Elegant, noble: reserves corners of an unmistakable splendour. Between islands and villas, gardens and enchanting landscapes, I created a list of what to see on Lake Maggiore during your photoshoot!
In winter as in summer, Lake Maggiore is tinged with thousand colours: from the red leaves in autumn to the intense green of spring; from the white snow in January, to the blue lake in July. Like a fjord, it stretches from Switzerland to Italy and connects, with its waters, Locarno to Arona and Stresa, enchanting and elegant lakeside villages.
Here are the 10 things to see on Lake Maggiore that you can’t miss during your photoshoot:
# 1 Borromean islands
During the holidays on Lake Maggiore, a MUST VISIT are the Borromean Islands. The boats that perform the hop-on / hop-off service can be taken from the banks of Verbania or Stresa.
Isola Madre, (the largest of the islands) is home to magnificent botanical gardens to be explored and a palace that offers splendid views of the lake. With its eight hectares of extension, it is the largest of the Borromean Islands. Today that of Isola Madre is a unique botanical garden for rare plant essences from all over the world. To complete a picture of so much beauty, colourful birds live in perfect freedom in the park. On nearby Isola Bella, the second-largest, you can visit Palazzo Borromeo and an Italian Baroque garden consisting of ten terraces, embellished with statues, fountains, rare shrubs, exotic plants and flowers with delicate scents such as magnolia and camellias.
From Isola Bella with a short boat trip, you can reach the nearby Isola Pescatori, a name given because of the activity traditionally practised by its inhabitants. Along the lake, the rustic houses have balconies embellished with flower pots, and there are numerous pleasant places for a restful break in the shade of the pergolas such as the Verbano hotel which hosted famous people such as Arturo Toscanini and Ernest Hemingway.
# 2 Villa Taranto
On the peninsula of Castagnola are the gardens of Villa Taranto, certainly one of the most beautiful attractions of Lake Maggiore.
In 2014, Villa Taranto was elected by the Buzzfeed site as the most beautiful garden in the world, surpassing famous places such as Versailles (Paris, FR), Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens (Hampshire, UK) and the Gardens at the Cloisters (New York, USA).
If you have not yet been to Villa Taranto to admire its marvellous gardens, an authentic open-air work of art, you should go there and believe me the photos in this place will be magical, especially in spring!
#3 Villa Pallavicino
Villa Pallavicino was born as a private residence in 1855 when Ruggero Bonghi, statesman and scholar acquired the area. Over 50 species of mammals and birds are here, and over time some wild specimens saved by the forest ranger have also found a home in the park, and they would not survive if released.
# 4 Mottarone park
The Mottarone rises between the lakes Maggiore and d’Orta, between the province of Verbania and Novara. From the summit, the view extends from the Maritime Alps to Monviso, from the closest Monte Rosa massif to the Swiss Alps, to the Po Valley.
A unique scenario, perfect to capture, even for the most adventurous.
Biking, trekking, paragliding, climbing in summer and snowshoeing in winter are some of the activities present within the Mottarone Park. The mountain is frequented all year by those who love nature: countless paths and paths, on foot, bicycle, horse, offer possibilities for all tastes, ages and training levels. The whole area provides an opportunity to enjoy a splendid natural spectacle: grasslands, streams and lush woods.
# 5 Lake Maggiore Express
From Stresa the possibility of an unforgettable journey by rail and boat. The excursion can be carried out with departure from various locations, choosing between two types of ticket, one or two-day options:
intermediate stop on Lake Maggiore, Stresa, Isola Bella, Ascona, Locarno, in the Vigezzo Valley or the Centovalli;
A day full of contrasts awaits you.
You will travel to Italy and the southern part of Switzerland, Ticino.
With the Centovalli and Vigezzo Valley railway you will cross a wild and romantic territory for an hour and a half, where dizzying bridges, streams of pure water and vineyards alternate, chestnut woods and villages perched on slopes.
For three hours you will sail by boat across Lake Maggiore; you will admire the Borromean islands, the castles of Cannero, the islands of Brissago; beautiful shores with picturesque villages and towns.
You will discover villages but also social places are known as Stresa, Ascona and Locarno. You will have the opportunity to have lunch on board (by reservation) or in some small and charming restaurant of your choice.
Get involved by the charm of Lake Maggiore and the Centovalli !!
# 6 Orta Lake
The shores of the lake are dotted with small picturesque towns, ancient villages and small harbours that tell the story of the life of fishers, once the most numerous inhabitants of Lake Orta. Today, however, they are the set of modern stories of sport and boats, of international quality tourism. Orta is an ideal destination for families, couples looking for a romantic place to relax, sports lovers, and for young and old who love nature and its energy.
# 7 Mergozzo Lake
It is a small and crystal clear body of water where the small town that gives its name to the lake overlooks: Mergozzo.
The village, characterized by narrow paths formed by stone houses leaning against each other, leads to the central square of the town dominated by the ancient secular elm.
Do not miss the tasty Fugascine, a typical Mergozzo dessert, which you can purchase at any bakery in the country.
# 8 Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso
In the municipality of Leggiuno, an overhang on the calm waters of the southern part of the lake, there is a hidden and well-preserved architectural jewel: the monastery of Santa Caterina del Sasso. Reachable with 268 steps (there is also the most comfortable but less suggestive lift), it preserves the chapel dedicated to Saint Catherine of Egypt and builds already in the XII century, in addition to two other defined churches.
The position and the panorama make it one of the pearls of Lake Maggiore.
# 9. Rocca D’Angera
The Rocca di Angera is a pearl of rare beauty that fascinates and conquers, a treasure trove of art and history, in a beautiful panoramic position on Lake Maggiore. Its garden is a place out of time, where beauty means simplicity and spontaneity, where flowers and officinal herbs follow the vital cycles of nature and seasons. A garden suspended in an atmosphere of peace.
Let yourself be fascinated by the Rocca and its garden while you will be the photograph with this background. The results are amazing!
# 10 Arona
Last on the list, but it is certainly not the least beautiful.
Arona is a beautiful city with a rich tourist offer. The city route, the visit to the fortress, facing Angera and the monumental statue of San Carlo Borromeo, the interior that can be visited, from which you can enjoy a splendid panoramic view.
As a local photographer, these are the ten most beautiful and fascinating places on Lake Maggiore.
If you need help during your holiday on the lake and you are looking for a local photographer who captures the best moment during your holiday, contact me. I will be happy to capture your unique and special moments.