The Italian Lakes – bellissima!

Blessed by a mild climate, romantic waterfront views, and lush vegetation as well as great gastronomy and superb shopping, the Italian Lakes are one of the best holiday destinations in the world...
Lake Garda.
Lake Garda. Photo: Shutterstock

When to go to the Italian Lakes

The holiday season for the Lakes runs from Easter through to October; however the ideal months to visit are May, June and September, when it's warm and sunny but not as hot as in midsummer and not as crowded. April and May are the best months for the blooming of camellias, azaleas and tulips. Let us do the hard work, and plan a tailor-made trip to the Italian Lakes for you. Alternatively, check out our Enchanting Italian Lakes itinerary, which is fully customisable! 

In Milan, summer temperatures can soar to well above 30°C (86°F) and the humidity is high – hence the exodus of Milanese to the cooler lakes during the summer. This is also the time when the Lakes host some of the finest events in the Italian cultural calendar. The most prestigious event is Stresa's Settimane Musicali, a spring-to-autumn festival of classical concerts held around Lake Maggiore. Brescia plays host to a piano festival in May and June; the Gardone Riviera on Lake Garda presents drama, opera and concerts in the open-air theatre of the Vittoriale degli Italiani during July and August. The Franciacorta region, south of Lake Iseo, stages a sparkling wine and food festival in September; the Grape and Wine Festival in Bardolino on Lake Garda is another cork-popping event held during the autumn. However, one of the most ancient and magical lake festivals is that of San Giovanni (St John) on Lake Como in late June. Mass is held in the church ruins, and thousands of bobbing boats are illuminated by candles and fireworks. Experience the best of the Italian Lakes, including Lake Garda, Como and Maggiore, with Insight Guides' Enchanting Italian Lakes holiday.

Planing your trip to the Italian Lakes

Speak to a local expert about arranging the trip of a lifetime to the Italian Lakes here, or browse our fully customisable Enchanting Italian Lakes itinerary here. If you'd like to read more, visit our online guide or check out our top attractions. We also have a guide to exploring Lake Garda by ferry, boat or dinghy, the Italian Lakes for kids,  opera, art and sailing summer highlights, the most romantic locations, and a guide to the region's finest wines, and the Lakes on a budget...

Read more:

Best places to go in June, July, August

Best places to go in September, October, November

Get lost in a guidebook: Insight Guides: Italian lakes

This blog was originally published on April 16, 2016.