Lakeside villas and gardens
The province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola stretches between Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore, on the shores of which stand stunning villas surrounded by gardens, like Villa Taranto and Villa Giulia in Verbania or Villa Pallavicino in Stresa.
From Stresa, you can take a boat to the beautiful Borromean Islands. Isola Bella is home to the 17th-century Palazzo Borromeo, with Baroque gardens, original furnishings, and paintings by Tiepolo and Carracci. On Isola Madre is a magnificent botanical garden, while on Isola Superiore or Isola dei Pescatori, the only inhabited island, you can stroll through charming villages.
Also along the shores of Lake Maggiore are the medieval villages of Cannobio and Cannero Riviera, with a small harbour carved out of the rock, the Parco Degli Agrumi ecological park and moated castles. In Pallanza is the 12th-century Oratory of Saint Remigio. The picturesque town of Omegna sits by Lake Orta, while Vogogna is home to the Visconti Castle.
Don’t miss the Toce Falls and the Vigezzo Valley, nicknamed the Valley of the Painters, as the landscapes enchanted 19th-century artists. The medieval town of Domodossola is located right here, near the Sacred Mount Calvary of Domodossola. For wilder nature, we recommend visiting the Val Grande National Park. In Macugnaga, in the shadow of Monte Rosa, you can discover Walser culture.