2019 #Piemonte | Lago Maggiore
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Sundays are made for chilling and relaxing, isn't it? Especially when you're somewhere around one of the most beautiful scenery in Italy and in whole Europe, called Lago Maggiore. Once you're are in Piemonte don't miss an opportunity to spend a day at this amazing place. Actually I've been here few years ago in late autumn and I remember perfectly how great is the area, thus it was naturally obvious for me this time, while planning my wine trip to Alto Piemonte, to plan one day for Lago Maggiore visit.
That was a bit challenging way to my very well planned relaxing #Sunday... well, initially I was late to arrive because on the way I was visting Santuario di Boca and spent some time there, so I've came to Stresa in the midday, which is quite late for Sunday cause you absolutely have no chance to find a parking at this time, especially in such crowded places as Stresa (#lifehack Stresa is highly not recommended if you would like to stay in peaceful and quiet place).
After browsing around Stresa during literally half an hour searching for parking, I've just became a bit mad with the process and decided to move to opposite part of the lake (was a right decision), which supposed to be less crowded, more chilling and calm. The place I've headed up to was Verbania, which faces Stresa lying at a direct distance of 3.7 km across the water and 16 km by very beautiful road along the #lake.
Well, parking was still an issue there too, but at least it was manageable and I was able to find a place just upon arrival, thanks god.
Verbania is absolutely stunning... especially when you arrive at the lunch time, it's +30C in the air (yes, it was mid of September) and you've immediately found a great restaurant to dine outside with such view... that's what I call "chilling Sunday".
Walking along the lake after lunch, enjoying an awesome sunny day, was one of the best times ever. In the present days #Verbania is the merger of the towns Intra, Pallanza and Suna, plus other even smaller villages. Actually I've parked my car and had lunch in Suna and then was walking at the lungolago till Pallanza (the recommended promenade).
A view to Isoli Borromei from Verbania side.
#lifehack there is an enormous quantity of tourists in Stresa, especially people are crowded there for taking short boat trips to Borromeo Islands (they are a bit closer from that part), but I strongly don't recommend to do it from Stresa - too much noisy and stressful in the high season. When I was visiting #LagoMaggiore few years ago in late autumn, that time I've done a calm boat trip from Stresa with no problem at all, as there were almost no people, but in the mid of September it's still super crowded, better to avoid.
Actually you can easily do a boat trip from Verbania side with no stress, you will find a small port with a ferry pier just in the middle of #Pallanza plus there are separate boats always browsing and parking along the lake, they can bring you to the islands.
Pallanza in the afternoon, I'm so in love with these small green gardens...
...and micro port for private boats.
The pier for guest boats works like a normal paid parking slot for cars - you park your boat, come onto the land and there is a parkomat (on the right hand from me), where you can pay your parking and put your ticket onto the boat, just same way as a car #parking... now I'm curious even by myself how much is boat's parking cost per hour, but I just forgot to make a pic of that parkomat, seems I was too much relaxing while walking there... absolutely lovely place!
A small islet lying a stone's throw from the shores of Pallanza and separated from a mainland by a narrow strip of water only 10-15 metres wide, called Isolino di San Giovanni (isolino = teeny island in Italian), is famous for having been the home of Arturo Toscanini between 1927 and 1952.
Gorgeous Villa Giulia
Tiny beautiful park of Villa Giulia is open till 19.00 and has absolutely free entrance...
...incredible views to the village...
...and the #lake.
There is a bar and a small concert place in the middle of the park, where local people are gathering on the sunset to listen some local musical band.
Such villas are quite common thing on Lago Maggiore, where Italian aristocracy lived for ages, and still live by the way.
As I wanted to have a dinner at another part of the lake, so I had to walk back to take my car from Suna...
...and moved to Baveno, which is basically on the left from Stresa, but much nicer and quieter place.
The Borromeo Islands from Baveno side look especially cool at the #sunset.
Verbania view from the opposite side of the lake.
Baveno is also a suggested spot on the #lake, if you would like to chill in the nice atmosphere. The promenade with awesome views is guaranteed.
All the restaurants are located along the promenade, so you will never be mistaken to have your sunset aperitivo and dinner outside, right on the lake's shore, in such a magical place in a great warm evening.