The area of the Borromean Gulf is bounded by part of Lake Maggiore which extends from Stresa to Verbania and includes, in addition to the beautiful Borromean Islands, the hilly area also close to Verbania.
The beauty of the area lies in the perfect marriage between art and nature. The human hand has known how to build over the centuries cleverly adapting the forms of nature on the lake and its shores.
The towns of Stresa and Baveno are characterized by elegance and luxury bestowed by the majestic villas that are located along this stretch of the shore. An refined and romantic atmosphere characterizes these real "pearls"of Lake Maggiore, that attract thousands of tourists from all over the world each year. In the heart of the Gulf, the three Borromean Islands, accessible by means of the Navigazione Lago Maggiore or by private motorboats, create a picturesque setting with timeless charm.
In Stresa, in addition to visiting the beautiful park of Villa
Pallavicini, one can take the cable car and reach the summit of
Mottarone or the Alpine Garden.
The provincial capital, Verbania is nearby, a bustling tourist center, known for its nineteenth-century villas like the Villa S. Remigio, the Villa Giulia and the Villa Taranto, whose gardens are among the most famous and popular in Europe thanks to the beautiful floral scenes that characterize them .
Going up the hills surrounding Verbania, one will discover
dozens of small villages with the typical features of the mountain
villages overlooking the Borromean Gulf and its islands.
The National Park of Val Grande starts in these hills: it is the largest area of wilderness in the Alps with the Museum of Water "Acquamondo" in Cossogno and the Casa del Parco in Cicogna.
The characteristic Lake of Mergozzo and the and white marble quarries of Candoglia are near at hand .
In less than half an hour’s drive (or by boat from Omegna) one can reach the enchanting Lake Orta, with the island of Saint Giulio.
For mountain lovers, nature trails are at Alpe Devero, Alpe Veglia, Valgrande and Val Formazza with the impressive waterfalls of the Toce. There are skiing facilities at Mottarone, Domobianca, Macugnaga, etc.
And for those seeking a relaxing holiday at Premia in the Valle Antigorio, one will find the spa and the wellness area.
FLOWERS AND GARDENS OF LAKE
The camellia, a decorative plant of Japanese origin , has found an ideal climate and soil for its growth on the shores of Lake Maggiore,. Planted for the first time in 1828 on Isola Madre thanks to the work of Milanese collectors, this flower has spread over the years throughout the lake area, offering many beautiful flowers in the gardens of villas and mansions.
In the whole territory of Lake Maggiore, one can see this live flower and discover its many varieties. The camellia, also known as Queen of the Lake, is now a feature of these lands and many appointments are dedicated to her such as market shows, guided tours of the gardens of the villas and exhibitions
In every old villa on Lake Maggiore, one can find camellia trees, planted in the nineteenth century, when the plant arrived at the peak of its success. Then a period of decline followed but in the second half of the twentieth century, many local botanists began to take an interest again in the cultivation of this plant.
In Verbania. the Botanical Gardens of Villa Taranto certainly give hospitality to the colorful blooms of more than 400 varieties of camellias. Also in Verbania one can admire the giant camellia in the beautiful Villa San Remigio, on the hill of Castagnola,.
Do not miss a visit to the beautiful garden of camellias on Isola Madre, the place which first gave shelter to this wonderful plant.
The beautiful and renowned Alpinia Botanical Garden is located in the town of Alpino, a pretty village situated between the towns of Stresa and Gignese. With its unique landscape, which ranges from the Borromean Gulf to the chain of the Swiss Alps, the Alpinia Gardens, from the mid-nineteenth century, became a tourist destination for many European aristocrats and artists who found inspiration for their works.