Introducing Verbania

With its clear air and stunning landscape, it’s easy to fall for Verbania. Marvel at the lakeside setting from your luxury retreat, with the jewel-like Borromean islands in the distance and the Italian Alps as your backdrop. Stroll around parks and palaces that epitomise 19th-century elegance. And then escape to the national parks and mountains that have captivated artists for centuries. Here, as the Italians say, la vita è bella – life is beautiful.

Things to do

In September, the Garden and Book Festival comes to Verbania and Villa Taranto’s gardens are open for an exclusive glimpse. Throughout the year there are classical music evenings, a festival of theatre and comedy, celebrations of short film and equestrian events – ideal for a rich cultural break, whatever time of year you visit.

Many come to Verbania just to see Villa Taranto in all its finery. These botanical gardens are home to 16 hectares of flowers, waterfalls and terraces. For something a little wilder, explore the unspoilt Val Grande National Park. Hike trails that skirt lofty mountains and ancient woodland, stopping to admire the views of the Alps. Look to the skies and you might spot eagles soaring. Or keep an eye on the ground and seek out prehistoric rock carvings.

If you manage to draw yourself away from the shores of Lake Maggiore, make time for the Museo del Paesaggio. Known colloquially as the ‘Landscape Museum’, its collections of paintings, sculpture and artefacts celebrate Verbania’s natural surroundings. Or plan ahead and secure a private appointment at Villa San Remigio. Here you can follow avenues into secret gardens, designed thematically – from the nostalgic Garden of Memories and Garden of the Hours to the aptly named Garden of Joy. 

Top Tip from SLH

Hop on a boat and escape to an idyllic Borromean island for the day. Then come back across the lake after sundown to witness the beautiful sight of the islands lit up at night.