Lake Views and Island Homes in Italy

Have you been to the Italian Lake District?

We’re going…

When my team first started searching for bargains amid the lakes of northern Italy I didn’t know the climate there was so mild!

I don’t do cold. I travel from place to place to avoid it. I don’t like weather that’s too hot and sticky either. I’m like Goldilocks with the bear porridge, I keep moving to get the perfect temperature. Cabo in winter…Portugal in spring…Ireland in summer…

(Tell me, what’s your perfect climate?)


The largest lake island in Southern Europe is in this lake and you’ll find property for sale from around $90,000.

I’ve now found out these lakelands are significantly warmer than the rest of northern Italy. Interesting! Sub-tropical plants can grow all year round in the many gardens. It’s something to do with the lake water releasing heat.

I feel a scouting trip coming on…especially now I’ve seen what property prices are like!

(Tell my team and I where in Italy we should go!)

If I can’t go soon I’ll ask a team member. I know the region is extremely popular with vacationers…it’s got a lot of things that the newly mobile ordinary rich look for. That’s what I call the well-heeled professionals now working remotely either part or full time. They’re appearing in all the world’s beautiful and easy-to-reach places seeking to rent and to buy.

By being ahead of them and owning the right real estate in the right place, and buying at the right price, we can do very well. Own our dream home in the Italian lake district and have it pay us when we’re not there…

The great lakes of northern Italy have attracted wealthy vacationers since Roman times. They come for the views, the mild climate, the amazing food and the luxurious and refined hotels.

You’ll find these Italian lakes where the verdant plains of Lombardy give way to the majestic Alps—a region of unparalleled beauty and serenity.

A favored retreat for poets, artists, and travelers since Roman times, the lakeside villages offer a blend of natural splendor and refinement that you’d expect of Italy.

At the heart of this district lies Lake Como, a shimmering expanse of water that has been a muse to writers and a haven for aristocrats for centuries. With its Y-shaped form cradled by towering mountains, Lake Como is a jewel of breathtaking vistas and tranquil waters.

Lake Como is a haven of A-listers. George Clooney, Madonna, Richard Branson, Sylvester Stallone, Gianni Versace, and soccer legend Ronaldinho, own or have owned villas around its shores.

The village of Rezzonico on the shores of Lake Como. My team found a home near here with stunning views for only €250,000 ($271,000).

€250,000 ($271,000). Close to a pebble beach and the tranquil little village of Rezzonico, my team sent me details of a 860-square-foot lake-view home.

This village doesn’t get the same overwhelming numbers of tourists as others around the lake, yet it’s only 15 minutes’ drive to the town of Tremezzo for its lavish villas and lakefront hotels. (One of them has a floating swimming pool I hear.)

You have a small pebble beach and the cobbled lanes of your village to enjoy, and you’re in a strategically privileged location with the ferry close by. This will take you to the famous town of Bellagio…

Views of Lake Como every day from your Italian home. See the listing here.

Bellagio is often referred to as the “Pearl of Lake Como,” and it’s easy to see why.

This picturesque town is located at the point where the Y-shaped Lake Como divides into two branches, offering stunning panoramic views of the water and the surrounding mountains. Bellagio is known for its charming streets, elegant buildings, and the beautiful waterfront promenade that allows visitors to stroll and take in the breathtaking scenery.

One of the town’s most famous attractions is the Villa Melzi Gardens, a magnificent example of Italianate landscaping, which stretches along the lake shore and is filled with a variety of plants, sculptures, and an orangery.

Another notable sight is the Villa Serbelloni, now owned by the Rockefeller Foundation, which sits atop the hill and offers guided tours of its grounds and gardens, providing visitors with a glimpse into the luxury and beauty of Bellagio’s past.

Bellagio on the shores of Lake Como.

The town’s narrow and steep cobblestone streets are lined with boutique shops, cafés, and restaurants, inviting visitors to explore and enjoy the local cuisine and artisanal products.

Bellagio gets overrun with tourists in the summer. In fact, it’s one of those international beauty spots at the center of efforts to stop “over-tourism.”

By owning in a secret village a ferry hop across the lake you get all the benefits and can avoid the hassle. And you could tap into that flood of tourists for rental income…perhaps. My team are looking into the rules around short-term rentals.

To the west of Lake Como is Lake Maggiore stretching across the border into Switzerland, its long, slender body surrounded by hills and mountains. The Borromean Islands, a cluster of islets famed for their exquisite gardens and aristocratic mansions, emerge from the lake’s azure waters like emeralds set in silver. The quaint towns of Stresa and Verbania serve as gateways to the natural and architectural wonders of the area, providing a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.

Lake Maggiore on the border of Italy and Switzerland.

Further east, Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, offers a dramatically different landscape. Here, the Mediterranean charm of the south meets the alpine majesty of the north, creating a microcosm of Italian diversity. Olive groves and lemon orchards line the southern shores, while the northern part is framed by towering cliffs and windswept beaches popular with sailors and windsurfers. The towns around Lake Garda, from the ancient fortifications of Sirmione to the serene beauty of Riva del Garda, offer a mosaic of historical and natural attractions.

Beyond these the lake district is sprinkled with smaller lakes, each with its own unique allure. Lake Iseo, with its enchanting Monte Isola—the largest lake island in Southern Europe—and Lake Orta, a serene haven surrounded by dense woods and silent monasteries, offer more intimate encounters with the region’s beauty.

On the island of Monte Isola in Lake Iseo my team found some very cool looking properties. Prices are as low as €80,000 ($86,500) but for a decent lake view you’ll want a bigger budget…

A few steps away from the ferry on the island of Monte Isola in Lake Iseo is a two-bed apartment selling for €132,000 ($143,000). An Italian island hideaway to escape to!

Monte Isola is two hours from Milan and Bergamo airport is just an hour and 15 minutes away.

The island is a little under two square miles in size and has about 1,600 inhabitants. Cars are rare, and you’ll find numerous olive tree groves—testament to the island’s mild micro-climate. The island was included in the list of “ the most beautiful villages in Italy.”

I think my pick so far is this lakefront home for €349,000 complete with ducks and swans swimming by. That’s $377,500.

You’ll own this lakefront home on an island in Lake Iseo for just €349,000. (That’s $377,500).

The listing says the owner is leaving the country and open to selling the home furnished. It also says the hamlet where you’ll find the home has a mini-market, two bars, a restaurant, a library, a doctor’s office and a church (San Giovanni Battista).

As always, the best way to drill down on these potential opportunities is to get someone over there…

Boots on the ground.

Stay tuned. I’m going to talk to my team about scouting in Italy.

And if you have thoughts on where we should go, let me know.

Wishing you good real estate investing,


Ronan McMahon, Overseas Real Estate Expert

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