At the foot of the Alps, divided between the cantons of Ticino, Lombardy and Piedmont lies the splendid Lake Maggiore. Snow-capped peaks crown it and dot it with small stone villages and some delightful islets: man has been able to make this place even more beautiful, “decorating” it with elegant villas and sumptuous palaces and, thanks to a subtropical microclimate, with luxuriant gardens full of exotic plants.
Arriving from the south, Angera and Arona, the sentinels of the lake, meet first: with their castles they defended the inhabitants of the place but also sanctioned the power of the local feudal lords: the Borromeo. Even today it is possible to take a guided tour inside the Rocca di Angera – symbol of the ancient history of this noble family – or climb the statue dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo to admire the whole southern part of the lake, surrounded by gentle hills.
Traveling along the coastal road on the Piedmontese coast, you cross Meina, Lesa and Belgirate and then arrive in the most famous area: the Borromean Gulf.
We are at the widest point of the lake: 12 km wide where the view sweeps from Stresa to Baveno and Verbania and then again to Laveno and the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso.
In this area there is the most panoramic park on the lake, Villa Pallavicino at the gates of Stresa and the famous botanical garden of Villa Taranto in Pallanza. Then a cruise with your tour guide to admire the fabulous Borromean Islands is a must: Isola Bella with its baroque palace and its spectacular hanging gardens that form, with 10 scalar terraces, a pyramid in the middle of the lake and Isola Madre with its unforgettable and intimate botanical garden defined by Flaubert as “a paradise on earth”. The Island of the fishermen, on the other hand, will bring you back down to earth and will make you remember the hard and simple life of the inhabitants of this place.
It is really worth going further north to reach Cannero Riviera – the town of citrus fruits – and Cannobio, the ancient village on the border with the Swiss part of the lake.
And for those who want to cross the border it is possible to stop in Ascona or Locarno during the tour called “Lago Maggiore Express”.
16 hectares of garden, harmonious mix of English and Italian style, reborn to new splendor after the tornado of August 2012
Guided tour of the palaces and gardens of Isola Bella and Isola Madre, owned by the Borromeo family and a break in the cheerful alleys of Isola dei Pescatori.
A walk along the most beautiful lakefront in Verbano with its historic hotels and the Villa Ducale. Possibility to visit the botanical and zoological gardens of Villa Pallavicino.
The convent and the church of Santa Caterina. A thousand years of history set in the rock
just 30 meters above the level of Lake Maggiore.
The splendid Romanesque complex of the parish church of Baveno and a walk along the lakefront to admire the islands, the monument to the stonemason and Villa Branca in the footsteps of Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill.
From the lake to the top of Mottarone in 20 minutes, to enjoy a 360 ° panorama of 7 lakes, Monte Rosa and the Alps. Possible stop at 800 m to visit the Alpinia mountain garden.
A balcony overlooking the lake and an ancient historic center, where the stone streets will lead you to the old town hall, the wash house and the ancient houses.
The beautiful city of Arona, with its marina, the Piazza del Popolo, the parish church with the polyptych by Gaudenzio Ferrari and the inevitable statue of Sancarlone.
NIGHT CRUISE GULF BORROMEO
A romantic cruise in the Borromean Gulf, with the islands, the elegant villas and the coastal towns illuminated by the evening lights.
EXPRESS LAKE MAGGIORE TOUR
A magical day: first by boat to Locarno (CH), then by narrow-gauge train through the 100 Valleys and the Vigezzo Valley; finally return to Lake Maggiore by bus following the path of the Toce river.
Its famous Piazza Grande which in August hosts the film festival with its arcades
and the noble palaces. The typical alleys of the ancient village, the baroque Chiesa Nuova and the Visconteo castle.
The pearl of Lake Maggiore in Ticino. Jewel at the foot of the extravagant Monte Verità. Place of artists of yesterday and today. Its square overlooking the Brissago islands
with a typically Mediterranean atmosphere.
A valley with an all-Swiss taste where time seems to have stopped. From Vogorno to Sonogno accompanied by the emerald color of the Verzasca river, the typical Ticino cottages and grottos