Geo takes us onto Lake Maggiore, not Italy’s largest Lake but certainly its most famous, thanks to its natural beauty, its history and to the people who have always frequented it. A part of its fascination is almost certainly due to the number of islands visitable on the Lake, both large and small, world reknown and just naturally pretty; all in all eleven islands.
Click on the link to watch the 12 minute video aired on Italian TV by Geo featuring Lake Maggiore, the Aristocratic Lake
The history of the Castello Dal Pozzo is as ancient and distinctive as its splendid surroundings, and together they create what is undoubtedly the most unique and exclusive property to be found on Lake Maggiore.
A new breed of elegant hospitality where the new and the old are perfectly intertwined so that all the services of a modern luxury hotel are combined with the courteous and old fashioned charms of a 17th century Palace. Set as a jewel in the delicate filigree work of the surrounding English gardens, the Stately Home offers the most exclusive and unique setting. www.castellodalpozzo.com
One of the 11 Islands on the Lake, Others include the World reknown Borromees Islands, with the Palazzo and Isola Madre which offer magnificent gardens. Isola Madre is particularly famous for its azalea, rhododendron, and camellia blossoms but also for the pergolas of ancient wisteria, and for the Cashmere Cyprus, which is more than two hundred years old and is the largest example in Europe. The gardens of Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella, are a splendid and grandiose italianate baroque, one of the most important and best kept examples of its kind to be found in Italy,
The particularly mild climate to be found round Lake Maggiore has favoured the growth of a wide variety of different types of vegetation, all of which have found their natural habitat in this area.
The ancient craft of Umbrella Makers is still practiced and there is an excellent museum in Gignese. There are also a selection of small but out of the ordinary museums: the Museum of the Art of Hat Making in Ghiffa; the Transport Museum in Ranco. And not to be missed: the Doll’s Museum in the Rocca in Angera. All of them offer an interesting view of a world that used to be.
Every year Santa Maria Maggiore, a beautiful village in the Vigezzo Valley, hosts more than 1200chimney sweeps, coming from all over the world in order to celebrate and remember a particular ancient job: the chimney sweep. The ChimneySweep Museum at Santa Maria Maggiore is also worth visiting for a glimpse of what this profession used to be, as perhaps epitomised by the Disney film Mary Poppins.
The Marble has been excavated for centuries for its pink marble, used in the construction of the Duomo in Milan. The marble was sent by boat to Milan.
Excellent Restaurants all round the Lake offer first class meals, from Michelin starred chefs to simple Pizzerias. To name just a few the Michelin starred Il Piccolo Lago in Verbania, Le Fief in Palazzo Dal Pozzo in Oleggio Castello. You can choose from over 200 restaurants that are included in all the major guide books as well as a wealth of small country inns, food faires and local food festivals . Wine growing areas include those of the Canton Ticino just over the border in Switzerland, as well as vineyards in Gattinara, the Novara hills, and the Ossola Valley. Piemonte is also well known for its beef, the Lake offers a range of fresh water fish and the hinterland produces salamis, excellent cheeses, biscuits and a range of desserts.
Villa Taranto, an authentic Garden of Eden, is one of the most important botanical gardens in the world, harbouring thousands of plants and flowers from all over, harmoniously spread over 30 acres. Recently devasted by a Tornado, it has been brought back to its original splendour