It is one of Europe's most fascinating stretches of water. It goes from Piedmont to Lombardy and as far as the Canton of Ticino, with a bunch of different landscapes like mountains, valleys, woods, and some rare flat areas.
It's a string of surprises made up of enchanted villages, hardworking towns, small ports, churches, sanctuaries, and castles.
The Borromean archipelago offers lustre and refined beauty in the heart of the lake, where extraordinary nature combines with the history and elegance of palaces full of treasures.
Located a few steps from the lake and Stresa's centre, Luna nel Porto is one of the best hotels for those looking for good value for money and a good stay.
Flower-filled gardens, a pool and a strong sense of style tinged with tradition at this fabulous hotel close to the charming town of Cannobio.
It's a small but pretty town. Tranquility reigns supremely, and strolling along the lakefront can only relax even the most stressed minds.
In addition to the promenade on the lakeside and the surrounding panoramas, you can stroll through the ancient historic centre, where shops and bars mix with churches and squares.
A visit to the statue of San Carlo Borromeo (also sympathetically called San Carlone due to its 35 meters high) is not to be missed. Through an internal staircase and the windows in some parts of the body (eyes, nostrils and ears), you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Lake Maggiore.
Stresa can be rightly regarded as the pearl of Lake Maggiore. Suspended between water and hills, elegant and aristocratic, with a majestic lakefront, punctuated by large and sumptuous hotels that witnessed the explosion of Art Nouveau at the beginning of the century, of which they still retain style and taste.
An important tourist centre, it combines the suggestive promenade on the lakeside with the extraordinary heritage of Villa Taranto, an authentic botanical paradise, and many interesting monuments, such as the Renaissance Church of Madonna di Campagna, the Romanesque Oratory of San Remigio, the elegant Villa Giulia, and the prestigious church of San Leonardo, built between 1535 and 1590.
It is among the most important botanical gardens in the world. Surrounded by the waters of the lake, the park of Villa Taranto extends for 16 hectares and is crossed by seven kilometres of avenues.
Among the liveliest and most interesting centres of Lake Maggiore, it offers a beautiful buildings overlooking the water and one of the most scenic walks on the lake, between old fishermen's houses and the suggestive Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III, the vital centre of the town.
It is one of the most picturesque corners of Lake Maggiore and is located on a steep rock overlooking the waters of the lake.
A burst of art and evocative scenery, Santa Caterina's hermitage offers enchanting views of the southern part of the lake. The hermitage's church is at its heart, joined by the bell tower, the convent, the courtyard and the 16th century portico. The first section of the hermitage is the chapel, built in 1195 on a lower level than the church.
It is the closest island to Stresa. The slow approach of the boat to its banks offers a view of the splendour of its gardens, which make up one of the most beautiful and evocative scenes of the entire lake.
The pearl of the island is the imposing Palazzo Borromeo, an authentic triumph of elegance and harmony with richly decorated rooms and luxurious salons.
Back on the mainland, in Stresa, Parco Pallavicino, with its about 20 hectares, offers another opportunity to immerse yourself in nature among larches, maples and sequoias. This is an ideal destination for families thanks to the more than 50 animal species that find shelter, including wallabies, pink flamingos and zebras.
The Vigezzina-Centovalli train runs all year, but autumn is the best time to ride: 2 hours of colour to watch the natural spectacle between Italy and Switzerland.
Take the 52 kilometre journey through autumn woods from Domodossola to Locarno, with a return ticket and an optional stop, to explore one of the villages in the valley between Piedmont and Canton Ticino. For example, in Ponte Brolla to see the gorge, or in the village of Intragna, in Canton Ticino, in Malesco in Val Vigezzo or at the Sanctuary of Re.
The Alpine Coaster, a bobsleigh track on rails, is open in both summer and winter. It is a downhill roller coaster where each user can decide their speed. The two-seater bobsleds are equipped with a braking system that the passenger in the rear seat can use to accelerate or decelerate.
It starts from Pian d'Arla and arrives at Alpe Segletta, in the splendid Intrasca valley, which overlooks the Piedmontese shore of Lake Maggiore above Verbania. With an incredible view of the mountains around Lake Maggiore, this zipline is quite long: 1850m steel cable at a 350m height lets you reach 120km/h. The zipline can be done both in a seated position with a special harness or lying down with the head forward in Superman mode and in pairs.
You can get there on foot, by bike, motorcycle or car. Recommended all year, each season offers different colours and emotions.
Sunrise and sunset are certainly magical moments, where in such a panoramic point, the colours and reflections on the lake leave you speechless
The Mottarone between Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta offers stunning views. Its position allows for a 360° view from the Po Valley to the peaks of the Alps. From the top, you can see the summit of Monte Rosa and seven lakes (Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, Lake Mergozzo, Lake Varese, Lake Comabbio, Lake Monate, Lake Biandronno).
To reach this panoramic point, simply take the cable car that leaves Laveno Mombello, and you will be there in about 15 minutes. The return ticket costs €10.
The two stations are 700 meters apart, and the journey is made in two-seater cabins, some open and some closed, so you can enjoy the view.
Once you reach Poggio S. Elsa (950m), the view is breathtaking. From here, you can see Lake Maggiore, Lake Varese, and part of the Campo dei Fiori massif.
Near Monte Mottarone, which separates it from Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta is famous for Orta San Giulio, an almost perfect (and romantic) village. For the island, also named after the saint, a scourger of dragons and snakes, which can be explored on foot along the Via del Silenzio.
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