Divided between Piedmont, Lombardy and Switzerland, Lake Maggiore is one of the most beautiful Italian lakes and has enchanted travellers of all ages with its wonderful landscapes.
Covering an area of 212 square kilometres, between Italy and Switzerland, Lake Maggiore is one of the most important lakes in Italy and beyond. The northernmost part of the lake is in Switzerland, between Ascona and Locarno, while the Italian part is divided between the provinces of Varese, Novara and Verbania, in Lombardy and Piedmont. The Lombard shore features steep cliffs over the water and small villages, while the Piedmontese shore is characterised by big nineteenth-century houses.
Over the centuries, Lake Maggiore has been a source of inspiration for artists, musicians and writers from all over Europe. Its shores hide veritable artistic and landscape treasures: delightful islands, splendid villas, magnificent gardens, picturesque villages, wonderful nature reserves and much more.
The archipelago of the Borromean Islands, so dear to Ernest Hemingway, consists of the monumental Isola Bella, the picturesque Isola dei Pescatori and the beautiful Isola Madre. These jewel-like islands set in Lake Maggiore offer a truly extraordinary sight. They take their name from the patrician Borromeo family who purchased them the 16th and 17th centuries.
The pearl of Lake Maggiore is Stresa, situated on the Piedmontese shore in front of the Borromean Islands. A historic destination of the Grand Tour, it is the most elegant and famous of all the towns overlooking the lake. The lakeside promenade is ideal for a romantic and pleasant walk while admiring the wonderful panorama. Also not to be missed is Verbania, home to some of the most beautiful villas on the lake, including the historical Villa Taranto, whose gardens are considered to be among the most beautiful botanical parks in the world.
Besides being a place rich in history, art and nature, Lake Maggiore is a real paradise for sports lovers. In the neighbouring areas you can go trekking, mountain biking and horse riding, or play golf, while the waters of the lake are ideal for sailing, canoeing, yachting, water skiing and underwater activities.