Attractions

Palace in Isola Bella

Palazzo Borromeo

Presiding over 10 tiers of spectacular terraced gardens roamed by peacocks, this baroque palace is arguably Lake Maggiore's finest building. Wandering the grounds and 1st floor reveals guestrooms, studies and recept…
Island in Borromean Islands

Isola Madre

The closest of the three islands to Verbania, Isola Madre is entirely taken up by the Palazzo Madre and the lovely gardens that surround it. The 16th- to 18th-century Palazzo Madre is a wonderfully decadent structur…
Gardens in Verbania

Villa Taranto

The grounds of this late-19th-century villa are one of Lake Maggiore's highlights. A Scottish captain, Neil McEacharn, bought the Normandy-style villa from the Savoy family in 1931 after spotting an ad in the Times.…
Museum in Verbania

Museo del Paesaggio

Set in a stately 17th-century palazzo tucked down one of Pallanza's back lanes, this museum houses an exquisite collection of works by the sculptor Paolo Troubetzkoy. Though not well known today, Troubetzkoy, who wa…
Park in Lake Maggiore West Bank

Parco Nazionale Val Grande

A wooded wilderness set amid a little-visited stretch of the Italian Alps, the Parco Nazionale Val Grande is far removed from the more domesticated beauty of the lakes only a short distance away (Verbania is 10km fr…
Mountain in Lake Maggiore West Bank

Monte Mottarone

The cable-car trip up Monte Mottarone (1492m) from the northwestern end of Stresa offers pretty views over Lake Maggiore, including Isola Bella and Isola Superiore. From the summit on a clear day you can see Lake Or…
Landmark in Arona

Sacro Monte di San Carlo

When Milan's superstar bishop San Carlo Borromeo (1538–84) was declared a saint in 1610, his cousin Federico ordered the creation of a sacro monte in his memory, featuring 15 chapels lining a path to a church. The c…
Museum in Lake Maggiore West Bank

Museo dell’Ombrello e del Parasole

Those driving to Mottarone or Orta San Giulio (for Lake Orta) from Stresa could stop in Gignese (8km from Stresa) for the intriguing Museo dell’Ombrello e del Parasole. Regional artisans once made a living from hand…
Christian Site in Lake Maggiore West Bank

Sacro Monte della Santissima Trinità

The main (some would say, only) reason for stopping in Ghiffa, a blip of a village 4km northeast of Verbania, is to make a pilgrimage 3km inland and uphill (by road – a stone-paved walking trail is a little shorter …
Gardens in Stresa

Giardino Botanico Alpinia

More than 1000 alpine and subalpine species flourish in this 4 hectare botanical garden set part-way up Monte Mottarone. It was founded in 1934 and profiles trees and shrubs from as far away as China and Japan again…