The Hidden Gem of Italy: Lake Maggiore

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  • Italy

  • Beaches

  • Nature Escapes

  • Lakeside

  • Sightseeing

  • Relaxation

Lake Maggiore surrounded by mountains.
Curator’s statement

Lake Maggiore is truly a special place that is definitely worth visiting. The area's natural beauty is absolutely stunning, with its crystal-clear waters and majestic mountains that take your breath away. Exploring the charming towns and villages along the lake's shores is like stepping into a storybook, with their colorful houses and narrow streets full of character. The unique attractions, such as the Borromean Islands and the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, add a touch of magic and make Lake Maggiore an unforgettable destination.

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Where to stay in Lake Maggiore, Italy

Grand Hotel Majestic

Grand Hotel Majestic is a luxurious and historic five-star hotel offering opulent accommodations and impeccable service, located in a prime location.

Fora Perks
  • A credit worth $50-$100 (USD) per room, per stay to be spent only on extras such as F&B or Spa, only on property.

  • Daily Continental breakfast for two people.

  • Room upgrade to next room category and early check-in/late check-out subject to availability.

Hotel Villa e Palazzo Aminta

Hotel Villa e Palazzo Aminta is a breathtaking five-star lakeside retreat that combines elegance, indulgence, and stunning views, creating an unforgettable luxury experience.

Villa Orselina - Small Luxury Hotel

Villa Orselina - Small Luxury Hotel is a charming boutique retreat nestled in the hills, offering an intimate and refined atmosphere with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

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Things to do in Lake Maggiore, Italy

Lake Maggiore hotel.

Visit the Borromean Islands: Explore the enchanting islands of Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Madre.

Discover the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso: Marvel at this striking cliffside hermitage with panoramic views of the lake.

Explore the gardens of Villa Taranto: Wander through the stunning botanical gardens showcasing rare and exotic plants.

Ride the Centovalli Railway: Take a scenic train journey through the "Hundred Valleys" between Domodossola and Locarno.

Experience the Lago Maggiore Express: Embark on a captivating combination of train and boat rides to explore the lake and surrounding areas.

Attend the Stresa Festival: Immerse yourself in a world-class music festival featuring classical, jazz, and contemporary performances.

Visit the Rocca Borromeo di Angera: Explore the medieval fortress housing a museum that delves into the region's rich history.

Take a cable car to the top of Mottarone: Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains from the summit.

Places to eat & drink in Lake Maggiore, Italy

Dinner on lago maggiore.

Restaurants

Ristorante Belvedere (Stresa) - A lakeside restaurant offering delectable Italian cuisine with stunning views of the lake.

Ristorante Verbano (Verbania) - Known for its fresh seafood dishes and charming ambiance, this restaurant showcases the flavors of the region.

La Botte (Cannobio) - A family-run trattoria serving traditional Italian dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Ristorante Il Portico (Baveno) - Offers a mix of Italian and international cuisine, with a focus on using seasonal and regional products.

Osteria del Castello (Angera) - Set within a historic castle, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience with a menu featuring regional specialties.

Dessert

Gelateria La Carraia (Stresa) - Indulge in a variety of delicious gelato flavors made with high-quality ingredients.

Pasticceria Gerla (Verbania) - A pastry shop known for its mouthwatering cakes, pastries, and traditional Italian sweets.

Gelateria del Porto (Cannobio) - Offers a wide range of gelato flavors, including vegan and gluten-free options, in a scenic lakeside setting.

Pasticceria Roberto (Arona) - This pastry shop delights visitors with its delectable pastries, cakes and handmade chocolates.

Gelateria Capolinea (Luino) - Known for its creamy gelato and refreshing sorbets, this gelateria is a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.

Need to Know

Lake Maggiore offers travelers a picturesque destination with its stunning natural beauty and a wealth of cultural experiences. Easily accessible by train and ferry, the area provides convenient transportation options. Whether exploring the enchanting Borromean Islands, indulging in delightful Italian cuisine, or partaking in outdoor activities such as hiking or water sports, Lake Maggiore offers a memorable vacation experience that combines breathtaking landscapes with rich cultural heritage.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Making the Best of Your Trip to Naples.

Travel advisor Rileigh Tower is a close shot in black dress

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Italy.