Stresa and Borromean islands
Immersed in the marvelous and suggestive waters of Lake Maggiore, the Borromean Islands are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Loved by Ernest Hemingway and, in more recent times, by the English Royals, this Archipelago is made up of the monumental Isola Bella, with its 17th-Century Palazzo Borromeo, surrounded by scenographic gardens, the picturesque Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island) and Isola Madre, noted for its botanical garden, rich in rare plants. On the piedmontese coast of the lake tourists can enjoy visiting the charming villages of Stresa and Baveno and the town of Verbania. The landscape is amazing, with its perfect combination of art and nature, elegant villas and astonishing gardens.
Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, the Rocca d’Angera and The Statue of San Carlone
Clinging to a rock face directly overhanging the lake, the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is certainly one of the most charming sights of Lake Maggiore. The structure of the current building is truly unique, is the fusion of three chapels, originally built separately in three different eras. Art and history merge wonderfully in this most striking of natural frames, almost a balcony leaning out towards the Borromean Gulf, Stresa and the islands. The Rocca d’Angera proudly stands on a spur of rock that dominates the southern shores of Lago Maggiore. Located in a strategic position to monitor the trade routes, it was house of the Visconti family from Verbano. During 1449 the Borromeo family acquired it. The Statue of San Carlone was built in Arona, birthplace of Borromeo, after his canonization and in honor of the greatness of the Milanese archbishop: for about two centuries it was the tallest statue in the world.
Lake Orta , San Giulio Island, Sacro Monte and wine tasting
A small, intimate and romantic lake with a background of luxuriant vegetation. The lake takes its name after the small village of Orta, considered one of the most beautiful Italian villages, and the beauty of the landscape, its fascinating history and its wealth of artistic treasures – mainly Romanesque and Baroque architecture,are worth the trip. Here you can admire the magnificent palaces of Villa Perone , Villa Crespi and the Palazzo della Comunità, known by the locals as “il Palazzotto”, the former seat of the Community of the Riviera. Facing the village of Orta is the small but astonishing island of San Giulio, dominated by the Romanesque style basilica, the bishop’s palace and the Benedictine abbey. Legend has it that this island, no more than 400 meters from the shore of Orta, was once a rock inhabited by snakes and terrible monsters, until in 390 San Giulio landed there: crossing the waters of the lake above its mantle and guided in the storm by his stick, the Saint founded a church, in which he then chose to be buried, and transformed the island into the center of evangelization of the whole region. The Sacro Monte di Orta, located on the promontory overlooking the village and the lake of the same name, is striking both for the artistic and architectural richness of the religious complex and for the indescribable fascination that the beauty and harmony of the place can arouse in each visitor. The history of the complex dates back to 1583, when the Community of Orta decided to found a convent near the church of San Nicolao, of which the fifteenth-century wooden sculpture of the Madonna della Pietà is still visible.
Wine tasting in Langhe and Roero
Langhe and Roero is a wine producing area in the province of Cuneo, only 70 kilometers from Turin. Here Nebbiolo reigns, with its noble sons -the Barolo and Barbaresco, protected by castles, towers and fortified villages that take us back to medieval times of struggles and splendours. You can also visit the city of Alba, the most important city of the Langhe and taste its most important treasure, the white truffle of Alba. Or stroll in the baroque city of Bra, home of Slow Food. Or simply enjoy the stunning landscapes, with vineyards and hazelnut trees all around. T oday all this has become a World Heritage Site and the Cultural Landscape of these vineyards has been declared the 50th Italian location to be protected by UNESCO.
Milan: Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Castello Sforzesco, il Teatro della Scala and
Shopping Only 60 km far from our Lakes we can find Milan: the modern and avant-garde Italian metropolis, the capital of fashion and business, capable of offering every kind of entertainment, but also of the culture that is perceived, walking among the ancient palaces, The Milan Cathedral the Duomo, Milan’s stunning gothic style cathedral. But you can also visit the Teatro alla Scala, the Pinacoteca di Brera, the Sforza Castle, many museums and temporary art exhibitions. During your trip to Milan with us you will visit both the city’s main sites and its most charming hidden corners.
Turin: Palazzo Reale, il Duomo e la Reggia di Venaria Reale
“Turin is the deepest, most enigmatic, most disturbing city, not in Italy but in the world.” Of Turin, above all, the composure of its skyline is striking, surrounded by imposing Alpine peaks. The Piedmontese capital appears as a city of
unique charm, where emperors have passed, kingdoms were born, where power has left indelible marks. Turin is today a metropolis that looks to its past, pointing to the future with the ambition of a city that from a small piedmont village has become the capital of a kingdom and a nation, to then become the capital of cinema and the automobile. You can discover the Royal Palace, the Cathedral and Venaria Reale: the last one is certainly one of the greatest and most beautiful Savoy residences. Imposing and sumptuous, his project was revived for the construction of the palace par excellence, that of Versailles. The Royal Palace of Venaria is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.