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Lake Maggiore, the second largest lake in Italy, famed for its beauty and mild weather, has always been a tourist destination.
Over the past few years, however, it has been rediscovered and new interest is being devoted to the many villas and gardens of the area.
Today, visitors can stay at some of these chateaus which have been turned into hotels and B&B, or at a luxury hotel and wellness centre.

The three Borromeo islands – the jewels of the lake – are famous throughout Europe for their spectacular garden landscapes with over 2,000 different plant varieties.

In Arona, on the Piedmontese side of the lake, there is a colossal statue of San Carlo Borromeo (popularly known as the “Sancarlone”, the “Big Saint Charles”), the second tallest statue in the world after the Statue of Liberty in New York.
The Malpaga castles stand at Cannero Riviera, on the small islands fortified during the Middle Ages.

Lake Orta offers a more discrete setting to visitors and encourages slow, relaxing walks.

The most important town and focus point of the area is Orta, with its local craft shops and delicatessens lining the narrow streets and stairways leading up to the Baroque churches and towers.
The symbol of the lake is the island of San Giulio and its remarkable Basilica.
This is one of the most important Romanesque monuments in the region, it was founded by Saint Julius himself in the fourth century.

Lake Mergozzo is a peaceful place where to engage in water sports and fishing. It is owned by the Verbano Cusio Ossola province section of FIPSAS (Italian Fishing & Underwater Sports Association).

For some the water of Piemonte is not meant for relaxation.
The Lake District is an open-air gym for many outdoor activities, such as trekking, mountaineering, and climbing in nature reserves, the Val Grande National Park, the largest wilderness area in Italy, and in the Natural Parks of Veglia Devero, Mottarone, and Lagoni di Mercurago. The Toce waterfall with its 145 drop is the symbol of the Formazza valley and a popular destination for mountain hikers. It is one of the most beautiful and majestic waterfalls in Europe.

Lakes Maggiore, Orta, Viverone, Avigliana and Candia in addition to artistic and culture tours, musical events and international festivals (like the Music Weeks in Stresa from mid July to mid September) offer opportunities to test one’s sailing and windsurfing skills.

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