Lake Maggiore is one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. It has always attracted great artists and celebrities who are fascinated by it. Its banks connect Piedmont, Lombardy and Switzerland and it is surrounded by slopes and hills that protect it from the cold winds, giving it a mild climate.
The lake offers numerous possibilities to its visitors. Not everyone knows the hidden treasures along its banks and therefore there is a risk of getting lost. So here are the unmissable places of Lake Maggiore.
ZOOLOGICAL PARK OF VILLA PALLAVICINO
One of the most evocative places is the Villa Pallavicino Park. The splendid nineteenth-century villa is surrounded by a landscaped garden of over 15 hectares. The park is suitable for both adults and children who can have fun in the many natural areas dedicated to different animal species. Fallow deer, kangaroos, zebras, flamingos, lamas, parrots and peacocks make Parco Villa Pallavicino a magical place.
The archipelago of the Borromean Islands is a picture postcard place. The enchanting landscape is a perfect fusion between art and nature. Among the islands, two are not to be missed: Isola Bella and Isola Madre.
On the first, in 1632 Carlo III Borromeo began the construction of the palace and gardens. Even today, the particular structure designed as a ship, a villa in the bow and garden aft, is the main source of the island's fame. The interiors of the villa are marvellous and finely decorated, but two rooms have a particular interest: the Sala della Musica, where the Stresa Conference took place, and Napoleon's Hall, he stayed here in 1797. From the Palace you can access the Italian baroque garden where beautiful white peacocks can be found in the rich vegetation.
The second is Isola Madre, the largest of the archipelago. The 16th century palace is surrounded by a large landscaped garden that covers it almost completely. The island, however, is particularly famous for the flowering of azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, but also for the largest Kashmir Cypress in Europe that is more than 200 years old.
THE MOTTARONE AND THE ALPINE BOTANICAL GARDEN
Mountain lovers should not miss the Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone cable car, located in Lido di Carciano, which goes up to 1,491 metres. Mottarone is considered one of the most beautiful natural balconies in all of Piedmont, in fact from its peak there is a breathtaking view. Winter sports, hiking and walking are some of the leisure opportunities offered by the mountain, without forgetting the typical restaurants of the area.
At Alpino, 300 metres from the intermediate cable car stop, is the Alpinia Botanical Garden. 40,000 square metres, about a thousand alpine species and a dream view of Lake Maggiore will make you fall in love with this place.
THE BOTANICAL GARDENS OF VILLA TARANTO
Also not to be missed are the Botanical Gardens of Villa Taranto. Loved by tourists from all over the world, they are the result of the work and dedication of Captain Mc Eacharn, owner of the villa from 1931, which he then donated to Italy. In a surface of 16 hectares you will find over three thousand specimens of plants from all over the world, terraces, stretches of water and wide lawns that descend towards the lake. A fabulous natural show.