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The historic villages of Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta, in Piedmont

A relaxing holiday at Paola’S, or even at I Carcioni, located in Belgirate, in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola, on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Piedmont, will let you know the historic villages of Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta, in Piedmont.


The town of Stresa is a jewel on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Its historic center includes colorful villas and gardens and the lakeshore is full of restaurants and luxury hotels. The town is surrounded by nature with Mount Mottarone behind it, a destination for hiking in the green, and the tourist harbor on the lake. The territory of Stresa includes several interesting places, including the Borromean Islands.

Isola dei Pescatori, Borromean Islands


The three Borromean Islands: Isola Madre, Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori, can be reached directly from Stresa by boat. Isola Bella hosts the Borromean Palace, a magnificent example of baroque art, rich in sumptuous furnishings, statues, decorations and works of art. Around the palace there are the spectacular gardens and their architecture with the Atrium of Diana, the Canfora Plane, the Teatro Massimo.


Verbania, the capital of the province, stands on the promontory overlooking the lake. It is a vibrant city full of gardens and terraces, one of the most famous are the Botanical Gardens of Villa Taranto. Among the most beautiful spots in the city there are Villa San Remigio, the Basilica of San Vittore and the Chiesa di Madonna di Campagna.

Botanical Gardens of Villa Taranto, Verbania


A few kilometers from Verbania you find Mergozzo, a small village where you can visit the Church of Santa Marta, the Porticato delle Cappelle and the Archaeological Museum. The symbol of the town is a secular elm, already existing in 1600 as evidenced by several documents.


Arona, in the province of Novara, is a town rich in history. Its symbol is the Statue dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo, archbishop of Milan, born in Arona. The statue is named Sancarlone by the inhabitants  of the town. It is 35 meter high, was completed in 1647 and can be visited inside.

A few minutes from the town of Arona we find the Lagoni Nature Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, rich in flora and fauna.


Moving on the opposite shore of the lake we find the town of Angera, in the province of Varese, in Lombardy. The Rocca di Angera is a massive fort, completed in different periods and formed by 4 parts: Ala Scaligera, Ala Viscontea, la Torre di Giovanni Visconti e Ala dei Borromeo. Today it houses the Doll and Toy Museum, the largest museum in Europe dedicated to this theme.

Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso, Leggiuno


The Eremo di Santa Caterina is located in Leggiuno, in the province of Varese. The monastery rises over the lake’s waters and is characterized by a bell tower and a Renaissance-style porch.


A few kilometers from Lake Maggiore we find the smaller Lake Orta. The village of Orta San Giulio, in the province of Novara, has a completely pedestrian center with several picturesque little streets. From the village you can reach the Sacro Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Parco delle Cappelle dedicated to Saint Francis.

The village of Legro is called “the painted town” because of the beautiful frescoes on the walls of the houses made by artists from all over Europe.

On Lake Orta we can also visit the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso, also called “the balcony of Cusio” for the panoramic view it offers.

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