Staff Review

Milan & The Italian Lakes


16 Jun 2017

by The Kirker Team

Kirker Holidays

One of my favourite trips to Italy so far has been my recent trip to Milan and the Italian lakes. The trip started in the fashion capital Milan, where we spent the night at the Carlton Baglioni. The hotel is perfectly located with an entrance on the shopping street Via della Spiga and is only 10 minutes’ walk from the famous La Scala theatre and Milan’s spectacular Duomo. After checking into our spacious and elegantly furnished room, we had a delicious cocktail, served with typical Milanese aperitivo in the hotel’s stylish bar – an excellent spot for some people watching. We then enjoyed a fantastic meal at a local restaurant, Alla Collina Pistoiese (speak to our concierge to book a table). Even though the restaurant was on the other side of the city centre, it only took us 20 minutes to walk back to the hotel, passing the Duomo on our way, which was stunningly illuminated. The next day we took a leisurely stroll through the compact centre of Milan, and were able to have a look inside the impressive Duomo in daylight, before collecting our rental car and starting our drive north towards Lago di Como.

The Italian lakes are an excellent destination for a one or two week summer holiday, but they can also make for a wonderful three or four night short break as they are easily accessible from Milan Malpensa airport in less than an hour’s drive. The most strikingly beautiful lake and one of the most well-known is Lake Como. In the shape of an upside-down Y, the lake offers incredible views and the mountains provide stunning backdrops from every angle. Part of its charm is that it is narrow enough to be able to see the picturesque villages on the other side of the lake. Regular ferry services between lakeside towns such as Bellagio and Tremezzo give you the opportunity to explore the other side of the lake for a day, or even for a lovely al fresco dinner. The 3 star hotel Florence was a pleasant surprise, combining bold colours with an elegant traditional style, it is an excellent choice for a short stay in Bellagio. Even the rooms without lake view have a French balcony which offers lovely views of the quaint cobbled side streets which this pretty village is known for. The rooftop is great for relaxing in the sun, whilst other guests prefer to sit outside, enjoying an espresso on the terrace with stunning views over the lake.

Lake Maggiore is also an incredibly beautiful lake, but with gentler, less dramatic scenery. Lovely lakeside towns such as Pallanza and Stresa make an excellent base for a relaxing holiday, whilst the Borromeo islands and the gardens around the lake are spectacular. The Grand Hotel Majestic, a lake-front Kirker favourite, is located on a quiet one-way road just 10 minutes’ walk from Pallanza If you are looking for something with even more grandeur, the Grand Hotel des Isles Borromees is an excellent choice. Located just 5 minutes’ walk from the centre of Stresa, with its adorable little alleyways and vibrant square, the hotel offers comfortable rooms with stunning views of the lake, an extensive spa and subtropical gardens with a tennis court and large outdoor pool.

Lake Orta was the biggest surprise of all for us. Located west of Lake Maggiore, it is a small lake and less known than Lake Maggiore, Como or Garda, but is very charming and more peaceful. Our hotel, the Casa Fantini, is located in the picturesque village of Pella.

The lakes continue to be a very popular destination for our clients and lend themselves easily to multi-centre holidays. Just speak to me or one of our other experts for a tailor-made quotation to include flights accommodation in our recommended hotels and transport by either private transfers or a hire car.

Speak to an expert - 020 7593 2288

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.


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