While this Mediterranean peninsula is surrounded by 7,500 kilometers of seaside, there are also magnificent lakeside views as well. The majestic, serenity of some are compilmented by the dramatic landscapes of others. Whether you fancy a sand lined lagoons, fresh water sanctuaries amongst the mountains, or hillside forest surrounded ponds, Italy can offer it. Lakesides are more peaceful and hold great holiday homes or even year-round living quarters.
The main lake district is in the North of Italy, consisting of Lake Como, Lake Garda, and Lake Maggiore. However, there are more throughout the country. We will dive into the Northern lake district first and then move on to the other regions. While all of Italy’s coasts are beautiful, the lake coasts are particular and offer a very different feeling than that of the sea. Many areas hold restrictions on building development so the value of the home and area that you fall in love with when buying the property is protected. The real estate market is very safe in Italy with a constant flow of demand, even if it’s slowed in recent years. This country does not experience many spikes in the market in general and property holds its value very well.
The Northern Lakes
Close to the metropolis that is Italy’s northern cities, the lakes of the north offer the most stable infrastructure and wealth. Wealthy northern Italian families search for second homes here also so properties are expensive as the demand is high. You can find some good deals of course if you shop around. This is a great location for connections for travel to other cities or countries. All the lakes are close to Milan, Italy’s main working city with incredible connections to the rest of Europe. Italians enjoy these waterside towns as a break from the city life. This is a wealthy area with high quality of life.
Lake Como is one of the most well known lakes of Italy. It’s famous for many things, especially its beauty, but also because the world famous actor, George Clooney holds a property here. Some believe this is the most romantic and beautiful of all the Italian lakes but each have their charm and none is much better than another.
The vibe of this lake can be quite dramatic and surreal. With views of the Alps, and misty fogs, it can be a scene right from a old romantic painting. With its narrow Y shape, each coast offers a view of another coastal town on the lake. Many famous people own properties here and many towns offer a feeling of sophistication and elegance. It can be quite pricy so if you are looking for property here, be prepared to spend a pretty penny.
This lake is Italy’s largest and most visited and situated about 80 miles east of Lake Como. It’s a fantastic place for windsurfing and sailing due to its access to northern winds. During the summer months, it becomes very crowded and offers mountainous terrain and views to the north, slowly decreasing, getting flatter and flatter as you move down the coastline. You can find villas and apartments here, many part of developments offering common pools. However, villas may have many amenities on their property specific for that place itself. Garda is very family friendly with many kids around the area. However, it is probably the most expensive to buy property here of all the lakes.
To the west of Lake Como we find Lake Maggiore. This lake also offers similar views and is breathtaking. The east side of the lake is better for purchasing property and is less crowded than the west. A 1-bedroom apartment runs at about €120,000 while a 2-bedroom place gets up to €180,000 starting out. Stresa, on the western side is the most expensive. If you’re purchasing a property with the intention to rent it out, around 8 months of the year, you will probably have bids for renting. If the property is a convenient spot for skiing purposes, you may find people to rent for more times of the year.
Central Italy’s Lakes
While foreigners may be most familiar with the lakes of the North, there are dozens of lakes of varying sizes all over the country. The central regions are home to some beautiful lakes as well. In the regions of Tuscany, Umbria, and the capital city of Rome are in this area. So, while you may not have the close metropolitan and wealthy north, the central regions offer the best wines and other breathtaking landscapes. They are more inexpensive than the northern lakes and offer more warm months out of the year.
Lake Bolsena & Lake Bracciano
Lake Bolsena is the 5th largest in Italy and is said to be the cleanest lake in Europe. To the south, is Lake Bracciano. As it is close to Rome, it embodies much of the same southern, old, Roman charm. Italian visitors and foreigners both love this lake for holiday renting and buying. This area suffers from restrictions on the building, however so property is limited. You can get a small cottage at around €70,000 starting out.
The fourth largest lake in Italy is Lake Trasimeno. It’s known for its shallow waters and decently warm lake water for most of the year. Apartments here are similarly priced to the small homes of Lake Bracciano. Larger apartments can reach up to €150,000 is you have access to a balcony or larger garden area. The properties have been restored and are very beautiful. The lakeside allows access to forests, vineyards of wine-country, beaches of sand, and fields of sunflowers. It’s truly a picturesque site!
Pricing in the Italian market is at a bit of a stand still. There are less buyers out there today so typically, sellers are not hurrying buyers to make decisions. You have the added benefit of time to shop around and consider all the factors before buying. Additionally this has led to many sellers accepting offers below their asking price. It’s a great time to buy and the market is very safe and secure. Italy’s lakeside properties are a great investment!