Lake Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy. It was so called because in the past, being joined to Lake Mergozzo, it exceeded the surface of Lake Garda. The origin is fluvioglacial, because the erosion occurred in a pre-existing river valley. The lake extends over Italian and Swiss territory.
On Lake Maggiore there are several islands, the most known and extended are part of the archipelago of the Borromean Islands. On Isola Bella you can visit the Palazzo Borromeo with its vast gardens. Even Isola Madre, the largest in the lake basin, has large gardens with rare plants that often would not grow in the Verbano ecosystem, but have adapted well to the mild climate of the island. Also noteworthy are the Castles of Cannero, today known for the fortress commissioned by Count Ludovico Borromeo and recently restored.
The flora of Lake Maggiore is particular and is identified with the term insubrica flora. The climate of the lake has allowed the proliferation of Mediterranean plants and the Atlantic area.
Fondotoce’s reed is a reserve where every year many species of migratory birds are identified.
Various historical finds have pointed out that the surrounding area has been inhabited by nomadic groups in search for food since the ice retreat. In the Chalcolithic period took place the construction of the first static residential centers. The area was then controlled by the Ligurian who advanced to Lombardy, where they were then repelled by the Taurini Gauls. Followed the Romans who remained in the territory until the first invasions of the Nordic peoples and the barbarians. The period of rebirth was in the Middle Ages, where the first villages and castles were created. The most well-known noble families that have left a greater response in the area are the Borromeo, the Della Torre and, to a lesser extent, the Besozzi, Sessa, Luine and Capitanei of Locarno.