located in idyllic environs of north Italy is quite different from busy city life of Rome and Venice, the popular tourist destinations in Italy. It was a chance visit to see something different from ideal streets, tourists hotspots and architectural marvels of Italy to the art of nature in Lago(in English, it means Lake) Maggiore in Verbania, close to Stresa which is two hour train journey from Venice in Italy.
Walking along the shores of giant Lago Maggiore with gentle breeze caressing you, one has this blissful feeling that the real artist remains Nature. Crossing through historic town centres, 19th century villas, bustling & quiet streets, one can only gush about Verbania being an ideal destination for pure relaxation amidst the beauty of Mother Nature.
The lakefront in red pebble stones has so much life to it; you can sit comfortably along the shores and watch the sun setting down in the mountains, you can go for water sports, fishing, or walk along it or get yourself soaked in motherly warmth of Sunrays on the beach.
Lago Maggiore, popularly called “heaven on earth” is a lovely concoction of natural beauty, history and art. Call it luck or mere chance, I had the privilege to meet in person one of the Italy’s famous installation artist, Velasco Vitali, who had displayed his work ‘’Forrest Rossa (Red Forest)’, inspired by ghost cities & places abandoned by man but that are still there. The artworks were strategically placed at the lakeside, majestic heritage hotel and Madre Island.
The place unwittingly captures the imagination of traveller with its scenic beauty of water and mountains surrounding it. If you are lover of landscapes & gardens, Gardens of Villa Taranto set up by a Scottish gentleman in Verbania is a must visit. It houses more than 20,000 varieties of plants and provides a panoramic view of the natural landscapes cuddled up by mountains and lakes.
If you are literature aficionado, you will be surprised to know that the majestic lakes of the Verbania were favourite travelling jaunt for eminent artists and writers like English poet Lord Byron (one of my personal favourite), French writer Marie-Henri Beyle, popularly known as Stendhal, classic English novelist Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway. It also houses historic buildings, which are now run as heritage hotels and as arts museum.
The city, close to Swiss Alps, was an ethereal & mesmerizing travelling experience. It is still not known much in tourist circuit especially among Indian travellers, but it does offer the real delight of living with nature. So, next time you may explore the bounty of nature tucked in the corner ofd the world.
– Written this piece after my visit to Verbania in Italy in Year, 2012. Special gratitude & thanks to Mariangela Nieddu !
(Pics by Kumar Manish)