Guide to the Italian Lakes

Welcome to our guide to the Italian Lakes. My name is Dan Wrightson and I run “Invitation to“. We’ve been finding beautiful villas to rent in Italy for decades. I grew up in Tuscany, and have since spent a lot of time climbing and walking around the Italian Lakes.

This website is where we share some of our knowledge, from local festivals to good restaurants, where to hire a private boat or a go on a breathtaking walk.

You’ll see some of my sketches dotted around – I like to take time to sit down and record the places I see like the Grand Tour travelers of the past. You can see more of them here:

To see our villas, go to our main website, – and to ask us for advice and help, please just get in touch: contact us

Map of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore
Visiting Casa del Pescatore

The button below will take you to our main site, and the villa listings.

Just wanted to send you a note to let you know we had a wonderful time the other week at Lake Como! What an amazing location! We didn’t really want to leave the house it was so beautiful there with the view. We did manage however to se some of the beautiful gardens and villas as well as take a tour around the lake by a boat Greta arranged for us. Thank you for all your assistance. We look forward to our return.

Getting to the Italian Lakes

Flying to the Lakes: 

 Milan has three airports around it: Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo.

Milano Malpensa is the main airport for intercontinental flights, while Bergamo is usually where RyanAir flies to. Malpensa is also the closest airport for both Lakes Como and Maggiore, though Linate is fine for Lake Como too.

Turin airport is also a possibility for Lake Maggiore, as it is around an hour an a half from Stresa.


The driving times to the 2  Lakes’ cities of Como and Stresa are below:

Milan Malpensa to Como: 45 minutes

Milan Malpensa to Stresa: 55 minutes

Milan Linate to Como:1 hour

Milan Linate to Stresa: 1 hour and a half

Milan Bergamo to Como: 1 hour and a half

Milan Bergamo to Stresa: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Car Hire:

If you rent a villa you will nearly always need a car – we can help you with this as we have some excellent prices for the main providers. Driving is a wonderful way to explore the hill villages and towns – feel free to ask us for advice or tips.

Car and Driver:

We can also book you a car and driver – or a van. This is an excellent solution when you’d like to go on a wine tour, or would rather have somebody else take over the driving so the whole family can relax.

Driving around Lake Maggiore
Map with airports and villas

The main airports are marked below, as well as our villas. You can click on a villa and see the directions from an airport – or anywhere else. The addresses are not precise, for privacy reasons, but the timings will be close enough. If you click on ‘more details’ you’ll be taken to our main website “” which lists all the houses.