Posted in Italy on 18. Mar, 2010
When one first thinks of Italy, he or she might think of great food, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or perhaps even a boot. One of the lesser known, but best vacation spots is the Italian lake district in the north end of Italy, extending into Switzerland.
This district consists of Lakes Maggiore, Lugano, Como and Garda as the major lakes. Lakes Orta, Versa and Iseo are the minor lakes as well.
When someone visits the Lake District, they are immediately blown away by the landscape: snow-capped mountains, with deep, winding lakes cutting through. Hillsides are covered in banana, lemon and other fruit trees, while azaleas and wildflowers cover the hills in the summer and spring. It is hard to believe one can experience all of this, only an hour outside of Milan!
Each village is unique and has individual charm. Every day, at least one village hosts an outdoor market, complete with food, wine, clothing, knick-knacks and housewares.
If you are planning a trip to the lakes district, here are a few tips you should know:
- Be sure to keep your passport on you at all times. Switzerland isn’t part of the European Union, and you will be asked for it if you cross borders.
- Keep a charged battery, or pack a spare. Some of the views will be absolutely breathtaking, and you won’t want to miss them.
- Use public transportation as much as possible. It is difficult to drive in Italy (compared to driving in America) and it’s best to just let a local do the driving.
- Carry a little extra Euros with you. While most places take credit cards, smaller businesses and outdoor markets obviously do not.
- Tipping isn’t always necessary. While it is customary to tip 18-20% in America, this isn’t the case in Italy. No more than 5% is ever expected.
- Travel as light as possible, with clothes that can keep you both warm and cool, as well as plenty of socks.