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Dolceterra

- The Lakes of Northern Italy

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The Lakes in Northern Italy are the destination of local and international tourism.

It's an oasis of a mild climate in the middle of the Pianura Padana.

You are away from hot and humid summers and cold and foggy winters.

Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, and Lake Como have been vacation destinations for the Milanese for centuries. The rich and the poor. It takes just a few euros to go from Milan to one of these lakes using the cheap regional trains. People used this means of transportation for decades before the mass use of the car. Today, with the traffic becoming unbearable, people discover regional trains again. The car's advantage is that it allows you to pass from one Lake to another. Without going back to Milan, it makes it possible as you would with the train.

You have here a guide to a multi-day car trip to these lakes. It starts from Novara; then it goes to the Lake's region, beginning with the Orta Lake, small and less famous. It then goes to Stresa on Lake Maggiore, with its beautiful Borromean Islands and the internationally renowned localities: Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Madre.

It continues driving on the west coast of the Lake, visiting Villa Taranto, with its outstanding gardens, and is a natural beauty in springtime, when the azaleas are blossoming. It is the best time of the year to visit the area. Continuing the west coast of the Lake, it passes through Cannero Riviera and Cannobio and enters Switzerland. Don't forget to bring your passport with you! Brissago is the next town, then Locarno, and Lugano and Lake. There are several one-day itineraries to visit the attractions in Canton Ticino. Most can be seen in one day from Lake Lugano.

We re-enter Italy near Como on Lake Como, and we visit the city and its historical attractions.

From Como. a tour takes us to visit Cernobbio, Isola Comacina, Villa del Balbianello and Villa Carlotta arriving in Menaggio. Taking the Ferry, we visit Bellagio, the Pearl of the Lake, and then Varenna, with its Villa Monastero, Castel Vezio. Then, continuing the east coast, we arrive at Lecco, from where we have a diversion to ascent the Grigna, the Dolomite-like Mountain dominating the Lake. We also encounter the people making the famous Taleggio cheese on the hill.

A quick section brings us to Monza and its park and then to Milan, where the itinerary ends.

Author Enrico Massetti

Published by Massetti Publishing, Washington DC, USA

Print Book: 181 color Pages A5 (5.83 x 8.27 in / 148 x 210 mm)
150 color images
ISBN 978-1-716-01898-5  

Enrico Massetti I

Table of contents

The Lakes 1

Restaurants reviews 1

Start of the trip 2

Ghemme - red wine on E26 3

Pastries in Romagnano Sesia 4

Novara Historic Ethnographic Museum 5

The Malpensa Airport 6

What to eat in Borgomanero - Tapulone 7

What to see and do in Borgomanero 8

Orta Lake 10

Orta Sacro Monte 14

Orta: Friedrich Nietzsche 15

Where to eat in Orta San Giulio 17

Stresa and Lake Maggiore 19

Where to eat in Stresa 21

One Day at Borromean Islands 22

Isola Bella 24

The island today 25

Isola Bella: The Palace 25

Isola Bella: The Gardens 26

Where to eat on Isola Bella 27

Isola dei Pescatori 28

Where to eat on Isola dei Pescatori 30

Isola Madre 31

Isola Madre - The Palace 33

Isola Madre - The Botanical Gardens 34

The Borromeo family theater 35

One Day: Arona - Angera 36

The Rocca of Angera 38

One Day at Mottarone 39

Alpyland 41

Where to eat at Mottarone 41

What to do and see in Stresa 42

Stresa, Villa Pallavicino 43

One day at Laveno Bucket Lift 45

The Laveno Bucket Lift 46

Where to eat in Laveno 47

Picnic in Laveno-Mombello 48

Info on Laveno-Mombello 49

How to get to Laveno from Milan by train 50

Borromean islands in one day from Milan 51

One Day at: Santa Caterina del Sasso 53

How to get to Stresa directly 55

How to get from Stresa to Malpensa Airport 55

Villa Taranto in One day from Milan 56

Mottarone in One day from Milan 57

How to get to Stresa directly 58

The north part of Lake Maggiore. 59

Pallanza 60

Where to eat in Baveno 61

One Day Visit Villa Taranto. 62

Villa Taranto Gardens 63

Where to eat in Intra-Verbania 64

Info on Intra-Verbania 64

How to get back from Stresa 65

Cannero Riviera 66

Cannobio 68

Where to eat in Cannobio. 69

Brissago 70

Where to eat in Brissago. 71

Ascona - Locarno 72

Bolle di Magadino Plain 75

To see in Locarno: the camelia park 76

To see near Locarno: Monte Verità 76

Coming to Locarno from the North 78

One Day: Locarno–Madonna del Sasso funicular 79

Where to eat in Locarno 80

One Day: The Centovalli railway 82

Lugano and its Lake 83

What to do and see: a boat ride 85

One Day: San Salvatore funicular 87

Downtown Lugano 89

What to do and see: Monte Brè funicular 90

Melide 92

Capolago - Riva San Vitale 93

Save time and enjoy every minute of your vacation more than 95

"All aboard" a 20% discount on the Swiss Basin Day Pass only! 95

Ticino in your pocket 96

There is a digital Ticino Ticket 96

One Day: Monte Generoso 96

View from the top of Monte Generoso 97

Monte Generoso narrow-gauge rack railway train 97

Back to Italy 101

How to go to Varese from Como with a train 102

Como 103

The Como Cathedral 103

The Como Broletto 105

Basilica San Fedele 106

Basilica of Sant'Abbondio 107

Walls, Gattoni and Tower Gate Tower 108

Villa Olmo 109

Info on Villa Olmo: 110

Volta Temple 110

Where to eat in Como 113

One Day: The Brunate Funicular 114

Walking from Brunate. 116

Info on the Funicular Como - Brunate. 117

Where to eat in Brunate 118

Around Lake Como 119

One Day: Lake Como tour - Cernobbio 120

Villa Erba 121

Isola Comacina 122

Lunch on the island 124

A terrace on Lake 125

The Comacina island 126

Lenno - Villa del Balbianello 127

The villa from Lake 128

The Chapel 129

The Gardens 130

One Day: Villa Carlotta 131

Where to eat in Tremezzo 133

Menaggio 135

Where to eat in Menaggio 136

Bellagio 138

To do and see: Villa Serbelloni 140

To do and see: Villa Melzi 141

Where to eat in Bellagio 142

On the ferry from Bellagio to Varenna 143

Varenna 144

To do and see: Villa Monastero 145

To do and see: Castello di Vezio 147

Where to eat in Varenna 147

Mandello del Lario 149

Lecco 150

Valsassina and taleggio cheese 151

Up to the mountain 152

Monza 153

Monza Cathedral 154

One Day: Monza Park 155

Other tourism guides 157

italian-visits.com 157

The Author 157

Travel books of the same author: 158

Things to Know 161