioned earlier, is of tectonic origin formed by movements of the earth's crust; for this reason, its depth is not particularly pronounced. It is located in Umbria, specifically in the province of Perugia. It is the second largest lake in central Italy immediately after Lake Como.
If you choose Lake Trasimeno for your vacation, you can enjoy all the activities that this place offers; from sports activities such as hiking among trails to horseback riding. Near the lake is the Laguna Park, a water park suitable for families thanks to the services dedicated to children; it is a petfriendly park because there is a special area inside for pets. A destination for fun and relaxation.
The lake is home to the Trasimeno Sailing Club, a real sailing school. Thanks to their courses you can discover or perfect the techniques of this magnificent sport. This activity is reserved for adults.
In the hills surrounding Lake Trasimeno reside olive trees and vineyards, famous for the production of olive oil and Trasimeno DOC wines, such as Colli del Trasimeno DOC white and Colli del Trasimeno DOC Merlot.
10. Lake Cingoli, the Provincial Wildlife Protection Oasis.
Unlike the lakes mentioned above, Cingoli Lake is an artificial lake. It is located in the heart of the Marche region, specifically in the municipality of Cingoli. It is part of the Provincial Wildlife Protection Oasis, due to the presence of numerous waterfowl that inhabit it.
The lake is surrounded by very dense and evocative woods where you can venture into the trails by walking, mountain biking or horseback riding. On the other hand, if you prefer water sports, the lake offers many alternatives such as crossing its clear waters by renting a paddleboat or canoe. You can lie on the shores of the lake and cool off by taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Cingoli.
A stop not to be missed is the village of Castreccioni, where you can take long walks admiring the beauty of the territory and then visit the village's medieval castle, a perfect location for taking breathtaking photos.
Near Lake Cingoli are located exciting sights that are absolutely not to be missed such as the Cascatelle di Cingoli waterfalls, the Intagliata bridge and the historic stone mill.
9. Bracciano, the lake of aquatic sports
A well-known destination, Lake Bracciano is located in the Italian region of Lazio, between the metropolitan city of Rome and the municipality of Viterbo.
If you want nothing more than to enjoy yourself by engaging in water sports, Lake Bracciano is definitely the destination to choose. Since it is located within the Bracciano-Martignano Natural Park, there is limited transit to many boats so that all water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sup and dragon boat are preferred. This park allows visitors to enjoy the beauty of the lake by hiking and biking.
Lake Bracciano is also famous for the Odersini-Odescalchi Castle. Considered one of the most beautiful mansions of the 1400s, the castle now houses a museum where you can discover the history of the lake area through archaeological findings.
A walk through the small villages surrounding the lake is a must. As you walk through the alleys, you will be immersed in a surreal atmosphere that will take you back in time.
8. Lake Campotosto, between food and motors
Lake Campotosto is an artificial lake located in the Abruzzo region of Italy and touches three municipalities: Campotosto, Capitignano and L'Aquila.
If you are a cycling enthusiast, the flat area of Lake Campotosto is ideal for taking trips with your motorcycle or bicycle to discover all the beauty the lake has to offer.
The recommended activities to do at Lake Campotosto are fishing, where you can practice both sport and professional fishing; birdwatching through the trail located in the locality "la Macchiola," organized by the Carabinieri Biodiversity Department of L'Aquila.
Lake Campotosto is an excellent destination for those who also decide to integrate culinary tourism to their vacation. The typical product of excellence in the area is Mortadella di Campotosto, called "Cojoni di mulo" by the townspeople; another traditional dish is Ciciaregli, a legume soup.
7. Guardialfiera Lake and the sunken bridge
Guardialfiera Lake, in the Molise region of Italy, is an artificial lake created to increase drinking water resources in the area and to irrigate the entire surrounding area. The forest ranger played a key role; with his means, he contributed to the reforestation of the area, making it a true lake zone. You can admire, in its beautiful waters, carp, trout and eels, and you will see waterfowl such as the white stork and cormorant stop by.
If you are a lover of mystery, Guardialfiera Lake will satisfy your curiosity. At the bottom of the lake is a Roman-era bridge, Hannibal's Bridge, which resurfaces during the summer season, giving you a breathtaking view.
6. Fusaro, a truly striking lake
This lake, located in the Campania region half an hour from Naples, is one of the Italian lakes that communicates with the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Lake Fusaro is suitable for a relaxing vacation, enjoying relaxing lakeside walks or bicycle rides. This walk, characterized by large cobblestones, runs through Vanvitelliano Park and Quarantenario Park. As you walk along this path, you will also find the remains of King Ferdinand's hunting post, dating back to the 18th century. The trail is suitable for everyone and is 3.3km long.
Itineraries not to be missed are the casina Vanvitelliana and the Bourbon orchard. The casina, located on a small island in the lake, was built by commission of King Ferdinand. Its shape is very unusual: it has a plan composed of three intertwined octagons. You can visit it on Friday and Saturday afternoons, or on Sunday mornings.
5. The Salt Lake of Varano
Proceeding southward, we arrive in beautiful Apulia where we find Lake Varano. It too, like Lake Fusaro, communicates with the sea and is separated from the latter by a strip of land.
If you want to immerse yourself in nature and capture some unmissable photo shoots, Lake Varano is the ideal destination. Famous for its biodiversity it is home to flamingos, kingfishers, grebes; and also weeping willows, maritime pines and eucalyptus trees.
During the lakefront walk, you can take a wooden boardwalk that will lead you to the archaeological site of San Clemente Island. In this area, when low tide is present, you can catch a glimpse of the remains of a Roman villa.
This lake is the ideal place for lovers of beautiful beaches: Marina di Lesina is the ideal destination to enjoy the sun by the lake, worthily served by bathing and tourist services.
4. Sirino lake, the perfect destination for winter sports lovers
An ideal destination for winter sports lovers, Lake Sirino will allow you to fully enjoy your well-deserved days off. Located at the foot of Mount Sirino, you can enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing or you can relax by taking a pleasant snowshoeing trip. The ski facilities are the main reason for its tourism, very well equipped and efficient. Also, on Mount Sirino it is possible to go hiking or horseback riding.
Another attraction not to be missed is the Micromondo museum, a museum dedicated to geology where children will have fun thanks to the various interactive trails. The lake is known for its lush vegetation and crystal-clear waters, and is surrounded by a charming forest of conifers, poplars, and chestnut trees.
Lake Sirino is also an excellent destination for an out-of-town tour: you can eat your picnic lunch in the picnic areas, or taste some excellent typical Lucanian dishes such as peperoni cruschi and potatoes, sausage, soppressata and various cold cuts, etc.
If your vacation involves RV travel, don't worry; Lake Sirino has an RV area where you can stay for the duration of your stay.
3. Lake Cecita, the wild lake
Lake Cecita is the largest lake in Calabria and is the ideal destination for those who want to relax and have an outing; there are well-equipped picnic areas near the lakefront where you can enjoy your lunch while admiring its blue waters.
If you are a lover of lake fauna, Lake Cecita, during the spring nesting season, will allow you to observe a considerable amount of migratory and stationary birds that inhabit the area. Also, during the spring season, it becomes a favorite destination for fishermen, where they practice healthy sport fishing. The fish that inhabit the waters of Lake Cecita are carp, perch and trout.
Near the lake you can admire archaeological remains dating back to the Paleolithic era; agricultural tools have been found, used for the sustenance of the village that lived near the lake. In recent years, several remains of a mammoth were found during a dry period.
2. Lake Pergusa, a special nature reserve
The Sicilian Lake Pergusa, although small in size, boasts an enviable ecosystem, which is why a special nature reserve was established there. Throughout the year it is possible to see shovelers, wigeons, nightjars and other migratory birds attracted by its inviting marshy climate. It is the only natural lake in the region of Sicily and is located at the foot of the Enna volcano, which together provide truly striking views.
Among the valleys of Pergusa you can venture into doing some healthy hiking or relaxing trekking discovering the most beautiful views of the lake.
Sometimes there is a phenomenon that is more unique than rare: the waters of the lake are dyed red by a shrimp that, in order to protect itself from the sun's rays, turns the color of blood.
For lovers of two- and four-wheelers, the lake is home to the Pergusa Autodrome. Very famous, it has hosted many important races such as Formula 1 and the World Superbike Championship.
1. Sardinian Lake of Coghinas
Located in the north of the beautiful island of Sardinia, lake Coghinas is a body of water surrounded by Mediterranean scrub. Its nautical center makes it suitable for water sports lovers who can enjoy boating, kayaking and even water skiing.
Its rich vegetation and climate attract many wildlife species so it will please birdwatchers. Its mountains, on the other hand, will please mountain bikers, who can ride the trails set among fir and beech trees.
The hike you absolutely must not miss is the one to su Filigosu. The authenticity of this place will give you a unique experience, surrounded by fallow deer, deer and mouflon.
Lake vacations in Italy
Here are the destinations we have recommended region by region for your lake vacation in Italy:
• Valle d'Aosta's Arpy lake
• Viverone lake, a walk among villages, wineries and castles
• Lake Como, a refined destination
• Lake Idro, a vacation immersed in nature
• Lake Garda, a destination for everyone
• Lake Cavazzo, the lake of the 3 municipalities
• The small Lago delle Lame
• A relaxing day at Lake Santo Parmense
• Lake Massaciuccoli, between history and nature
• Lake Trasimeno, the pearl of Umbria
• Lake Cingoli, the Provincial Wildlife Protection Oasis.
• Bracciano, the lake of aquatic sports
• Lake Campotosto, between food and motors
• Guardialfiera lake and the sunken bridge
• Fusaro, a truly striking lake
• The Salt Lake of Varano
• Sirino lake, the perfect destination for winter sports lovers
• Lake Cecita, the wild lake
• Lake Pergusa, a special nature reserve
• Sardinian Lake of Coghinas