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Lake Maggiore with its bewitching islands has the most varied scenery of Italy’s Alpine lakes. The elegance of the Liberty style villas and many gardens reflect the popularity of the resort at the turn of the century. Stresa is the main resort but the town of Verbania also has much of interest such as the lovely Villa Taranto with its superb botanical gardens. Isola Bella with its spectacular terraces, Isola Madre with a charming English garden, Isola dei Pescatori with colourful restaurants perched on the waterside; these are the Borromean Islands, only a short boatride away from Stresa. The Lake Maggiore area is one of the greenest in Italy; stay in the hills above the lake for some fantastic walks and bike rides with fresh air and stunning views.
The lovely Hotel La Palma in Stresa can be combined with the unusual Villa Crespi, complete with Michelin starred restaurant, on little Lake Orta.