In the unassuming town of Casalzuigno, about 9km east of Laveno, generations of nobles have swanned about the magnificent gardens of Villa della Porta Bozzolo, completed in 1690. The grand, two-storey building, surrounded by various outbuildings, has a calm, self-assured feel. Inside, the ballroom and upstairs gallery are richly decorated with frescoes. Don't miss the cool, dark library with stile liberty chandeliers and 18th-century walnut book cabinets.
Outside, fine Italianate gardens with viewpoints and statuary add to the grandeur, particularly the 1000 species of roses – one of the most important collections of its kind. There's a decent restaurant with terrace seating on site.