Parks and reserves
The Lake Maggiore area is one the greenest in Italy.
Natural parks include the Val Grande National Park, Italy’s largest wilderness area, the Alpe Veglia and Devero Regional Park and theWildlife Oasis of Macugnaga, on the lower slopes of Monte Rosa.
The shores of Lake Maggiore host numerous nature reserves, such as the Fondotoce Nature Reserve, the Lagoni Natural Park in Mercurago, and theDormelletto Nature Reserve. Last but not least, the splendid Ticino Park extends from Castelletto Ticino and Sesto Calende.
Finally, the WWF guides of the Pian dei Sali protected area in the Vigezzo Valley, and the Bosco Tenso protected area in Premosello Chiovenda, will be happy to take you on a tour to discover the flora and fauna of the area.
Gardens, flowers and villas
An outstanding feature of the Lake Maggiore area is its large number of magnificent aristocratic mansion houses, built primarily on the shores of the area’s lakes.
Many of them overlook the Borromean Gulf; the beautiful Villa Fedora is situated in Baveno, while Villa Aminta in Stresa has become a luxury hotel. Villa Giulia and its garden in Verbania Pallanza host a variety of exhibitions and concerts, and Villa Ponti in Arona is the venue for major international art exhibitions.
The exotic Villa Crespi by Lake Orta has become famous for its Michelin restaurant, while Villa Angeli De Frua in Laveno Mombello on the Lombard shore of Lake Maggiore has a splendid example of a lakeside park with magnificent old trees.
A major feature of these villas is their marvellous gardens, many of them world famous; don’t miss a visit to the Botanical Gardens of Villa Taranto in Verbania, and the spectacular gardens on Isola Bella and Isola Madre.