"Verbano" Top 5 Page for this destination Lago Maggiore by Manara

Lago Maggiore Travel Guide: 117 reviews and 237 photos

'What can one say of Lake Maggiore, of the Borromeo Isles, except to pity those who do not love them?' These words were written by Stendhal, who was very young when he first visited these places, in the spring of year 1800.
He came back again and again, and he was staying in Belgirate when he wrote his masterpiece La chartreuse de Parme.
Many other writers and poets were enchanted by this lake and its surroundings: Goethe, Byron, Dumas, Flaubert, Dostoevski, Shaw, Hemingway, Thomas Mann.

Between Lombardy and Piedmont

Here on VT the lake Maggiore is listed in the region of Lombardy, but this long and narrow lake actually lies on the border between this region and Piedmont. The northern part of the lake is in Switzerland.
The people from this area used to talk about a "Riva Grassa" and a "Riva Magra": at times when "fat" meant "rich", the Riva Grassa was the one on the western side, where many rich people built their luxurious villas, and equally luxurious hotels accommodated rich holidaymakers. The villages and towns of the "Lean Bank" of Lombardy, instead, still lived on the traditional, less rewarding, jobs. Lombardy has its de-luxe resorts by the lakes, but they are mainly on the banks of the Lago di Como.
Verbano is the old name of the lake . It was used in Roman times, but its origins are probably celtic, as the name dates back to times before the arrival of Romans in this part of Italy. The name Verbano is still very much in use, for instance it identifies the province Verbano-Cusio-Ossola.

Aerial views of the lake

You will not find many aerial views among my pictures, so these ones are exceptions. The first shows the view of the lake from the top of mount Mottarone.
The second is from a much higher vantage point. I took it during a flight to Paris. I happened to be sitting in the right place when we flew over the Lago Maggiore, before flying across the Alps, and I had my camera close at hand. In this second picture the land around the lake is rather brown, because it was taken in February.

  • Last visit to Lago Maggiore: May 2010
  • Intro Updated Jul 27, 2011
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Reviews (19)

Comments (13)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    I have been to the area 2 times and always feel the scenery here is one of the best. YOu have great pictures and the comments are well done and helpful to the reader. Parliamo Italiano un po and visitare spesa

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    What a wonderful place, and yet it is a pleasure to read that there are still some quiet and relatively undiscovered places here.

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Outstanding photos & detail that give such a good feel to the area - all these small islands are beckoning through your pages. Grazie, Anna

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2009 at 7:11 AM

    Very informative page with lots of interesting little tidbits. Jeannette

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2009 at 7:44 AM

    Interesting Lago Maggiore page with lots of beautiful sceneries. Isola Madre certainly looks interesting and wonderful to visit and explore. Thanks for sharing. ~ho & pang

  • royalempress's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2009 at 6:28 PM

    I really enjoyed your Lake information and pictures. Mike

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2008 at 3:09 PM

    The lakes region of Italy is definately on my 'must see' list. Now after seeing this page Anna...I wanna go tomorrow!! :o) I love your pix of views, flowers & descriptive writeup!! Cheers, Ann.

  • sylina's Profile Photo
    Jun 22, 2008 at 11:14 PM

    thanks!! enjoyed a lot your tips and pix.. the islands look fantastic.. wish someday i will be able to see them... :) ciaooo..

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Isola Madre, Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori -- I enjoyed reading your tips about these beautiful islands. I recently saw Lago Maggiore from the train window, on the Cisalpino from Spiez to Milan.

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    Very tempting for a romantic trip!


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