Lago Maggiore is an amazing lake, which is located on the border of Italy and Switzerland, surrounded by the Alps. It is one of the most popular resorts in Western Europe. Already back in the 18th century noble dignitaries came here to vacation. It is the second largest lake in Italy, reaching 66 kilometers in length and 372 meters in depth.
The lake is characterized by beautiful landscapes, crystal clear waters, sandy beaches and charming coastal gardens. Due to the Alps that shield the lake from cold winds, the climate here is mild climate year round. From May to October the temperature varies between +22 to +28 ° C. The lake never freezes, even in very cold winters.
The main attraction of the lake is the archipelago Borromeo. It consists of three amazing islands (Isola dei Pescatori, Isola Bella and Isola Madre) and two small islands (Izolina di San Giovanni and Scoglio della Malgera). The islands belong to the famous aristocratic family Borromeo.
The smallest island is Isola dei Pescatori which is only 300 meters long and 100 meters wide. Despite the small area, it has a small church, pretty houses, souvenir shops and a villa with twelve bedrooms.
The largest island is Isola Madre. It houses a splendid botanical garden in the English style. In it you will see beautiful pheasants and peacocks walking among exotic flowers, olives and citrus trees.
The most beautiful of the three islands is considered to be Isola Bella. The island was named in honor of Isabella d'Adda – the wife of Carlo III. In 1632, Carlo Borromeo changed the original appearance of the island by building a marvelous palace in the baroque style which occupies the entire island. The work lasted for 40 years. Today the island resembles a giant multideck ship. The interior of the palace is also breathtaking with a unique collection of paintings and sculptures, ballroom halls, Murano glass chandeliers, tapestries, musical instruments, a dome-shaped hall and many rooms.
The interesting part of it is located under the ground where you can see six grottos decorated with light and dark pebbles and sea shells. You can get to the beautiful garden only through the palace. The garden amazes with its beautiful plants, colorful parterres and marble statues. At the moment, the palace is housing a magnificent exhibition of the museum, presented by amazing halls as the hall of Tapestries, the hall of Napoleon and the hall of Luca Giordano. The halls display the paintings by famous artists Bernardino Luini and Giordano. This island is very popular among tourists and you can get there by regular ferries departing from Intra, Pallanza, Laveno and Stresa.
Only one island on the lake belongs to Lombardia region – Isolina Partegora, characterized by marshy reed beds. In the southern part of the island there is a great sandy beach.
You should visit beautiful villas and gardens, such as, for example, the villa Pallavicino, Dell 'Orto and Ducali located in Stresa. Also interesting is the villa Faragiana, located in the commune of Meina. In Pallanza there is a gorgeous botanical garden at the villa Taranto. Unfortunately, this villa is closed to visitors. The botanical garden boasts more than twenty thousand plants including 300 species of dahlias, azaleas, royal water lily and cornelian cherry.
The places in the vicinity of Lake Maggiore are ideal for playing golf, tennis, hiking, as well as relaxing away from the hustle and bustle.
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