Experience North Italy

Lago Magiore, the fascinating lake district of North Italy

Lake Maggiore is the second biggest Italian lake after Lago di Garda, its eastern bank is in Lombardy, the western in Piedmont while the northern section extends into Switzerland. The charming little towns along its shores are popular resorts today with their grand hotels recalling the Belle Epoque.

Interesting towns and villages to visit (from South to North):

Arona (Piedmont) has a nice lakeside promenade and central pedestrian street with shops and restaurants. From Arona you can also take a short ferry ride (5-10 minutes) to the village Angera (Lombardy) on the other side of the lake to visit the Castle La Rocca

Stresa (Piedmont) is the most famous village on Lake Maggiore with narrow streets featuring cafés, restaurants and small boutiques. Especially noteworthy are the islands just in front of Stresa, these small islands include: Isola Bella with the majestic Borromeo pallace, Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island; free entrance) and Isola Madre with its bothanical garden. From Stresa there is a cableway up to the Mottarone mountain providing a spectacular view over Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta. In winter it’s possible to ski there and in summer it’s a great day out for walking around or mountain biking your way down to Stresa.

Verbania (Piedmont) is the main town of Lake Maggiore and consists of several communes of which Pallanza and Intra are the most important. Pallanza is an elegant village with a long lakeside promenade. In between Pallanza and Intra is the Villa Taranto with bothanical gardens. Intra has many shops and restaurants and a ferry station where you can cross also with your car to Laveno on the other side of the lake.

Laveno (Lombardy) is a small charming village with a cableway towards a panoramic view.

Just next to the golden triangle of Lake Maggiore (Stresa, Verbania, Laveno), don’t forget to visit the beautiful monastery of Santa Caterina del Sasso.

More up north are the attractive villages Cannero Riviera and Cannobio on the Piedmont side and Luino on the Lombardy side. Luino claims to have the largest weekly open market (on Wednesdays) of Northern Italy which is a nice day trip by ferry or car.

Switzerland is well worth a visit with the charming village of Ascona and the town of Locarno.

Nature and walking around Lake Maggiore: natural reserves and trekking
Mountains and snow around Lake Maggiore: ski
Food Lake Maggiore: local cuisine

Panoramic boat & train combination between Italy and Switzerland by the Lago Maggiore Express:
A scenic round trip by boat between Stresa (IT) and Locarno (CH) and back by train via Domodossola.

The Sacred Mount near Varese, a sacred path combining art and spirituality, that passes 14 chapels and ends at the hilltop Shrine, a pilgrimage destination since the Middle Ages.

Lago d’Orta:
San Giulio d’Orta is an exquisite lakeside town with a view of the most beautiful lake island in northern Italy: Isola San Guilio.

Visiting Milano:
If you want to make a trip to Milan, we suggest you to drive (or go by ferry) to the nearest railway station (see below), from where a direct train takes you to Milan in about 1h – 1h30. Either station of Milano (Centrale or Garibaldi) is convenient and served by the metro/subway (sign MM just outside the stations) to get to the Duomo square. Try to avoid cheaper regional trains: slow, hot and crowded.

Visiting Turin:
Take a train (see below) or go by car and park in one of the many underground parkings (for example Piazza Vittorio Veneto). Walk around in the city center or take a stroll along the river PO to the Valentino Park.

Piedmont wine region:
Maybe not as famous as Tuscany but definitely not less attractive.
A few links: VinodiversityNYtimes.

Ferry services: Schedules
Offical tourism websites: Lago Maggiore (Piedmont, Italy), Lago Maggiore (Lombardy, Italy)Lago Maggiore (Ticino, Switzerland)
Webcam: Click here
Virtual tour: Alpina gardenArona , Baveno , Stresa , Pallanza , Intra , Laveno , Cannero Riviera Cannobio
360° map Lago Maggiore: Navigate around the lake by yourself

Stresa music festival: http://www.stresafestival.eu
Locarno film festival: http://www.pardo.ch
Ascona Jazz festival: http://www.jazzascona.ch/index.php/en
Fireworks festival: http://www.fioridifuoco.it

Events in the area (Lake Maggiore Piedmont): Here you can find a link to a weekly publication with all what is going on in the area: look on the right lower side of the page for a link named like “Scarica: today_26_04_2013”: http://www.distrettolaghi.it/en/eventi_laghi_monti

Personal guide: Get a local guide for personalized tours at Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta and surroundings: http://www.prontoguide.it/index_en.html

Chef at home:
A private cook will come to your rented villa to prepare a delicious dinner. Sit back and relax as the chef will shop, cook and serve you the meals according to your preferences!

Contact us for more information: info@laportavacanze.com