Although Lake Maggiore claims to be the largest of the lakes (maggiore meaning ‘greatest’) it is in fact the second largest lake after Lake Garda at 54km long with a coastline over 150km. It is a deep glacial basin formed over 12 million years ago and crosses the border between Switzerland and Italy.
Over the centuries it has been the inspiration for many a writer, poet and artist and during the 18th and 19th centuries Maggiore became synonymous with high style and class and home to the grand styles of the epoch Art Nouveau and its Italian counterpart Liberty.
Sat amidst the lake itself are the Borromean Islands; a collection of small private islands that are available by water taxi and we suggest you spend time exploring a least three of these. Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola Pescatori have been collected over the years by the Borromeo banking family from Milan.
Isola Bella is famed for her sumptuous palace; baroque in style she is full to the rafters of 16th and 19th Italian works of art, antiques and treasures. It also holds a place in history as the venue for the 1935 Stresa conference that aimed to restore peace to Europe during the 2nd World War. It is said that Bonaparte and Josephine also spent a night or two here.
The gardens of Isola Madre were designed upon themes of an English stately home and offer visitors a wonderful and vibrant experience and you may meet a white peacock meandering around the grounds too.
Isola Pescatori is the only island with a permanent population and is in essence a fishing village. Head here for a true fish supper!
Back on the lakeshore and the town of Fondotoce is home to Casa della Resistanza, the Resistance Museum. A sombre but poignant experience, it is the location where 43 partisans were rounded up in June 1944 and shot dead. The wall now bears the names of the 1,200 Italian partisans who were killed during the war.
The gardens of Villa Taranto are considered one of Europe’s finest botanical gardens and are filled with over 20,000 species. Whilst the Monastery of Santa Caterina del Sasso on the southeast shore is filled with an array of wonderful frescoes as it clings to the cliff-face and offers spectacular views across the lake.
Lake Maggiore offers a multitude of walks, bike trails, boat trips, villas and gardens. Water sports can be found in abundance including sailing, windsurfing and canoeing. There is the Lake Maggiore Adventure Park if you have energy to burn whilst a visit to Stresa with its generations of exclusivity and collection of shops and restaurants is also worth a visit.
The rest of the lakes are also to be explored; Orta, Lugano, Como and Garda, whilst the elegance and historic centre of Milan is just over an hour’s drive from the lake itself.
LayoutGround floor accommodation:
- Entrance hallway
- L shaped sitting room with open fireplace
- Dining room for up to 16 guests
- Billiards room
- Breakfast room*
- Galley Kitchen* with two ovens and dishwasher, doors to outside barbecue area
First floor - for up to 8 people (price for 8):
- Master double bedroom with a period fireplace, beautiful arched doors onto the terrace with views overlooking the gardens and lake beyond. Also with:
- En-suite bathroom with a Jacuzzi bath, separate shower, bidet and WC
- Double bedroom with arched doors to the terrace and:
- En-suite bathroom with separate shower, bidet and WC
- Wonderful sitting room furnished with antiques and doors to the terrace
- Double bedroom with arched doors to the terrace
- Family bathroom
- Twin bedroom offering 1 single and 1 French style bed, again with doors to the terrace
Second floor - for up to 16 people (price for 16):
- Double bedroom with doors to the terrace
- Shower room
- Expansive Bathroom
- Double bedroom with doors to the terrace
- Double bedroom
- Twin/double bedroom
- Expansive bathroom
Within the grounds:
- Beautiful swimming pool furnished with umbrellas and sun-beds
- Changing rooms with WC, sink, two hot showers and a fridge
- Several dining areas throughout
- Extensive parking
- Private and secure wrought iron gates
- Roman Catholic Chapel
Swimming pool open between 15th May and 30th September (weather permitting).
* For summer 2015 the owner has advised us that a new, semi-professional kitchen will be installed incorporating the current kitchen and breakfast room.
We advise all guests of Villino San Remigio to take care during hours of darkness when using the garden steps as they are not lit.