Lombardy, Milan & Lake Garda Holidays

Lombardy, Milan & Lake Garda Holidays

Warm summers and mild winters give these southern Italian lakesides a gorgeously fragrant covering of azaleas, oleanders, citrus and olive trees. Exotic lush green gardens dotted with palm trees shade the water’s edge. Como, Maggiore and Garda are the principal lakes, all dramatically beautiful and distinctively Italian but each has its own inbuilt originality and charm. The tiny ports on Lake Como with their jewel-coloured fishing boats, lined up after the morning’s catch, are a sight to behold. But the town of Como has much, much more to offer, including a stunning 14th century cathedral surrounded by quaint arcaded streets. Bellagio is beautifully picturesque and a rightly favored resort, on a magnificent wooded site between Lakes Como and Lecco. The nearby villages of Pescallo, Oliviero, Taronico and the awesome scenery – opposite the 2400m high Grigne Massif – are the ideal setting for the terraced gardens and statues of Villa Carlotta, one of our many Italian lakes villas located in the village. If it’s a little art and architecture that interests you, why not try the abbey of Abbey of Pionza, set as if it were floating, on a promontory near Olgiasca, a graceful 11th century monastery that has the prettiest Romanesque cloisters to be found anywhere. Or, nearer Como, on the outskirts of Tomo’s attractive port, the 14th century church of San Giovanni has one of the finest Renaissance doorways. The crystal clear waters of Lake Maggiore are jade green to the north and a deep blue to the south. The famous Isole Borromee – a cluster of delightful small islands – boasts a baroque palace, romantic terraced gardens of rare plants, fountains, peacocks and statues all set in an amazing landscape, towered over by blue mountains. Facing these islands is the wide promenade of Stresa, busy with boat trips to all parts of the lake. For a panoramic view of the lake and mountains, take the cable car up to the 1491 m Mount Mottarone. Along the western shore, the tranquil resorts of Baveno, Pallanza and Cannobio are unspoilt, peaceful and delightfully decked with flowers. For garden lovers, the Villa Taranto is a renowned haven for azaleas, heathers, rhododendrons, camellias, dahlias and maples. While on the eastern side, from Lavena Mombello a cable-car will take you to the summit of the Sasso del Ferrro mountain, so high that the entire lake district is spread out before you - a great way to start and plan your exploration of these lakes or maybe to save until your last day here - a spectacular conclusion to a memorable holiday.

If you are considering a holiday in this area, Cottages to Castles are pleased to offer a selection of privately owned and superbly presented villas in the Italian Lakes and Milan.  Choose your dream holiday from our stunning range of villas in Italy here.

 LOCAL FOOD   MILAN SHOPPING   LOCAL WINE   ART AND ARCHITECTURE 
Holidays and Food in Lake Garda Shopping in Milan and Holidays to Milan Wine in Milan and Lake Garda Holidays in Milan
Naturally the locally caught fresh-water fish feature strongly – but there are also the regional influences of Piedmont/Lombardy for Lake Maggiore, Lombardy for Lake Como and Lombardy/Veneto with a Germanic twist for Lake Garda. Minestra di frittata (pancake soup) is a must, or zuppa pavese – a clear soup with egg and bread. Risotto is a real favourite, or Canederli gnocchi with a sauce or in a broth. And agnolotti e ravioli stuffed with truffles or spinach is delicious. Try the local fish ’in carpione’ – marinated in herbs and fried. For carnivores, Austrian-style sausages and smoked hams (speck) or crauti (sauerkraut and gulasch). Piatto elefante is a substantial meat and vegetable dish. And the classic osso buco – knuckle of veal with marrowbone. Polenta is another popular food – maize semolina – and is the staple addition to many dishes – potato and polenta based pies, braised beef in red Barolo wine, pollo alla Marengo (chicken in white wine, mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic). For dessert, try the gianduia chocolate pudding or sweet omelettes with berry fruit filling. The local cheeses – fontina, tomini del talucco from Pinado; paglierino and pannerone – a white gorgonzola.  The local outdoor markets sell fresh produce on specific days – check with your owner where the nearest ones are. Exclusive label shops can be found in the more stylish resorts and of course, Milan, the Italian center of fashion, is never far from any of our villas in the Italian Lakes.  The region surrounding Trento, north of Lake Garda, produces abundant Cabernets, Merlots and Pinots but the robust Teroldego is the main red. Near the Swiss/Italian border in Lombardy’s valtellina, the wines from the Inferno, Grumello and Sassella vineyards are much esteemed. Francia Corta is a fragrant, mellow red. There are very good wines, are from the AHO Adidge valley – Sylvaner, Riesling, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Müllr-Thurgau, Sauvignon and Chardonnay.  

The largest region of Italy offers up a veritable banquet of art and architectural treasures.  The lakes of Garda, Maggiore and Como are home to some of the most elegant and beautiful stately homes and villas dotted amidst the mountains and lakeside.  To walk through the streets of its capital city of Milan is an architectural journey in itself.  Amongst others worth of note, the La Scala Opera House must be seen and of course the extraordinary white marble Duomo, both inside and out, was built and dedicated to the birth of the Virgin Mary.  A must see is the Church of Santa Marie delle Grazie or at least what it holds; the renowned fresco of Da Vinci’s Last Supper.

Monza home to the Autodromo is a state of the art motor racing track, an architectural feat on another level!  Sabbioneta is the defining ideal city of the Renaissance, Pavia is the city of ‘Hundred Towers’, the Visconti Castle and Bergamo the medieval walled city offers up many castles and monasteries to admire and explore.

If you are considering a holiday in this area, Cottages to Castles are pleased to offer a selection of privately owned and superbly presented villas in the Italian lakes. Choose your dream holiday from our stunning range of villas in Italy here.

   OUR FULL RANGE OF HOLIDAY HOMES IN LOMBARDY, MILAN & LAKE GARDA HOLIDAYS  
SAN ROCCO NO. 11
SAN ROCCO NO. 11
Soiano del Lago, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 4 | No of bedrooms 1
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SAN ROCCO NO. 21
SAN ROCCO NO. 21
Soiano del Lago, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 4 | No of bedrooms 1
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SAN ROCCO NO. 7
SAN ROCCO NO. 7
Soiano del Lago, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 3 | No of bedrooms 1
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VILLA CASTELLO-LOFT
VILLA CASTELLO-LOFT
San Felice del Benaco, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 4 | No of bedrooms 1
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VILLA CASTELLO-PATIO
VILLA CASTELLO-PATIO
San Felice del Benaco, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 4 | No of bedrooms 1
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VILLA VENEZIA-JUNIOR
VILLA VENEZIA-JUNIOR
San Felice del Benaco, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 4 | No of bedrooms 1
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V. CASTELLO-PANORAMIC
V. CASTELLO-PANORAMIC
San Felice del Benaco, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 6 | No of bedrooms 2
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VILLA VENEZIA-MASTER
VILLA VENEZIA-MASTER
San Felice del Benaco, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 5 | No of bedrooms 2
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L’ORTO DEGLI OLIVI
L’ORTO DEGLI OLIVI
Ossuccio, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 6 | No of bedrooms 3
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VILLA GARDA SPECIAL
VILLA GARDA SPECIAL
San Felice del Benaco, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 6 | No of bedrooms 3
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VILLA RENATE
VILLA RENATE
Viggiù, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 6 | No of bedrooms 3
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VILLA TORCHIO
VILLA TORCHIO
Manerba del Garda, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 5 | No of bedrooms 3
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VILLA VENEZIA-ATTIC
VILLA VENEZIA-ATTIC
San Felice del Benaco, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 8 | No of bedrooms 3
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VILLA VENEZIA-GARDEN
VILLA VENEZIA-GARDEN
San Felice del Benaco, Lombardy GBP 0
Sleep 9 | No of bedrooms 3
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