The second largest lake in Italy, Lake Maggiore is situated in the north west and crosses the border into Switzerland. The Italian part of the lake lies within two regions: Piedmont and Lombardy, with the division from Sesto Calende northwards. The lake also contains 11 islands; the most famous being the Borromean Islands in the gulf between Stresa and Verbania.
Around the lake Mediterranean species such as lemon, olive and bay will survive and the many gardens flourish with camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons and magnolias. Whilst in the lake there are numerous species of freshwater fish including whitefish, perch, pike, freshwater cod and eels; many of which can be sampled in the local restaurants.
The Monastery of Santa Caterina clinging to the rocky cliff; Stresa and the Borromeo Islands, small in size but rich in history, and the Castles of Cannero, island outpost of the Mazzarditi Brothers, infamous pirates of the Verbano, Pallanza and its gorgeours gardens are just a few of the timeless examples awaiting the visitor.