Lake Maggiore is fringed with holiday resorts offering a range of interesting things to do and see. One of these, on the Borromean Gulf like Stresa, is Verbania, made up of several small towns and villages, among which Intra and Pallanza are outstanding. The shore of the lower part of the lake has a series of attractive places like Arona, Belgirate, Lesa and Meina, all a short distance from Stresa.
Arona was the main town from which the Borromeo family exerted its domination of the lake area. The patron saint of the town is the cardinal-saint Carlo Borromeo, whose huge (23 metre) statue, known as the “Sancarlone”, is a striking presence in its position high above the town. Belgirate, Lesa and Meina display a succession of Baroque villas (the nineteenth century Villa Faraggiana in Meina is outstanding) and gardens full of flowers, which never fail to enchant visitors.
On the opposite shore, in Lombardy, is the little town of Angera, below its castle (Rocca), the twin of the Rocca of Arona which faces it on the Piedmontese shore.
The Swiss part of the lake is a focus for visitors in search of bright lights and culture, both in summer and in winter, and offers them the Locarno Film Festival, the Ascona Jazz Festival, and the Ascona Music Festival. al.