Como, Maggiore or Garda

Jul 6th, 2017, 01:09 PM
  #1  
SAB
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Como, Maggiore or Garda

For our next trip to Italy we thought we might go to the lakes, well one lake actually, in addition to visiting Bologna. I'm trying to figure out where we would rent a villa for a week. I know Garda is nearest to Bologna, but that is not a huge factor, as we can always take the train to Milan. We want to rent a villa in a lovely location in a small village or town, with a lake view that will allow us to visit via ferry or car other lovely scenic places and places for great dining. We are not interested in shopping or hanging out at beaches or major tourist areas. Just want to relax, sit on a balcony and enjoy the view, eat great food and explore charming villages and towns. So I'm trying to get a sense of what each of the major lakes has to offer that would suit and what others might recommend. Any response is greatly appreciated.
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Jul 6th, 2017, 01:25 PM
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It's a subjective question obviously but after visiting all three I could not say which would fit you best -but I liked Garda the best, especially the northern fjord-like part -not sure but may have better weather too.

For a relaxing stay avoid mega tourist towns like Bellagio or Sirmione.
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 6th, 2017, 05:35 PM
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I've been to all three and spent several days lakeside on two of the three.

Depends on what you feel are "charming" in terms of those villages and towns.

I'm going to wait to make my own rec right now as I am curious as to what others say (and I already think I know which lake is going to win out).
Dukey1 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2017, 05:44 PM
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If you intend to ride the ferries a lot, you might want to review the extent and frequency of service on the three lakes at the time of year you plan to visit. Note that not all ferries carry cars and, depending on the town and time of year, parking can be very difficult.

http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/index.asp

If you want something more laid-back, look at Lake Iseo. No ferry service, but you can drive around the entire lake in under 2 hours.
Jean is online now  
Jul 7th, 2017, 02:55 AM
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Having been to all 3, my preference is Maggiore (with a side trip to Orta).
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Jul 7th, 2017, 12:03 PM
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Oh, everyone will have a different favorite, I'm sure. I would pick in this order:

Como
Garda
Maggiore
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 7th, 2017, 12:06 PM
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I forgot to say that I've also stayed lakeside on all three lakes. I've had the best meals in Riva del Garda.
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Jul 7th, 2017, 12:39 PM
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Garda is nice also because of its proximity to Verona as an easy day trip and towns like Brescia and Padua or even Venice.
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Jul 7th, 2017, 12:46 PM
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Bookmarking... I want to see which one wins!
Trophywife007 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2017, 12:51 PM
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Been to all of them, though not to ALL of all of them. My vote:
Garda
Como
Maggiore
Iseo
isabel is offline  
Jul 7th, 2017, 04:58 PM
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ttt
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Jul 8th, 2017, 08:21 PM
  #12  
SAB
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Thanks for all the responses so far--to those who have responded, what is you favorite town, village on your favorite lake?
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Jul 8th, 2017, 09:19 PM
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We very much enjoyed self-catering places in Bellagio, despite the crush, but I did love seeing Lake Garda and if I found a suitable place with a lake view but close enough to a small town that would set me up just fine.
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Jul 9th, 2017, 12:07 AM
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I too have been to all three lakes, plus a couple of the smaller ones, but I do prefer Lake Garda. Although Sirmione is a lways reviewed as very touristy and crowded, that only applies during the day. Once the day trippers have gone, it's wonderful in the evening and if you are out during the day you won't have to deal with crowds.

Otherwise consider Bardolino or Garda, both towards the southern end of the lake, or Riva or Malcesine in the north. Riva is the better of the two.l

The advantage in staying at tyhe southern end is that you can catch a train from Peschiera or Desenzano to Verona (where you change trains for Venice).
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Jul 9th, 2017, 05:05 AM
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"We want to rent a villa in a lovely location in a small village or town, with a lake view that will allow us to visit via ferry or car other lovely scenic places and places for great dining."

Lago di Como best fits this description, and while none of the lakes top the charts when it comes to "great dining," Lago di Como offers the best choices, partly because it attracts so many demanding day tripping Italians from Milan.

Renting an entire villa on the lake can be extremely pricey. (True of the other lakes as well.) Consider an apartment rental with a view in a town like Argegno or another town nearby that also has a ferry dock.

The southern end of Lago di Garda is the least scenic area of not only Lago di Garda, but also the other lakes. It has train connections if you are interested, but you need to know it is not particularly beautiful.
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Jul 11th, 2017, 09:19 AM
  #16  
SAB
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Thanks for replies. massimop,thanks for the advice, but we are aware of price for houses or villas as we typically rent them when not staying in a large city.
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Jul 11th, 2017, 01:17 PM
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Why does no one mention Lago Lugano--it is as much Italy as CH.
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