The Lake District of Lombardy is breathtaking!! It rises from the Alpine heights along the Swiss border. The glacial erosion juxtaposed quaint villages and soaring mountains to create idyllic surroundings. Many wealthy Italians built villas on these lakes that have been converted into luxuriously appointed hotels.
Yesterday I met someone who asked me about having a “Vino con Vista” destination wedding in Italy. I immediately asked if they had considered the Lake District. This area is the perfect destination for weddings, honeymoons and sophisticated travel enthusiasts.
The spectacular scenery has been praised as the closest thing to heaven by authors from the time of Virgil to Ernest Hemmingway. This region resembles the beauty of Seattle, considered one of the most scenic cities in the United States.
Take a cruise along one the beautiful lakes. Have the designated driver navigate, as you sip your red Valtellina Sfurzat or Franciacorta and marvel at the elegant panoramic view. This is an incredible place for a “Vino con Vista!!” The region produces dry reds and sparking white wines. This is a great place to sip a Mimosa or a Bellini.
In Brescia, on the western side of Lake Garda visit the Fratelli Berlucchi winery. Lombardy’s vineyards encompass Valtellina Superiore, Sfurat, Franciacorta and Garda Classico Chiaretto. Winery tours can be arranged at Enoteca del Bardolino in Berlucchi and other local wineries near Brescia.
1. Lake Como is north of Milan and is shaped like a wishbone. The chic towns of Bellagio and Cernobbio are on Lake Como. Stay at Villa D’Este in Lake Como www.villadeste.com a sister property of Villa La Massa in Tuscany www.villalamassa.com
2. Lake Garda is the largest lake and is located on the eastern edge of Lombardy. Lake Garda is 60 miles east of Milan and is surrounded by four noteworthy cities: Verona to the east, Mantua to the south, Trento is northeast and Brescia to the west. Ferries and hydrofoils transport exuberant tourists around the lakes between Easter and September. Lake Garda is 32 miles long and is arguably the most beautiful Italian Lake in the region. Stay at Grand Hotel Villa Feltinelli in Lake Garda www.villafeltrinelli.com or Hotel du Lac et du Park in Lake Garda www.hoteldulac-riva.it.
There are gondola races on Lake Garda in the summer on Saturdays thru mid-August.
3. Lake Maggiore is 25 miles north of Milan and stretches into Switzerland. On the western side of Lake Maggiore, visit the town of Stresa where you can board a cable-car to the snow-capped peak of Monte Mottarone to experience spectacular views. When you return from this scenic ride, visit the Borromean islands near Stresa. Isola Bella houses the 17th century Palazzo Borromeo with six grotto rooms that are worth visiting.
Take a boat ride from Stresa to visit 50 acres of Botanical Gardens at Villa Taranto near Pallanza. Stay at Grand Hotel Majestic in Lake Maggiori in Verbania www.slh.com/majestic for beautiful views of the lake, mountains and the Borromini Islands or consider Hotel Villa Aminta in Lake Maggiori or Regina Palace in Lake Maggiori www.regina-palace.it
Overlooking the Lake Maggiore, you can find the Sacred Mountain of Ghiffa. This is a Roman Catholic devotional complex in the comune of Ghiffa in Piedmont located in northern-western Italy. It is one of the nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, included in UNESCO World Heritage list.
To learn more about Northern Italy and great places in Italy visit www.vino-con-vista.com
- Lakes Maggiore & Orta-A season of Music (maizebread.wordpress.com)
- George Clooney Keeps Stacy Keibler Close on a Ride Around Lake Como (popsugar.com)