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Lake Como, Italy

When is the best time to visit the Italian Lakes?

Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) are ideal times to visit the Italian Lakes with comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds. The fabulous gardens that line the shores are at their best between April and June and the rising temperatures are a real draw.

The summer months of July and August see the highest temperatures, making this a great time to relax by the water, but it’s also when visitor numbers reach their peak. In September the summer heat eases off and the lakeshores are quieter for sightseeing. From November to March, the temperature drops considerably and many hotels shut down for the winter.

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Italian Lakes Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Lake Como 3°C 64mm 5°C 60mm 9°C 85mm 13°C 121mm 17°C 165mm 21°C 151mm 24°C 127mm 22°C 156mm 19°C 132mm 14°C 124mm 8°C 108mm 5°C 55mm
Lake Maggiore 5°C 64mm 7°C 70mm 11°C 91mm 15°C 117mm 19°C 148mm 23°C 132mm 26°C 105mm 25°C 129mm 22°C 111mm 16°C 121mm 10°C 109mm 6°C 60mm

Month-by-month guide to traveling in the Italian Lakes

The Nesso Waterfall, Lake Como

Visiting the Italian Lakes in November - February

In the winter, low temperatures hover around freezing and, with the exception of Christmas and New Year (when some places open for the holidays), this isn’t the best time to visit the region as most hotels and restaurants will be closed.

Spring, Lake Maggiore

Visiting the Italian Lakes in March - April

Although this is still part of the low season, the number of visitors starts to pick up and most hotels re-open from Easter onward. Blessed with the rising temperatures, this is one of the best times to witness the famous lakeside gardens as they begin to bloom. While it’s a good time to visit the lakes, you should be aware that it can still be a bit wet.

Events & Festivals

  • Liberation Day, a national holiday held on 25th April, commemorates the Allied overthrow of the Nazis and the end of Mussolini’s rule.
Villa Carlotta, Lake Como

Visiting the Italian Lakes in May - June

May to June is an ideal time to visit the lakes, with visitor numbers lower, before the height of the summer season. This is a great time for walking and boating, as the temperatures continue to rise without becoming sweltering. May and June are especially beautiful months to visit the region, as the rhododendrons and azaleas in the lakeside gardens begin to bloom.

Events & Festivals

  • Lake Como holds its annual festival between June and September, complete with many musical performances and fireworks around the lake.
  • Republic Day on 2nd June is a national holiday, celebrating the foundation of the modern republic of Italy.
Bellagio, Lake Como

Visiting the Italian Lakes in July - August

Visitors to the Italian Lakes surge in the summer months, when many Italians abandon the cities for cooler climes. This is the peak season and you’ll find everything is open, if arguably more crowded, and the weather is ideal for outdoor enjoyment.

Events & Festivals

  • Lake Como holds its annual festival between June and September, complete with many musical performances and fireworks around the lake.
  • Stresa Festival (July to September): Music and art festival held in a number of venues around Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta.
  • Firework Festival (July to August): A light and sound show around Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta
Bellagio, Lake Como

Visiting the Italian Lakes in September - October

Temperatures in September and October can be mild and are often still warm enough for a pleasant stay. With fewer visitors you can bask in the autumnal sunshine and admire the region at your own pace. While many fine days are often on the cards at this time of year, wet days are not uncommon but are typically outweighed by pleasanter conditions.  

Events & Festivals

  • Lake Como holds its annual festival between June and September, complete with many musical performances and fireworks around the lake.
  • Stresa Festival (July to September): Music and art festival held in a number of venues around Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta.
  • Poetry on the Lake (autumn): Poets from all over the world come together during this British-run poetry festival on Lake Orta.

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Travel advice

Practical tips for traveling to the Italian Lakes, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.

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