Maggiore, or Lake Verbano as the ancient Romans named it, has
a coastal length of approximately 170 km and a surface length
of 212 km2, making it the second largest Italian lake behind Lake
Garda. In the stretch between Ghiffa (Piedmont shore) and Porto
Valtravaglia (Lombard shore), it reaches a maximum depth of 370
metres. With its glacial origins, the lake is located close to
the Alpine mountain range and it covers a valley with tectonic
From an administrative point of view, the northern shores are
located in Swiss territory. The western shore falls within the
Piedmont regional territory, and is divided among the provinces
of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Novara, whereas the eastern shore
lies in Lombardy, within the Varese province.
Several rivers feed its waters – among the most important
ones, it is worthwhile to mention the Ticino, which enters the
lake from its northern shore, running through the Magadino plain
in Switzerland and into the south at Sesto Calende, the Maggia
river, running through the Swiss territory, the Toce river coming
down from the Ossola area and the Tresa river running through
the Lombard territory.
It is worthwhile to mention that the Golasecca were among the
first people to settle in the area in early Iron Age.
Fostered by strong temperate climate, and with shores covered
by lush vegetation (oleanders, azaleas, camellias), Lake Maggiore
remains one of the favourite tourist locations since the 19th
century, when it started as an elite tourism destination. The
several villas surrounded by marvellous parks and gardens are
a proof of this.
complete this astonishing picture drawn by Mother Nature, there
are the picturesque coastal villages and the typical inland towns,
which create a sparkling and colourful light effect and a romantic
atmosphere, making it an internationally-renowned tourist attraction.