Lake Maggiore, together with Lakes Orta and Mergozzo, form the Piedmontese lake district. We are in Italy’s northwest, closer to the Swiss border than to our regional capital city, Turin. Anyway, we are a part of this wonderful, amazing, kaleidoscopic region called Piedmont.
Do you know what Piedmont means? It is very easy: literally “at the foot of the mountain” (in Italian Piemonte: pie-de=foot and Monte=mountain).Ssimple, isn’t it? It is evident that the largest part of this region – the second biggest in Italy – has to be mountainous. Within the region’s border you might be astonished by the colossus of the Alps, which in many cases is higher than 10,000ft; but fortunately we also have our beautiful hilly area with a lot of vineyards. By the way: the Piedmontese hills have been a World Heritage UNESCO site since 2015. And what about the peace of our plains where rice has been grown in the “squared sea” – rice paddies, for centuries?
And last but not least, our lakes! They are surrounded by snow-capped mountains until spring, the same mountains that protect the area from the cold northern winds and allow a very pleasant mild climate in which lush vegetation characterises the gardens: plants and flowers from all over the world have grown here for centuries. Lake Maggiore is well-renowned for its acidophilus plants including camellias, which are the most appreciated. But to list all of our green beauties isn’t necessary because many books have already been written about that; I just want to mention the most important ones such as rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, wisterias, hydrangeas, flowering prunes, water lilies, lotus flowers, mimosas, bouganvilleas proteas, roses, hibiscus… but they are only a small part of what awaits you here, and it would be my enormous pleasure to discover the verdant gardens of the lake with you!
Lake Maggiore is the longest of Italy and also a border between the two Italian regions Piedmont and Lombardy – actually only since the XVIII century, because this part of the lake used to be Lombard, but I’ll tell you about that once you are here! The northern part of the lake is in the Swiss canton Ticino.
Within about an hour we can reach Milan as well as Locarno or Ascona, as well as the rice fields area. With a two-hour trip we can travel to Como or Lugano and their fascinating lakes, as well as the Piedmontese wine hills. In a little more than 2 hours we can reach Turin or Zermatt.
The region has a really fascinating history which, together with its territory, shape, and differences, has contributed to developing very special uses, customs and traditions: they are reflected in the mood but also in the typical cuisine and products.
This region has so much to offer:
- romantic lakes
- fascinating history
- wild nature
- lush gardens
- amazing palaces
- high mountains
- remote valleys
- vineyard hills
- historical and art cities
- tiny villages
- delicious cuisine
- interesting typical products (from wine to carved wood, from rice to honey, from alpine cheese to biscuits, from chocolate praline to truffles…. ; a large range of different items and goods to satisfy your every desire)