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“Busy lake; Isola Bella is worth the hassle”
Review of Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore
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USD 70.83*
and up
Three Lakes Day Tour from Stresa
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USD 98.45*
and up
Day Tour to Zermatt and the Matterhorn from Stresa
Ranked #324 of 5,286 things to do in Lombardy
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Reviewed 15 May 2012

We stayed in Orta San Giulio and visited Lago Maggiore on a day trip. Lago Maggiore is very developed and touristic, much too much so for our tastes. Isola Bella, however, is worth the hassle. The Borromean Palazzo and the gardens, especially, are delightful. We spent a couple hours on the island and could have stayed longer.

1  Thank Mick L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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50 - 54 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 9 May 2012

We really enjoyed our stay in Lake Maggiore. After having stayed in Lake Como region after, we preferred Lake Maggiore. It's a beautiful, serene lake with many attractions such as the famous island villas, different towns you can visit, etc. Ferries are a very convenient and most scenic method of transportation. We stayed in Stresa, which we really enjoyed. Lake Maggiore seems less touristy than Lake Como, and the prices of food and everything else was definitely more reasonable. Additionally, the food was fantastic here (granted you know where to go).

7  Thank dan90638
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Italy’s second largest lake is shared with neighboring Switzerland, which owns the lake’s northernmost corner. There, the Ticino river (which rises from its Alpine sources some 55 miles to the north) flows through Lake Maggiore on its way to the Padana Plain. The lake’s banks are a succession of picturesque towns (Ascona in Switzerland, and Cannobio, Verbania, Stresa, Arona, Lesa. Laveno, Luino on the Italian side). The area’s tourist tradition is obvious everywhere. The lake’s mild climate has attracted Northern European visitors and residents for centuries: ornate villas, luxury hotels and more moderately priced establishments dot every mile of the lake’s shore. Great views of the lake can be enjoyed from the heights above Laveno (on the eastern shore), or from the Mottarone peak (elevation approx. 5,000 ft) on its SW shore. The peak can be reached by cable-car from Stresa. Scheduled boat services crisscross the lake, many of them also carry cars. My favorite corner of Lake Maggiore is the southernmost part, which can also be reached by train from Milan’s central station in about one hour. The lake is well worth a week’s vacation if you have the time, or at the very least a long weekend stay.

6  Thank Teerex51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2012

We stayed in the Grand Hotel Bristol in Stresa. The hotel was fabulous and our lake view Balcony room was simply exquisite. The views over the lake were simply breathtaking. The town square in Stresa was simply a gastronomic delight, the boat trips round the lake were relaxng and the Italian and Swiss towns gave us a great variety of gorgeous architecture, cuisine and culture. A bit pricey but value for money. The Train journey through the Alps to Locarno and the relaxed boat trip to Stresa was a high and the last nights dinner on Fisherman's Island capped off the whole holiday. Fabulous scenery wine and food.

4  Thank I H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2011

I'd like to share impressions and experiences from my trip to Italy in September. I hope to be useful, especially for people who travel by public transport.
The choice of Varese for a "base camp" for a part of our trip was very appropriate. The town itself is very green, quiet and pleasant. Very good public transport, you can quickly and conveniently reach all interesting places of Lombardy and neighboring provinces. I heartily recommend Atahotel Varese with its modern and beautiful furnishings and friendly staff. You can enjoy all the amenities that make your holiday a real pleasure.
I hope you have enough days for your trip as the interesting places nearby are many and deserve much attention and admiration.
Be sure to take at least one full day on Lake Maggiore to see Stresa, Isola Bela with the Borromeo palace and its gorgeous gardens, monastery Santa Caterina and Laveno. Enjoy traditional Italian cuisine and the best coffee in one of the many restaurants around the blue waters of the lake.
Varese is a convenient starting point for a trip to Milan and other cities and lakes nearby.
If you plan to travel by train, you can use both Railways Trenitalia and Trenord, who not only have different schedules, but different stations. Check in advance at what exactly station is your train.
There are many buses that move more often and more quickly, and tickets are cheaper. Usually the bus station is near to the railway station.

3  Thank Dolya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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