Holidays in the Italian Lakes, including Garda, Como and Maggiore, are abuzz during the sunny summer days. As the warm nights set in, locals can be found socialising in smart restaurants, traditional trattorias and popular bars, which often stay open late to satisfy customers.Restaurants and bars line elegant promenades with panoramic views of the lakes, and sit-in venues among cobbled old streets.
This fancy bar, located in one of the most beautiful squares on Lake Como – Riva of Cernobbio, is the place to be seen. The chain of bars has been around since the 1930s and, as well as being an arbiter of tradition, it also holds the accolade for inventing the famous Italian drink the Bellini. They use a secret recipe that's been handed down for generations. So, if you're into peaches and champagne, and want the opportunity to be seated next to George Clooney and his house-guests, this is definitely the place to head.
Located on a hillside overlooking the stunning scenery of Lake Garda, Hollywood is where the glamorous set like to head on a night out. The club is located in a gorgeous 1950s villa surrounded by palm trees and boasting an outdoor swimming pool. Local and international DJs play here until the early hours of the morning. You can make a whole night of it, beginning with dinner and drinks by the poolside at the club's restaurant Sinatra, followed by dancing until 5am while enjoying panoramic views of the lake.
This chic bar and restaurant is located on its own stretch of private beach. On Friday and Saturday nights it transforms into a nightclub featuring a covered dancefloor, gazebos filled with candlelight and ambience, and DJs playing sets as you throw your shoes off and dance in the warm breeze. While inside the contemporary restaurant is a must – they serve typical lake cuisine and there are over 800 wines to choose from. Time it well and you might even catch a live band.
Hang out with the kite and windsurfers in Active Bar in Malcesine. This funky bar is aptly decorated with kiteboards on the wall and a big screen providing footage that will remind you what you're doing the next day – getting back on the water. It's open until midnight with a DJ getting the party going, as well as a varied selection of drinks and small bites to eat including piadina, which is an Italian flatbread.
The doors of this nightclub opened in 1990 and it's become one of the most famous clubs in Northern Italy – quite an accolade. This three-floor nightclub is situated in a converted farmhouse located on a rocky outcrop that overlooks the glistening lake, from where you can see the ancient site of Rocca d'Angera. It saw a substantial renovation in 2007, keeping it fresh and well-manicured, with a summer garden providing further space. There's music here to suit all tastes, as guest DJs fly in from all over the world.