Lake Maggiore is a real hidden treasure nestled in the mountains of Italy and Switzerland, a natural wonder that enchants visitors with its unparalleled beauty. With its 64 kilometers in length and an area of about 212 square kilometers, Lake Maggiore is the largest alpine lake in Italy and the second largest lake in Italy after Lake Garda. Its area is rich in history and culture, with numerous towns and villages that overlook its shores and tell the traditions of the region.
Among the most famous and well-known towns on Lake Maggiore is certainly Stresa, located on the western shore of the lake. Here visitors can admire magnificent Liberty-style palaces and embark to immerse themselves in the romantic atmosphere of the Borromean Islands, three amazing islands, each with its own unique beauty and characteristics, and which represent one of the main attractions of the lake basin.
Isola Bella is famous for the Borromeo Palace, a sumptuous Baroque residence from the 17th century. The palace is famous for its terraced gardens, considered among the most beautiful in Europe, where you can admire fountains, statues, flowers, rare and exotic plants. The palace itself houses a large collection of works of art, antique furniture, and precious fabrics.
Isola Madre, on the other hand, is known for its large botanical garden, which houses a vast collection of rare and tropical plants, including palms, camellias, and rhododendrons. Here too, you can visit a palace, in this case an elegant 18th-century building, which houses a valuable collection of antique furniture, works of art, and tapestries.
Finally, Isola dei Pescatori is the only one of the three islands permanently inhabited. As the name suggests, the island has been for centuries the center of Lake Maggiore's fishing. Today it is a picturesque fishing village, with colorful houses and narrow alleys, where you can taste freshly caught fish and stroll along the harbor, with a splendid view of the surrounding mountains and the other islands of the gulf.
In addition to Stresa and the Borromean Islands, there are certainly other places that tell the history and traditions of the region; Verbania, Arona, and Angera certainly deserve a visit for their unparalleled beauty.
Verbania is a city known for its natural beauty and fascinating architecture. One of the most visited places in the city is Villa Taranto, a magnificent residence overlooking the lake and home to one of the most famous botanical gardens in Italy and the world. The garden of Villa Taranto was created in 1931 by Captain Mc Eacharn, a botany enthusiast who spent much of his life collecting exotic plants from all over the world. Today, the garden houses more than 20,000 plants from over 80 different countries, including trees, shrubs, flowers, aquatic plants, and subtropical vegetation. The garden was designed with great attention to detail, with picturesque paths, fountains, ponds, and a breathtaking view of Lake Maggiore. A visit to Villa Taranto is an unforgettable experience for all nature and beauty lovers, who can admire a great variety of plants and flowers, many of which are rare and exotic.
Arona, on the other hand, is a city located on the Piedmontese shore of Lake Maggiore, famous for the imposing statue of San Carlo Borromeo, known as the San Carlone. Standing at 35 meters tall, this golden copper statue represents the saint standing upright, with his left hand pointing towards the sky and his right hand blessing the world. The statue can be visited from the inside, climbing a spiral staircase that leads to the head of the saint, from which you can enjoy a panoramic view of the lake. In addition to the San Carlone, Arona is also famous for its shopping streets, where visitors can find high-fashion stores, jewelers, and artisanal shops.
Across Lake Maggiore from Arona, there is Angera, a medieval village that houses one of the area's main attractions: the Rocca Borromeo. This imposing medieval castle dates back to the 12th century and was expanded and renovated in the following centuries, becoming a noble residence in the Renaissance. Today, the Rocca Borromeo houses numerous museums and exhibitions that tell the history and culture of the area, including a collection of ancient weapons and a doll museum.
Lake Maggiore is also a place of great cultural interest, with numerous museums and festivals taking place along its shores. Among the most famous museums is the Landscape Museum, located in the city of Verbania, which houses a collection of works of art that tell the history and culture of the region, with particular attention to the representation of the landscape. And then there are numerous festivals and cultural events that take place along the lake's shores, such as the Stresa International Music Festival and the Locarno Film Festival, which attract artists and visitors from all over the world.
But Lake Maggiore is not only a paradise for lovers of history and culture. Along its shores, there are numerous beaches where visitors can relax in the sun and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the lake. In addition, its lush vegetation and varied fauna make it also an ideal place for nature, sports, and adventure enthusiasts. Lake Maggiore, in fact, offers numerous outdoor activities such as golf, kayaking, paragliding, and trekking. But not only that: the area is also famous for its excellent cuisine, with dishes based on fresh lake fish and high-quality local products that will delight the palates of visitors.
In conclusion, Lake Maggiore is a must-visit destination for those who want to experience a unique experience of nature, culture, sports, and gastronomy. Its unparalleled beauty and the variety of activities offered make it suitable for every type of traveler, from families with children to nature lovers, from culture enthusiasts to sports enthusiasts. A visit to Lake Maggiore is an experience that will surely leave an indelible mark in the heart of anyone who visits it.