Italy is beautiful not only because of the 7,500 km of stunning coastline that I have had the opportunity to introduce, 35% of the mountainous area I have also covered, but also because of the many tranquil, gentle, calm, charming lakes with picturesque villages next to them and surrounded by green mountains. Today I will help you learn about the most beautiful lakes in Italy. So, what is the best lake to visit in Italy and which is the best Italian lake to visit? Let’s check out our list of 20+ best lakes in Italy, most famous and most beautiful lakes in Italy including most beautiful lakes in northern Italy, top 10 lakes in Italy and top lakes in Italy in this article below!
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The criteria to reach this top are: the most beautiful, the clearest, the greenest (bluest). Of course, based on the lakes that I have had the opportunity to walk around, wandering around and not wanting to return.
At the beginning of this article I will start with the famous lakes with the quaint colorful villages on their shores first. Later on, the lakes become less and lesser known, but they will definitely be greener and more beautiful. So don’t miss the next part further below!
Most beautiful lakes in Italy: Lago di Como
What does the most beautiful lake in the world voted by Huffington in 2014 look like? This lake is not just a puddle between the promontories, but a large inverted Y-shaped lake between the mountains with 3 basins: Como on the left, Lecco on the right and Colico on top. To me it’s more like an inflatable walking towards Lago Maggiore. Since ancient times, Lake Como has always been a resort destination for aristocrats. A. Manzoni, who spread the modern Italian language today, opened the famous “The Betrothed” (Italian: I promessi sposi) with its setting in Lake Como: “Quel ramo del lago di Como…” (“That branch of the Lake Como… ”).
Around the lake are elegant villas like Villa Carlotta and picturesque colorful villages like Bellagio, Varenna, etc. Lake Como is the deepest one in Italy but only the third in area with 146 square kilometers. You can imagine that the largest lake in Vietnam is Ba Be lake with an area of only 6.5km2.
What to do here? In addition to strolling around the lake, there are countless other activities for you to experience such as cycling, hiking, cruising, shopping, tasting food in villages… Cycling while watching scenery is also relaxing activity. I don’t know how to swim, so I just soaked in the lake, kayaking, rent a boat tour, and avoid some water adventures. Those who like adventure can try skydiving, surfing, wakeboarding for free with guide.
The signature dish of the region is polenta (cornmeal) with fish, freshwater fish dishes and game meat.
All information about what to do, eating, sleeping, traveling you can see HERE.
Most beautiful lakes in Italy: Lago di Garda
The largest lake in Italy with 370 square kilometers is here. Lago di Garda stretches across the territory of three provinces in the three regions of Verona (Veneto), Brescia (Lombardia) and Trento (Trentino Alto Adige). I have the opportunity to go to the southern branches of the lake such as:
- Garda: Very bustling and full of services.
- Lazise: Small, crowded but very quiet. Expensive. Many German tourists.
- Sirmione and Desenzano: Crowded and many services.
The western branch of Garda (belonging to towns, villages of Gardone Riviera, Gargnano, Limone sul Garda, Riva del Garda, Tignale) occupies 1/7 of the lake that once labeled with 5 sails for the clearest, greenest and cleanest lake in 2019.
What to do here? Like Lake Como, here you can walk around the lake, climb mountains (Monte Baldo), ride bicycles, play extreme water sports, and fresh water fish dishes. You can rest assured there are many services for you experience and spend money.
Getting to and around
Depending on which branch of Lake Garda you like, choose the appropriate place to visit. All means of transport to the lake can be found HERE.
Take the train to Desenzano or Peschiera to cross the southern branch of the lake. Going to the north branc, take the train to Rovereto. See all information HERE.
Most beautiful lakes in northern Italy: Lago di Braies (Trento)
You just try to google and type “lago” and see, it will immediately show Lago di Braies with the first keyword. This year, Vietnamese people in Italy also started to know about Lago di Braies. This lake is not well-known in terms of width and depth, but in terms of scenery, it’s more majestic than the two lakes I just mentioned above.
I also talked about Lago di Braies in the article 12 mountain hiking routes in Italy for backpackers, so here are just a few more points. Turquoise and cobalt blue lake nestled among the Dolomites Alps. So, why did I put it on the village lake list? Due to this lake is very low, there is no need to climb here.
There are not many services for you here, so coming here is only swimming in the lake and boating. But why do so many people still come here? Because this is a great place to relax and immerse yourself in nature after the dust of the city. Very suitable for picnics with a group of friends or families with young children who need a stroller.
To reach this lake, you can rent a self-driving car. The time I went, I went with a friend from Ortisei so it was very convenient, it took about 1.5 hours to drive.
You can also take public transport, it takes a bit longer (about 2.5 hours): From Bolzano as follows: Take the train route, Bolzano – Forterzza – Monguelfo – Tesido. From here take bus number 439. See bus here.
Most beautiful lakes in Italy: Lago d’Orta (Novara)
This hidden gem on the west side of Lago Maggiore is not known to many people. Lake Orta is the 10th largest Italian lake in Novara (west of Milan) and the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola.
This lake does not have many services, so it is quiet and suitable for families to relax and resting. Next to Lago D’Orta is her brother Lago Maggiore. Come here, you will remember to get to the small island of San Giulio – the sparkling jewel in the jade ring. If you start from the church of San Giulio, you can go on a small path called the “way of meditation” around the island to see the scenery.
- By car: Highway A26 exits at Borgomanero or Arona.
- By train: The nearest station is Orta-Miasino.
To reach the San Giulio island, there are regional ferries and boats.
Most beautiful lakes in northern Italy: Lago Maggiore
I’ve mentioned the second-eldest brother a few times but still haven’t shown “his face”. Yes, Lake Maggiore in Italian means the largest lake, but only the second largest in all of Italy in both depth and breadth. That’s why I called him… the second-eldest brother. Lago Maggiore is largely located in Italy (Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Novara and Varese), with a small part located in Ticino, Switzerland.
In addition to the fairy villages along the shore, this lake is also known for many large and small islands. In which the island I love the most is Isola Bella island belongs to the Isole Borromee island cluster of Lago Maggiore lake. I found out about this island by accident. That time I went to Alpe Devero and happened to discover Stresa village on the way, and then wanted the desire to stay here and live. When I entered Stresa, I happened to see that beautiful Bella Island…
Curiosity: The area of Lago Maggiore, also known as the “Borromeo State” alludes to the strong influence of the royal family of various counts and popes. Manzoni also once mentioned Pope Federico Borromeo in his classic work The Betrothed (I promessi sposi).
In short, going to Lago Maggiore must go to Isola Bella Island.
The best eat at Lago Maggiore is Gorgonzola cheese. Wines include Nebbiolo Doc, Vespolina Doc and Barbera. Once in the article about Alpe Devero and the 12 routes of hiking I also said this.
Getting here is quite easy by bus, train, car. More information can be found HERE.
Most beautiful lakes in northern Italy: Lago d’Iseo (Brescia)
Located between the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia, Lake Lago d’Iseo, with its historic villas and calm waters, is home to Italy’s largest natural lake island and Europe’s highest, Monte Isola.
If you love bird watching, you should definitely immerse yourself in the nature of the Torbiere del Sebino reserve. If you love typical villages then Lovere is not to be missed. Lovere is a bit like Verona, elegant and dreamy. You should also know that Lovere once is ranked in the list of 10 most beautiful villages in Italy.
Coming to this lake area, try the famous Franciacorta white wine served with cheeses such as Robiola Bresciana, Taleggio, or drink with salami and dried “lake sardines” or Alborelle anchovies.
Around the Lago d’Iseo lake area, there is an ancient population of Val Camonica – the first UNESCO Heritage Site of Italy that I have ever introduced, including the “pyramid” Paramidi di Zone due to the water eroded rock forming high unique pillars.
Take the train to Brescia and then take the regional train to Iseo. There are also bus, car, plane. You can check it out in detail HERE.
More information can be found on the homepage of lago iseo HERE.
Most beautiful lakes in Italy: Lago di Scanno
Do you remember the heart-shaped lake in Scanno with one of the most beautiful and traditional medieval villages in Italy? Lake Scanno has a heart shape and clear blue water that stands out among the dense vegetation of the Val del Sagittario valley, wild and haughty, in the heart of Abruzzo. A place that does not disappoint, where you can relax at the feet of calm water or enjoy a walk around the lake, take a boat ride.
Which is the best Italian lake to visit: Lago di Bolsena
This is the first lake in Italy that I have heard of. I knew this lake because when I first came to Perugia (Italy), I shared a house with an Italian friend from Bolsena. The Italian friend is young, cute and eats well. Later I returned home and lost contact since then. I remember she showing that her house located next to a very beautiful lake. Why does she have a house near the lake but go to the mountains to live? (Perugia is a mountainous region). I google it, it’s really beautiful, but the lake belongs to the province of Viterbo, including several communes (Montefiascone, Marta, Capodimonte) not only Bolsena, not even my house, hehe.
Lago di Bolsena, peach-shaped, is the largest volcanic lake in Europe, in the province of Viterbo. Lake Bolsena is ideal for kayaking or diving trips. In addition, there are fishing, hiking, horseback riding, visiting the lovely old center of Bolsena. If you go in May, you can also attend the Infiorata di Bolsena flower festival on the occasion of Corpus Domini.
In the following section, I will continue to introduce to you 12 of the 20 most beautiful lakes in Italy. Many of these were awarded the title of 5 sails (Five Sails) by the environmental organization Legambiente with the clearest, greenest and cleanest criteria. Come on, let’s take a look at this list.
Top lakes in Italy: Lago di Molveno (Trento): Five Sails
Out of all the lakes I went, I loved Lago di Molveno the most. For me this is the most beautiful lake in Italy. The world’s fairy scene, there are no words to describe how beautiful it is. Lago di Molveno is one of 07 lakes that have been awarded the title of 5 sails for many years in a row. In addition, for five consecutive years, Lake Molveno was awarded as the most beautiful lake in Italy according to the rating of Legambiente. “The jewel in the most precious treasure” is what the great writer and poet Fogazzaro commented. Lago di Molveno is a stretch of water glistening with sky-colored water, nestled at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites in the Adamello Brenta Natural Park.
The water is as clear blue as a mirror, not a single speck of dust. You imagine its purity as follows: Just standing on the shore of the lake is all the defilements are washed clean.
Lake Lago di Molveno is located in the town of Molveno, in Trento. Come here you will delight with diverse types of vacations, for the whole family and for sports lovers. The Water Park, the Animation Park and the water sports are the main attractions. However, here is not (yet) not crowded and bustling by tourists.
Lake Lago di Molveno is 12 hectares with a grassy beach. Extremely suitable for families with young children.
Where to stop around Lago di Molveno to experience Molveno perfectly? In my opinion, every point is good, but if you are willing to spend, you should stay at Londra hotel to have a balcony full of flowers overlooking the infinite virtual lake.
Those who are interested can learn more about the extremely enchanting Paganella trek.
Most beautiful lakes in Italy: Lago di Sorapissa
Lago di Sorapiss, also called Sorapis, is one of the jewels of the Alps. Its turquoise color dominated by the cliffs of the majestic Sorapiss Peak gives it an absolute charm. Hiking to Lake Sorapiss is one of the bustling routes in Cortina d’Ampezzo, especially during peak season.
One of the prettiest and most accessible trails in the area, it’s an extremely busy area in the summer, so be sure to arrive early to “catch a breath”.
This trail is not very suitable for families with young children.
Getting here by taking the route 215 starting from Passo Tre Croci.
From Passo Tre Croci take route no. 215 with a gentle slope, passing through a coniferous pine forest, with a splendid view of Mount Crsitallo and the three peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
The trail will lead to the vertical cliffs of Mount Laudo and pass through some iron steps across an exposed area of steel ropes (not suitable for those with vestibular, fear of heights).
Passing through this section is the clearing of the forest, this is the part where the Sorapiss complex appears most beautiful and majestic: The daring peak of Dito di Dio (Finger of God) at an altitude of 2,603 m. Continue going straight, only 5 minutes walk, you will reach Sorapis lake.
Top lakes in Italy: Lago di Resia
Lake Resia or Reschensee is an artificial lake located west of Trentino Alto Adige, in Curon Venosta near the Resia mountain pass. The prominent landmark is a tall bell tower rising from the lake. This is also the symbol of the entire valley. Around the lake there are villages like Curon Venosta, Resia, Casone and Spin.
Was this bell tower deliberately built in this lake? No! This is the remnant of the Curon Venosta village church. The whole village was destroyed and washed away by the historic breach of a reservoir caused by the construction of a dam in 1950. Today it is said that the sounds of the bells can be heard from the bottom of the lake!
At the lakeside, people love to walking, jogging and cycling, a kitesurfing paradise because it has the right wind conditions. In winter you can even ski.
Which is the best Italian lake to visit: Lago di Carezza
Carezza in Italian means “to caress”. The Lake of caress really deserves its name: beautiful, gentle and loving.
Located at an altitude of more than 1500m in the Val D’Ega, about 25km from Bolzano, the emerald Lake Carezza is flanked by pine needles and reflected by the majestic Catinaccio and Latemar mountains. It is also one of the most beautiful lakes in Trentino Alto Adige.
Thanks to its extraordinary beauty, over the years Carezza has become the favorite subject of many painters and photographers.
Visitors, in addition to the beautiful view of the clear lake, also highly appreciate the sporting activities around the lake area.
In the summer, in addition to numerous hiking trails and mountain bike tours around the lake, there is also a golf course near Lake Carezza that overlooks the Catinaccio range. Here you can also try horseback riding around the lake.
In winter, you can go skiing in the lake or the surrounding area. The ski runs of the Carezza Ski and Skicenter Latemar ski resorts are just a short distance from the lake.
Most beautiful lakes in Italy: Lago di Fusine
The beautiful Lake Fusine consists of two lakes: Lago Superiore and Lago Inferiore, glacial in origin, born of limestone surrounded by basins with high peaks.
In winter, the surface of the lake freezes thick and hard, so the landscape changes its appearance completely. The thick layers of ice give the entire lake area an incredible allure for those who love to skate.
If possible, visit Lago di Fusine in both summer and winter!
Which is the best Italian lake to visit: Lago di Dobbiaco
In Alta Pusteria, in the Fanes-Senes-Braies nature park, near the village of Dobbiaco, there is one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. It is the idyllic Lago di Dobbiaco lake at an altitude of more than 1,200m. With diverse vegetation, the lake is an ideal resting and nesting place for many different species of birds. Birds can be easily observed from the viewing platform on the West Coast.
In each season, nature trails along the lake shore provide sports inspiration for nature lovers. In the summer, you can take a boat ride, and in the winter let skiiing. If you want to go to fishing, you need to ask permission at the tourist information office, not arbitrarily.
Around Lake Dobbiaco, there is a trail with 11 stops with interesting information about the fauna, flora and topographic features of the Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park.
- Car: 1.5 hours, from Bressanone take A22 (Bressanone), E66 (Bruinico), SS99 Val Puteria (direction to San Candido), to Dobbiaco turn right onto Alemagna SS51 to go to the lake.
- Train + Bus: 2.5 hours, take the train from Bolzano – Fortezza – Dobbiaco; intercity bus pullman 445 to the lake. See more about the pullman trip to the lake at www.sii.bz.it/en
What is the best lake to visit in Italy: Lago di Fedaia (Canazei, Trento)
In the list of the most beautiful lakes in Italy cannot be without Lago di Fedaia.
At the foot of the Marmolada mountain range is the semi-man-made glacial blue lake Lago di Fedaia. The lake was blocked by the most beautiful dam I have ever seen. This dam was also used as the setting in the Italian Job (2003) with the famous actress Charlize Theron.
If you trek from Vie del Pan to Lago di Fedaia you will have an extremely expensive experience because of the charming scenery, majestic nature, flower viewing, marmot squirrels. This trek is 9km long and takes about 3 hours.
If you don’t do the trek, go straight to the lake for a walk, then eat and rest at rifugio Marmolada. Not many services.
From Canazei you can take a bus to come here. See vehicles HERE.
Best lakes in Italy: Lago di Misurina
This lake I mentioned on the trek to the majestic Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Misurina is also one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy with a beautiful and clear blue surface lying on the Sorapiss mountain range. Not only famous for its sharpness, but this lake is also known by the myth of Misurina that I had the opportunity to tell.
The story goes that King Sorapiss, the lord of Tofane, Antelao, and Tre Cime di Lavaredo had a daughter named Misurina. Misurina is a whiny and short-tempered girl who is used to being pampered. Her father, Sorapiss, tried to justify these behaviors by blaming her lack of maternal love.
One day, the king agreed to go with Misurina to Cristallo Hill, where the child had heard of a fairy with a magic mirror that could read anyone’s mind…
The fairy had absolutely no intention of entrusting such an important object to a capricious child. After much persuasion, in the end, Misurina had to accept only one condition that her father agreed to turn into a mountain and with his shadow he must protect the flowers in the garden. In this way, the fairy thought she would make Misurina and King Sorapiss give up. But… but anyway, please read on about the Legend of Lake Misurina on the internet.
Best lakes in Italy: Lago di Devero (Baceno)
Why did I include Lago di Devero, an artificial lake among the most beautiful lakes in Italy? Because I love Devero!
Lago di Devero is a large lake basin surrounded by vast pine forests and is a destination for many tourists both in summer and winter.
In winter, this lake will freeze so be sure to bring your ski boots or snowboard to ski.
Some trekking routes in this area are as follows: starting from Alpe Severo or from Crampiolo and then going around the lake.
If you want to learn more about how I got to Alpe Devero and why I love it, read the article that I write later.
Best lakes in Italy: Lago di Fiè (Bolzano): Five sails
Alpe di Siusi, at the foot of the Santner peak in the Sciliar range, has an enchanting stretch of water, immersed in the fir forests of the Fiè Plateau. It’s Lago di Fiè. The time I went was to start by walking at an altitude of above 1,000m, by the long, narrow and very green spring water, a few steps from the bus station of the village of S. Costantino.
It is highly recommended to bathe in the small lakes of Fiè before a picnic or after a forest trip. Lake Lago di Fiè is one of the most beautiful bathing areas in the Alps. The lake is shallow and has no tributaries with temperatures of up to 23 degrees Celsius, so it is quite safe.
Families often come here to relax and bask in the sun. In the past, the nobility in Fiè used to come here to fish. In addition to the natural branch, there are also artificial branches. This lake was also awarded 5 sails in 2019.
Best lakes in Italy: Lago di Tovel
Belonging to the Adamello-Brenta population, Lago di Tovel in the Val di Non valley, is a small mountain lake with emerald cobalt blue water, one of the most beautiful mountain lakes at an altitude of 1,178m in the world. Not only is it famous for its blue color, but it is also known for its… curious red color.
In the summer when the “blood algae” Tovellia blooms, it reflects the bright red color of the water, looking very mysterious. Now this is no longer the case. Perhaps due to natural and climate change?
By the lake, the peaks of Campa and Brenta are silhouetted against the lake. Surrounded by a vast green pine forest.
Around the lake there are many trails from here you can walk. If you want to go around the lake it will take about an hour and a half. Among the most beautiful trails, are the Sentiero delle Glare and the Galleria di Terres.
Go to Adamello Brenta Natural Park and Lake Tovel from the village of Tuenno. From the highway 73 turns onto provincial road 14 in the direction of Val di Tovel, running along Rio Tresenga.
From Val di Tovel, walk along SP 14, turn onto the Sentiero delle Glare trail and go straight down to Lake Tovel.
What is the best lake to visit in Italy: Lago di Vernago (Bolzano)
Click here to see the beautiful photos, so I don’t telling much, just feel!
In the list of 5 sails, there are also the following lakes, I haven’t gone yet, so I don’t know what to say to you. If you have gone, please share your information and experiences with me:
- Lago del Mis, Comune di Sospirolo (Belluno), Veneto.
- Lago di Monticolo, Comune di Appiano sulla Strada del Vino (Bolzano), Trentino Alto Adige.
- Lago dell’Accesa, Comune di Massa Marittima (Grassetto), Tuscany.
- Lago Barcis, Comune di Pordenone, Friuli-Giulia Venezia.
- Lago di Avigliana Grande, Comune di Avigliana (Torino), Piedmont.
There are also many enchanting lakes in the mountains, among other mountains such as Lago di Pojala, Lago Antorno, Lago delle Streghe, lakes in Val Brembana, Lago Caldonazzo, Lago di Levico, Lago di Posta Fibreno, Lago Valtellina, Lago Pisciadu, Lago Fiorenza, Lago Nambino, Lago di Ledro, etc. as much as flowing water that I mentioned in many articles about mountain tourism in Italy, but in general, it is impossible to say all of them. So, I won’t tell anymore, let you experience it for yourself.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Rome you can refer to
- Shared Fiumicino Airport Transfers (FCO) for Rome by Terravision
- Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Tour
- [Buy 1 Get 1] Rome Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tours (Open-Top)
- Rome to Florence Day Tour
- Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket in Rome
- 1 Roma Pass for 45+ Attractions
- OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card
- Vatican & Rome Combo Sightseeing Tour
- Venice Excursion Day Trip
- Day Trip to the Ruins of Pompeii
- Positano and Amalfi Coast Day Tour
- I Love Rome Hop On Hop Off Panoramic Bus Tour
- Rome Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour
Are you looking for more Italy travel guide: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here. And travel guide for Florence, Venice, Milan, Positano, Cinque Terre, Pisa.