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Experiences on Lake Maggiore

Architecture, art, nature, history: whatever you are looking for, with our activities you will find it. From the corners of the Borromean Islands to the peaks of Mottarone, we will be able to fill your days with the best the area has to offer.

BORROMEAN ISLANDS

The Borromean islands are a small group of islands located in Lake Maggiore (Borromean gulf) between the cities of Stresa and Verbania. It includes isola Bella, isola Madre and isola dei Pescatori.

The origin of the Borromean Islands goes back to the 14th century, when the Borromeo family, the powerful local lords from Tuscany, became owner of the islands and built majestic palaces and gardens.

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SAN CARLONE DI ARONA

On one of the hills near Arona stands the Sacro Monte S. Carlone , built following the canonization of Archbishop Borromeo in 1610. The construction took 84 years. The statue has a total height of 35.10 m (23.40 m the statue and 11.70 m its granite pedestal) and it is second in height only to the Statue of Liberty in the United States of America. The interior can be visited by climbing steep and narrow stairs through which you can reach the head. The eyes, ears and some small windows that open on the dress allow you to admire a wonderful landscape

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EREMO DI SANTA CATERINA

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is for sure one of the most well-known magic place of Lake Maggiore. Its position overlooking the lake, on an overhanging rocky wall makes it really unique. It is said that the Hermitage was founded by Alberto Besozzi, a rich local merchant who, having escaped a storm during the crossing of the lake, decided to retire to that stretch of coast and lead a hermit’s life there. In this place, Alberto built a chapel dedicated to Saint Catherine of Egypt visible at the bottom of the church. The chapel, which dates back to the 12th century, was soon flanked by two other churches, that of San Nicola and Santa Maria Nova, whose existence is certain since the 14th century.

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ROCCA DI ANGERA

The Rocca di Angera stands on a rock spur overlooking the southern shore of Lake Maggiore. In a strategic position in order to control traffic, it was owned by the Visconti family and in 1449 it was bought by the Borromeo.

Inside, an enthralling path leads to the discovery of the impressive Historical Rooms, embellished by the recent setting up of the Sala delle Maioliche, an extraordinary collection made up of three hundred very rare pieces.

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PALLAVICINO PARK

Situated at the entrance of the city of Stresa, the Villa Pallavicino Park, is a wonderful nineteen- century abode in neoclassical style with English garden which hosts various animal species, a greenhouse and a rich botanical variety. Built in 1855 for the will of Ruggero Bonghi, friend of Manzoni and Rosmini, it was at first acquired by the Villambrosa Duke, who expanded the inside and the gardens, introducing trees and plants at that time unknown in Italy. Later in 1862 the Pallacivino marquis from Genoa took over the propriety and adorned the outside transforming the park in an English garden.

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VILLA TARANTO

The appearance of the garden of Villa Taranto is not spontaneous, but it is the result, shaped over time, by the elaborated creation undertaken by Captain Mc Eacharn in 1931. The stages of the creation of the new gardens saw different work phases, until their completion in the 1940. Many thousands of plants imported from all over the world make up very rare collections. Among the most significant works we can name: the “Valletta”, built after massive excavation works; the irrigation system, whose water is pumped directly from the lake into a large reservoir and then radiated to every corner of the property; the “terraced gardens”, with their waterfalls, pools for water lilies and lotus flowers; the “Winter Garden” and the “Marsh Garden”; ornamental fountains and water features.

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CASCATE DEL TOCE

The most beautiful and powerful of the waterfalls in the Alps. The Toce River waterfall is the second highest in Europe, has a water drop of 143 meters and the base of 60 meters. The top is an excellent observation point from which you can admire the waterfall in all its grandeur. Located in Val Formazza, in the place  La Frua (1861 m), this is also a starting point for taking beautiful walks to discover the alpine lakes of the valley.

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THE MOUNTAIN AND THE MOTTARONE PARK

The top of Mount Mottarone, at an altitude of 1491 meters above sea level, can be easily reached by car from Stresa. From Lake Maggiore, the mountain can also be reached via the cable car that leaves from Stresa Lido, a few steps from the Hotel della Torre. Mount Mottarone is known above all for its amazing position: the mountain “between two lakes” is located in a dominant position both on Cusio and on Lake Maggiore. The summit offers an unforgettable view of the pre-alpine lakes (Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, Lake Mergozzo, Lake Monate, Lake Comabbio, Lake Varese), the Italian and Swiss Alps, and the Po valley.

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