George Clooney, Madonna, Donatella Versace and Sir Richard Branson may own villas on north Italy's idyllic Lake Como, but the tranquil paradise for the rich and famous offers a lot more than a chance at getting a glimpse of the stars.
From a family day out at the Jungle Raider amusement park to a romantic ferry ride through the beautiful villages, the famous Italian lake has plenty to offer.
George Clooney's villa in Lake Como
With Lake Maggiore, north Italy's second most popular holiday destination, situated relatively close, visitors can take the express train from either one of the beautiful lakes to fully experience the breath-taking Italian nature.
Surrounded by mountains offering incredible panoramic views, the two destinations are as popular with Italians as foreign visitors.
While luxurious villas are spotted around the picturesque landscapes – such as George Clooney's $8million mansion – there are also several luxury apartments available for rent, visit Bookings For You for some irresistible options.
The lakes are a popular destination for Italians and foreign tourists
Tourists have a range of unique towns to choose from hidden in the hills of Lake Maggiore and the town of Stresa is an ideal base to explore old towns such as Baveno and Pallanza.
Baveno is noted for its narrow cobbled streets and charming 16th century square and those arriving with boat cannot help but notice the English Gothic style Villa Branca. Meanwhile, Pallenza offers a wide selection of cafés and bars and is also home to the stunning Villa Taranto Gardens.
In Lake Como, where George and Amal Clooney spend up to four months of the year, tourists have the chance to discover hidden gems and gardens in the many villages situated around the hills.
The best time to visit the lakes is during spring or summer
The pretty town of Bellagio, known as the pearl of the lake, is situated where the three branches of the lake come together.
Those looking for a magnificent garden with idyllic views should visit the village of Tremezzo, which is situated near Lenno and is home to Villa Balbianello. It's one of Como's most visited villas and boasts an immense garden offering more than 500 species and varieties of plants, trees and flowers including azaleas, rhododendrons and ancient cedars and sequoias, as well as a masterpiece by famous Italian sculptor Canova.
Where to stay
To fully experience the tranquility of the lakes, renting a luxury apartment by the lakeshore can be a better choice than going to a hotel. One option could be a brand new three-bedroom apartment with swimming pool, situated in Lesa in the Italian Lakes. Furnished in a modern, contemporary style, it offers a high standard of accommodation and enjoys stunning views over Lake Maggiore.
The apartment is located on the second floor of the building and access to the property is via a lift or external stairs. Inside there is a wonderful open plan living, kitchen and dining area. Floor to ceiling windows ensure that guests can enjoy the phenomenal lake views from this area.
Doors lead out on to a covered terrace area, equipped with table and chairs for al fresco dining as well as comfortable seating, ideal for pre-dinner drinks.
Feel like an A-lister in this luxurious apartment situated in Lake Maggiore
The glass balcony ensures that guests can make the most of the wonderful views. The kitchen is modern and contemporary and well equipped. Two of the rooms have double beds while the third bedroom has twin beds. There are also two bathrooms, one with a tub ideal for those with younger children. The other bathroom has a shower and is fully adapted for wheelchair use.
Guests enjoy use of an infinity swimming pool. Loungers are provided for lazy days by the poolside.
To book visit: Bookingsforyou.com
The luxury apartment features a stunning pool and incredible views