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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Discover the 'Other' Italian Lakes

Lago Maggiore as seen from Verbania, Italy. La...Image via Wikipedia

By Mark Scriven

When you think of the Italian Lakes most people tend to think of Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como, and Lake Garda - the famous glacial lakes located in the northern Lombardy region in the foothills of the Alps and close to Italy's border with Switzerland. These stunning lakes attract millions of tourists each year and can be exceptionally crowded during weekends and in the summer months.

However, there are another group of lakes in Italy which are just as beautiful but much less well-known. The 'other' Italian lakes are volcanic in nature and located just north of Rome, in the Lazio area. Lake Bracciano, Lake Bolsena and Lake Vico are very easy to get to and are all breathtakingly beautiful. You will find them between the Apennine Mountains on the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west sitting at an altitude of almost three hundred meters.

Perhaps one of the best ways to experience these lakes is to rent one of the many historical holiday houses that are available in the area. These properties tend to be located in very rural areas, or in small villages, and provide a real feel for the local area.

There are many holiday rental options to choose from in the Lazio region that will fit any budget. However, due to the proximity of Rome it is important to make reservations well in advance - especially in high season.

You will find a number of stunning rental properties in this area. For example, the lovely Villa Concetta is only two kilometers away from Lake Vico. This is the oldest volcanic lake in Europe. It is also very near to lake front beaches and lots of nice restaurants and bars. The villa is surrounded by spacious landscaped grounds and is equipped with a private swimming pool.

You can barbecue and eat outside on the patio. If you don't want to cook, there are great restaurants nearby. The village of Caprarola is nearby with its pharmacy, shops and banks. There are wonderful walking trails in the nearby woods and the Cimini mountains.

Villa Castelluzzo is another beautiful and historic holiday villa which is secluded amongst lovely lawns, wooded gardens, and mature trees on the Lazio/Umbria border near Assisi. This property is extremely well appointed and features a floodlit tennis court, a large outdoor pool, a heated indoor pool, sauna and jacuzzi.

The lovely village of Lubriano is only a few kilometers away and you can easily drive to Lake Bolsena just 16-kilometers away. The towns of Maremma and Montepulciano make great day trips.

Villa Anna is a large vacation property suitable for a group on holiday or for a large family. It's situated only an hour from Rome on the shore of beautiful Lake Vico. The house features open fireplaces, large picture windows and traditional furnishings. It offers a total of five bedrooms - three on the ground floor and two on the second floor. There is plenty of outside dining space and the house overlooks wooded gardens and lawns with wonderful panoramas of the lake and the beach. The lake with its numerous restaurants and bars is a short walk from the villa.

The historic village of Ronciglione is just four kilometers away on the Via Francigena offering a wide selection of restaurants as well as other amenities.

Whether you decide to stay in one of these stunning holiday homes or choose a different accommodation option, the 'other' Italian lakes of Lake Bracciano, Lake Bolsena and Lake Vico are definitely worth a visit. Not only are they as beautiful as their more celebrated rivals in the North of Italy, but they also offer a much less crowded and natural alternative.

Mark Scriven is an online marketing expert and has written many articles on business, travel and the internet. For a wide selection of holiday villas in Italy visit Cottages to Castles, specialists in luxury vacation rentals in Italy.

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