Lake Maggiore: things to do, sightseeing tours

Travel Guide Lake Maggiore, what to visit in the second largest Italian lake with picturesque resort islands, route Centovalli Train.

Routes Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore or Verbano, which comes from the Latin Verbanus as they called him the ancient Romans, is the second largest Italian lake after Lake Garda, is of glacial origin and is located in the Alps of Lombardy. The shores of the northern part of Lake Maggiore in Switzerland, while the western shore is in Piedmont and Lombardy in the east.

The landscape surrounding the lake, thanks to a mild climate, is characterized by a bellisma vegetation, with olive, lemon, orange, azaleas, camellias and many other plants that frame the picturesque villages and the many villas that overlook it.

What to see on Lake Maggiore

On the western shore are the centers of Arona, Meina, Lesa, Belgirate, Stresa, Baveno, Suna, Pallanza, Intra, Ghiffa, Oggebbio, Cannero, Cannobio and, in Switzerland, Brissago, Ascona, Locarno. On the east bank are located Angera, Laveno, Luino and Maccagno, Magadino in Switzerland. From Lake Maggiore emerge the Brissago Islands, the Swiss side, the Borromeo Islands, in the Gulf of Pallanza, the island of Partegora, in the Lombard between Angera and Arona,
and two islands where there are the castles of Cannero.

This picturesque town is located at the foot of the mountain Mottarone, in a lovely location on Lake Maggiore. Its elegant lakeside offers charming views of the Gulf and the Borromeo Islands homonymous, easily reached from here. With the Cableway Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone, in about 20 minutes, you can reach a height of 1491 meters above sea level on top of Mottarone, an exceptional vantage point that can range from the top of the Alps, to Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta, to the Po Valley. An intermediate stop in the Alpine resort, offers the opportunity to visit the Botanical Garden Alpinia, located in a beautiful panoramic position and is dedicated to the typical alpine plants and other sources.

Borromean Islands
Bella island, Madre island and Pescatori island form the beautiful Borromean Islands. Bella island houses residence of the Borromeo, a magnificent Baroque palace embellished with spectacular flower gardens which, through overlapping terraces, develop in a typical example of Italian gardens of the seventeenth century. The Isola Madre, the largest of the Borromeo Islands, stands out for its refined and collected, characterized by fine specimens of plants and exotic flowers. Mostly occupied by gardens, the island is also home to a palace of the sixteenth century, where you can admire the collections of dolls, liveries, porcelain and ancient Puppet Theaters. The island of the Fisherman, one of the most picturesque places of Lake Maggiore, is a typical fishing village, with houses, narrow streets and the parish church. There are restaurants and small shops.

From Stresa to the north you reach the small town of Pallanza village of Roman origin, famous for the Botanical Gardens of Villa Taranto.

The Rock of Angera stands on a rocky outcrop in the southern part of Lake Maggiore. It ‘a well-preserved example of a fortified medieval building, was owned by the Visconti until 1449, when it was bought by the Borromeo, which today belongs. The fortress houses the Museum of Dolls and Toys.

Santa Caterina del Sasso
On the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore perched on a cliff overlooking the lake, stands the Santa Caterina del Sasso, one of the most beautiful places of the lake.

Train Centovalli

The train Centovalli offers a very interesting route that winds between Lake Maggiore and Switzerland, through valleys and beautiful landscapes.