Top things to do

Top Choice Ristorante in Isola Superiore (Isola dei Pescatori)

Casabella

The setting is bewitching – right by the shore – and the food is acclaimed. The admirably short menu might feature home-smoked beef with spinach, blanched squid with ricotta or perfectly cooked lake fish. Leave room…
Top Choice Italian in Cannobio

Grotto Sant’Anna

This Ticino-style grotto (traditional inn) overlooks the thundering gorge that is the Orrido di Sant’Anna. Granite tables and benches located under a thick-leafed pergola provide a ringside seat to this natural phen…
Top Choice Ristorante in Stresa

Ristorante Il Vicoletto

One of the most popular restaurants in Stresa, Il Vicoletto has a delectable regional menu including lake trout, wild asparagus, and traditional risotto with radicchio and Taleggio (cheese). The dining room is modes…
Top Choice Modern Italian in Verbania

Ristorante Milano

The setting really is hard to beat: Milano directly overlooks Pallanza's minuscule horseshoe-shaped harbour (200m south of the ferry jetty), with a scattering of tables sitting on lakeside lawns amid the trees. It's…
Top Choice Osteria in Verbania

Osteria Castello

Its 100-plus years of history run like a rich seam through this enchanting osteria, where archive photos and bottles line the walls. Order a glass of wine from the vast selection; sample some ham; or tuck into the p…
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…
Italian in Cannobio

L'Imbuto

Widely praised by locals, L'Imbuto is a modern, convivial lakeside restaurant that serves up creative, expertly prepared dishes that are excellent value for the money. Creative antipasti like polpo con mozzarella, p…