Lombardy (Lombardia) is one of the richest regions of Italy, due to the fertile Po valley and the industrial/financial might of Milan.

See the Milan page for more...

The Lake Country

Even before Lake Como, Maggiore, Iseo, Garda, and Orta became famous as a refuge for Hollywood stars, people from around the world flocked to this idyllic country to enjoy lakeside dolce vita.  Lake Como specifically was the backdrop for films such as Star Wars Episode II (the lake where Anakin and Padme fall in love), Ocean's Twelve, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace. Also see this article about hiking along the lakes.

Lago di Garda (Lake Garda)

The largest lake in Italy, the tip is in Trentino, and the rest of the lake/shoreline is split between Lombardy and Veneto. The north end is more mountainous than the south, but there are mountain views throughout.  Known for being family-friendly.  This site has some nice maps giving an overview of the lake.

chowhound thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/715181

Riva del Garda - between mountains at the northernmost point of the lake, popular summer resort for Austrians and Germans

Arco - perched above Riva del Garda, home to a medieval castle

Brentonico - NE of lake

Malcesine - on Veneto (eastern) shore, very nice town at foot of Mount Baldo (a cableway takes you to the top!), which also features a medieval castle.  This blogger has some great photos and stories about Malcesine.

Limone - on Lombardian (western) shore, relatively small town crammed between the cliffs and lake

Gardone Riviera & Salò - at far southwest corner of lake

Sirmione - beautiful town perched on a tiny peninsula at the south end of the lake, features Scaliger Castle

Toscolano Maderno: Gelateria Ciocolat - named one of Dissapore's top gelaterie in Italy in 2017

Ca del Baldo agriturismo rec'd by Rick Steves reader www.cadelbaldo.com, in Caprino Veronese on the eastern shore

Pregasina - in the tiny Trentino portion of the lake near the northern end, park near Chiesa parrocchiale di San Giorgio to access trail 422, more info here

Lago di Como

While Lake Como caters to the rich and famous, us ordinary folks can also have fun here.  Rick Steve's favorite spot is Varenna, on the East shore.

Lago d'Iseo

This relatively untouristed lake boasts Europe's largest inland island, Monte Isola (you can hike to the top).

Lago Maggiore

As its name implies, the largest of the lakes, which extends up to Switzerland.  Classy and majestic.

Stresa is Rick Steve's favorite town (on the Piedmont shore)...from there, you can take a boat to Isola Bella, with a Borremeo palace

Lago di Varese

One of the smaller lakes, between Maggiore and Como. Features the "Little Versailles" of Palazzo Estense (along with other palazzi), the Sacro Monte di Varese (one of several "sacred mountains" that form a UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern Italy).

Lago d'Orta

Another smaller lake, west of Maggiore. Probably one of the least touristy (The Guardian called it "the Italian lake tourists haven't discovered")


Hilltop town with a bunch of cool museums and palaces, about 1 hour NE by car or train from Milan. The area around Bergamo is known for creamy Taleggio cheese. There's also a local specialty, "polenta e osèi" which means "polenta with little birds" but the more common dessert version is actually a sponge cake with marzipan and chocolate "birds".


Lombardy's third-largest city, just north of Milan, home to the Formula One race and palaces.  Duomo is cool, too.


Relatively large town not far from Milan

Mantua (Mantova)

City surrounded by artificial lakes with a nice Medieval/Renaissance core that is an UNESCO World Heritage site. ~2 hours by car or train from Milan; Modena (in Emilia Romagna) and Verona (in Veneto) are actually closer, at ~1 hour by car or train. It's especially known for its pumpkin cuisine, especially tortelli di zucca.

Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy

Together these form an UNESCO World Heritage Site, these nine "holy mountains" are spread across Lombardy and Piedmont, each with a chapel