The city of Verbania is a provincial capital since 1992, whilst the city itself was born in 1939 after the union of the nearby towns of Intra and Pallanza, separated by the San Bernardino River. The city’s history is therefore relatively recent. Pallanza, of Roman origins, faces out onto the Borromeo Gulf and has architecture that ranges from the medieval to the baroque; On the other hand Intra is one of the lake’s main commercial centres and important industrial area with architecture ranging from baroque and neoclassical. The annexation of the two towns is purely administrative and certainly not geographical; Lake Maggiore takes care of this by creating an enchanting natural landscape that only lake breezes can provide. The combination of art, natural beauties and a pleasant climate make this a much sought after tourist destination.
The city and its monuments
Verbania is indissolubly linked to Lake Maggiore and for this reason the Lungolago (lakeside) is one of the city’s attractions to be admired, with its numerous architectural testaments of medieval Pallanza. From Kursaal, the park in front of the island of San Giovanni, the Palazzo Borromeo, Arturi Toscanini’s summer residence, can be admired. The most interesting churches to visit amongst religious monuments are: San Remigio, immersed in a park of the same name, Madonna di Campagna, built in the sixteenth century on a Roman building of which the bell tower remains. A visit not to be missed is to the Parco di Villa Taranto, whose fame is due to its gardens, characterised by the presence of over three thousand plants from all over the world, terraces and water features. Considered a reference point for modern day botanist and is even considered a “museum of rarities”. The best time to visit it is spring, when the majority of plants are blossoming and provide a unique sight.
The geographical area
“Verbania, a garden on the lake” is the slogan with which the city presents itself to visitors. Indeed, gardens and parks are the area’s main tourist attractions and are also the ideal destination for people looking for a combination of a relaxing holiday and a beautiful and harmonious landscape. There are also the numerous mountain locations such as the valleys of Ossola, Cicogna, Mottarone and Macugnaga, and the main thermal spa centres such as Stresa and Bognanco. In addition you can visit the national park of Valgrande, Suna, Griffa, Premeno, Pian del Sole and Pian Cavallo, ideal for both winter and summer holidays. The valleys of Ossola are a combination of seven alpine valleys that offer ski slopes in various locations; Mottarone is the peak that separates Lake Maggiore from Lake d’Orta. From its peak you can admire the beauty of the seven lakes, the Monte Rosa mountain chain, Monviso and also the Padanian Plains. The Borromeo islands are easily reachable from Verbania by boat and are best described as jewels set in a unique environment, with buildings and gardens representing the destination of elite European tourists attracted by the lake environment.