March, 15 2019 ( Updated March, 22 2019)
As the cafes and hotels open their doors again, the delicate scent of awakening buds drift on the mild pleasant air, as the sun returns to bask on the idyllic lake view terraces. Spring has sprung on Lake Maggiore.
If you are lucky enough to be visiting now, the lake’s gardens are the true stars of spring.
Arguably the most well-known gardens are to be found on the Borromean Islands. Reached by boat from Stresa, the palatial islands of Isola Madre and Isola Bella will captivate the senses. The most opulent of these are the Isola Bella gardens, which after passing through the unique Baroque palace, greet the visitor like a majestic fantasy. With the landscaped gardens spread across 10 lake view terraces, the focal point of this floating wedding cake is its ‘topper’; the amphitheatre. In amongst the splendour, exotic white peacocks’ parade next to perfectly manicured flower beds and romantic lake-view vistas.
The more familiar-feeling Isola Madre gardens are laid out in the form of luscious English parkland; with vibrant flower boarders accompanying lawns, shady long avenues, enchanting wisteria walks and the largest Kashmir Cypress tree in Europe.
Situated between Stresa and Intra, and not to be missed, are the botanical gardens of Villa Taranto. Visitors there can fully immerse themselves in its breath-taking landscape. Sprawling parkland, woodland, meandering footpaths and terraced pools provide a welcome home to some 20,000+ species of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers. The flowering beds surrounding Fontana die Putti offer a beautiful sight and for a truly show-stopping moment, visit Villa Taranto in Tulip Week. It is then that a vibrant sea of 80,000 tulip blooms caress the park in a joyous, vivid colour, to announce in the spring.
Parco Pallavicino in Stresa is well-known for its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, thanks to its popular on-site zoo. The park’s lake view gardens though are reason enough to pay a visit! With the fragrance of flowering wisteria in the air and colourful tulips, rhododendrons, azaleas and early roses in full bloom, visitors will enjoy immersing themselves in the scents, and delights of the season.
Lake Maggiore also offers some secret, unassuming springtime gardens, including the Alpine Garden. Reached by the Mottarone cable car from Stresa, many sightseer’s hop off at this lake view botanical alpine garden, whilst en-route to the summit. Visitors will enjoy an effortless tour of the beautiful Alpine flora and fauna, along the scenic circuit route. It’s a true hidden gem!
If you find yourself back in Stresa, then the lakefront promenade next to the popular Borromean boat tour office offers the perfect excuse for an ice cream and a scenic lakeside stroll (‘passeggiata’), with cheerful, flowering camelia trees there to greet you.
From the beautiful gardens of Lake Maggiore, we wish you a magical spring!