Italian Lakes (2013)

ITALIAN LAKES’S TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS

Here, at a glance, are the region’s must-sees and must-dos: art, ancient and inspirational; extraordinary buildings, from the strange Vittoriale to the dramatic Arco castle; grand opera in the Verona Arena; and of course, stunning scenery.

Top Attraction 1

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Castles . Armies of crenellated castles march down the valleys of Trentino, protecting the ancient boundaries between Austria and Venice. Arco, near Lake Garda, is one of the most dramatic. For more information, click here .

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Top Attraction 2

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Bellagio . Tree-lined walkways and grand hotels line Bellagio’s waterfront on Lake Como, an imposing sight best viewed from the deck of a private yacht. For more information, click here .

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Top Attraction 3

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Milan’s shopping district . Whether it’s black-sequinned underpants or a diamond-encrusted watch, the place to spend your money is in the aptly named Quadrilatero d’Oro (Golden Square), a network of narrow streets from Via della Spiga to Piazza Duomo filled with high fashion from the fabulous to the ridiculous. For more information, click here .

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Top Attraction 4

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Wines . Choose your tipple from a rich red Bardolino or Valpolicella, a smooth Soave, light-headed Trentino or bubbly Franciacorta. For more information, click here .

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Top Attraction 5

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Isola Bella . Sculpted to look like a ship, named after a countess and planted with towering terraces, there is nothing natural about Isola Bella, but it is still a magnificent island garden. For more information, click here .

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Top Attraction 6

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Parco Adamello-Brenta . Spanning the border between Brescia and Trentino, this is a haven of wildlife, from edelweiss and chamois to bears and golden eagles. For more information, click here .

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Top Attraction 7

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Il Vittoriale . The warrior poet and Fascist supporter Gabriele D’Annunzio was an Italian hero − and probably barking mad. The fantasy villa he built for himself on Lake Garda is a place of strong emotion and strange decor. For more information, click here .

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Top Attraction 8

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Verona’s Arena Festival . Where lions once roared, sopranos now soar as grand opera fills the ancient Roman arena. Unmissable, spectacular and with glorious music in one of Italy’s most imposing monuments – a perfect package. For more information, click here .

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Top Attraction 9

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Orta San Giulio . A legendary island, brightly painted fishing boats, and frescoes painted on the walls of a medieval piazza, make this village on the shores of little Lake Orta almost impossibly romantic. For more information, click here .

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Top Attraction 10

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Riva del Garda . A stunning setting, graced by a castle, a Venetian fortress and the impressive cliffs of Monte Rocchetta. Nearby, visit the Grotta Cascate Varone, a waterfall cascading through a canyon. For more information, click here .