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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Italian Lakes

When to go

Located in Northern Italy, the best time for holidays in the Italian Lakes is from May to September. Temperatures reach their highest in July with an average heat of 24°C, which means it never gets unbearable. May is usually when most rain falls over the lakes. As the lakes have a cooling effect, temperature dip in the evenings, so visiting off peak can be quite cool after sunset.

Health and safety

Tap water is generally safe to drink in Italy, but where it isn't, you'll see a sign that reads 'acqua non potabile'. As with any holiday, you should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover yourself and family on your trip.

It's also a good idea to apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, EHIC before leaving the UK as this entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Italian nationals. It won't, however, cover you for medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment.

If you're booking Italian Lakes holidays specifically to take part in sports or watersports, including hiking, you should make sure your insurance covers this. See our holiday extras page for more information and for the latest health and safety information visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/health.

Passports and visas

British citizens don't need a visa to enter Italy but must have a valid passport. By law, you must carry your passport with you and may need to show it when paying by credit card. For the most up-to-date passport and visa info, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements.

Getting around

The Italian Lakes, which include Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, cover a large area, and are quite far from each other. If you've booked a holiday in Como or Maggiore, flights will most likely land in Milan. If you're visiting Garda, you'll most likely fly into Verona. Most tour operators include transfers as part of a holiday package so getting to your resort is easy.

If you'd prefer to make your own travel arrangements, public transport is a good option in this part of Italy. There's a train from Verona to Lake Garda that will take you to Desenzano, otherwise buses go to Riva and Malcesine, as well as other areas in the Lake. From Milan there are also trains that will take you to Como's central station, Como San Giovanni.

Be aware that travelling to the Italian Lakes can take from half an hour to two hours and that services dwindle outside of peak season, so ensure you make plans in advance. Once you've reached your hotel, the most scenic way to get around is by boat. You can either choose a fast hydrofoil or catamaran, or a slower pleasure boat, for which day passes are available.


Connector type: Two pin connector type F and L Voltage Info: Standard voltage is 230 V

Emergency information

Call 112 for all emergencies and the operator will put you through to the police, fire brigade or ambulance service. The line is operated in five languages including English.

British Consulate

If you're a victim of crime or affected by a crisis overseas, or if something happens to a relative or partner contact the British Consulate in Milan.

Address: Via S. Paolo. 7, 20121 Milan Email: info.consulate@fco.gov.uk Phone: +39 02 723001

If you're in the UK and concerned about a British National abroad call 020 7008 1500


There are various hospitals at the different lakes, however the city of Milan has one of the most comprehensive hospitals that includes an emergency department as well as an English speaking call centre for residents and visitors.

San Raffaele Hospital Address: Via Olgettina 60, 20132 Milan Phone: (English call centre from 8.30am to 4pm) +39 02 26436960