On the south side of the Italian Alps 650 feet above sea level lies a sapphire jewel named Lago Maggiore. The Italian shore of Lago Maggiore is split between Piedmont and Lombardia. While the picturesque mountain ridge backdrop on the northern shore is none other than the Swiss Alps. If it sounds idyllic, it is. Here are my top 10 favorite photos from our visit followed by a quick list of absolute must-see ideas for Lago Maggiore (Lake Maggiore).
Pictures of Italy | Lake Maggiore
In case you were wondering, yes you can swim in Lake Maggiore! Check out the photo below Paolo captured of a child taking the plunge into Lake Maggiore off of one of the swimming docks. Shall we dive into the pictures? At the end of the post is a summary of the Borromean Islands of Lake Maggiore featured below.
Video of Lake Maggiore & Borromean Islands
Below is a video I like that shows some beautiful areial footage around Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands. Spoiler alert, Paolo and I have been to all the locations featured in this video and cannot wait to share those photos next. Follow ALOR Italy by subscribing below to catch our next Pictures of Italy Photogallery.
Borromean Islands of Lago Maggiore
Named after the Borromeo family who acquired them in the early 16th century this small bejeweled chain of islands makes up arguably the most beautiful part of Lago Maggiore.
Isolino di San Giovanni and Malghera are so small they are technically islets and San Giovanni is off-limits to tourists. Isola Madre (the largest) Isola Bella (the most beautiful) and Isola dei Pescatori (the liveliest) are however easily accessible by boat.
Isola Bella (Beautiful Island)
Isola Bella with its famous white peacocks, sculpted garden, and sweeping views was originally a barren rock until count Carlo III and his son Vitaliano chose it as the location for a summer palace now turned museum. Reminiscent of a wedding cake, meticulously-groomed garden terraces rise up 10 levels providing sweeping panoramic views of Lago Maggiore.
Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island)
As the only inhabited island, Isola dei Pescatori is a small fishing village with almost as many restaurants (15) as residents (20ish) making it the perfect mid-day spot for lunch. A stop at Ristorante Casabella includes a terrace view and the fresh pasta including my favorite, a delicate squid ink ravioli stuffed with cuttlefish.
Isola Madre (Mother Island)
The wild gardens of Isola Madre, the largest of the three islands, provide the perfect post-meal stroll. Colorful peacocks, hens, and pheasants roam the gardens freely posing and squawking much to visitors’ delight.