Hotel Green Motel, near Malpensa Airport ****
This hotel is located in the village of Corgeno Di Vergiate which lies 11 kilometres from Milan Malpensa Airport and 50 kilometres from the historic centre of Milan itself, which is easily reached by road or rail. The two-storey Hotel Green Motel is housed in a modern building. View hotel
Double rooms from €38
Hotel La Selva, near Varese ****
This hotel is located in the village of Vergiate, which lies 10 kilometres from Milan Malpensa Airport and 50 kilometres from the historic centre of Milan, which is easily reached by road or rail. Set in landscaped gardens, the Hotel La Selva, close to Varese, features contemporary design. View hotel
Double rooms from €64
Hotel Tre Leoni, near Varese ***
This hotel is located in Somma Lombardo, five kilometres from Milan Malpensa Airport, and runs a 24-hour shuttle service to the airport. Central Milan is 52 kilometres from the Hotel Tre Leoni and is easily reached by using the Malpensa Express train service which departs from the airport for Milan's... View hotel
Double rooms from €47
The little town of Somma Lombardo is at the heart of Varese province, in the northern Italian region of Lombardy. Lying some 40 kilometres north-west of Milan and conveniently close to Milan's Malpensa airport, it makes a superb base for exploring the lakes. Somma Lombardo sits some 300 metres above sea level and is just south of Lakes Varese, Comabbio, Monate and - most grand of all - Lake Maggiore.
'One can't describe the beauty of the Italian Lakes, nor would one try if one could,' declared Henry James. If description defied that great travel writer and author of Italian Hours and The Wings of the Dove, maybe we shouldn't try. They are quite lovely though, and have been a magnet for American and northern European visitors for centuries. Overlooked by the soaring Alps they were the inspiration for some of Italy's greatest and most melodramatic operas, with Bellini, Rossini and Verdi all living and working here.
There are plenty of boat trips around the lakes, the shores are lush and attractive (planted heavily with citrus groves, vineyards and olives), and with a sophisticated tourist industry going back a couple of hundred years you won't be stuck for good places to eat and drink. Check out the Isole Borromee with ferries from Stresa. The land between the lakes, meanwhile, is a series of mountain valleys, good for walking and climbing.