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Baveno - Lake Maggiore
Baveno city holds modern acclaim as a health-thermal resort and has a famous red granite cave that houses the “Fonti di Baveno” mineral water springs. Postcard perfect with cypress trees, sailboats, villas, azalea, hydrangea and pink oleander bushes this is the Italian Land of Lakes loved by Winston Churchill, Queen Victoria and Ray Charles.
Take a trip to the Borromean Islands, Villa Taranto Garden in Pallanza, Mottarone, Macugnaga and other surrounding mountains. It is also possible to escape for a day and visit Lake Como, Zermatt, Ascona and Locarno in Switzerland.
Queen Victoria decided to visit Isola Bella, Pallanza, Orta, Locarno, Monza and Milan during her 1879 visit. Almost two centuries later these are still highlights and you can follow in her footsteps and also include:
Of structural architectural importance are the Parrocchiale of St Gervasio and St Protaso of the 12 – 13th centuries, with a Romanesque bell and octagonal baptistery dating from the 7-8th century.
The area is dominated by the Borromeo family. You will find their curious three interlinked rings, unicorn and man trap stamps representing the family everywhere. They own the Borromeo Palace of Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and the Gardens of Isola Madre filled with peacocks, parrots, tattoo needles of the discaria serratifoglia, kashmir cypress, azaleas, bottle bushes and water lillies.
A colossal statue of the famous Counter-Reformationist Charles Borromeo was erected at Arona. You can even climb into the statue and peer through the eyes of the man that was one of the areas wealthiest and most influential sons.
Eat coppa con frutta gelato at a street café in Baveno or book a meal at the family friendly ristorante Posta for grilled lake trout and Barbera wine Sotto-sopra.
Getting there and getting around
The Lido Palace is only a 5 minute walk from Baveno.
Lake Maggiore is only two hours by air from Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and London.
Milan and Turin have airports serviced by UK budget airlines and trains from the airports to Lake Maggiore. (Milan is only an hour by train) Trains also run to Genoa, Zurich and Basel.
Steamers or hydrofoils service routes between the towns, islands and even to Locarno in Switzerland.
There is also an extensive bus service between villages and the smaller Lake Orta.
The ferry is free at night. Use it to avoid the big road that hugs the lake (and this might just be the perfect way to escape the ever present masses of conference delegates as well)
A 25 minute ferry ride will transport you to the glamorous and bustling Stresa where you can take the cable car to Monte Mottarone.