Lake Garda


Italy’s largest lake is a picture-perfect anomaly in the country’s northern reaches. Roughly 80 miles east of Milan and more than three hours from the Swiss border, the expansive body of water is surprisingly warm (water sports are commonplace most months of the year). And the land surrounding it boasts a Mediterranean climate where fragrant olive and citrus trees thrive.

History buffs can explore the destination’s myriad Roman ruins, medieval fortresses and Renaissance-era villas, while outdoorsy types should take advantage of the regions’ rugged terrain with endless hikes and mountain biking adventures.

No matter your interests, be sure to make time to explore the charming towns that border the 32-mile-long lake, including Sirmione’s ancient sites in the south, Limone’s red-roofed houses and Riva del Garda’s vibrant local shops at the natural wonder’s mountainous northern end.