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Villas and Gardens between Distretto dei Laghi and the Canton Ticino

Distretto dei Laghi & Ticino
     
Parks, gardens and panoramic viewpoints on Lake Maggiore
Parks and gardens are great places to enjoy a break and relax; but there's more. Thanks to Ticino's mild climate, it is possible to discover a variety of local but also exotic plants and flowers. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit these wonders of nature!

The town and nature binomial triumphs in this region, where you will find many parks and gardens thanks to the temperate climate, which attract the attention of botanical experts and visitors. Peaceful oases overlooking the lakes, for perfect moments of relaxation, naturalistic excursions all at a short distance from the town center. Colorful plants and flowers blend with the architecture of exclusive villas and historical buildings, that offer to each visitor a taste of incredible beauty.

Territory Information
Distretto Turistico dei Laghi Scrl
Via dell'Industria, 25
28924 Verbania Fondotoce (VB)
Tel. +39 0323 30416
Fax +39 0323 934335
e-mail: infoturismo@distrettolaghi.it
www.distrettolaghi.it
DURATION:
3 Days
PLACE:
Varese, Ticino and Stresa
ADVISED PERIOD:
Summer
TYPE:
Nature and outdoor activities
SUITABLE FOR:
For single
For couples
For families
over 65
DISPLACEMENT:
On foot
By train
By car
By boat
DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
A trip to the Brissago Islands
The microclimate on the islands allows plants from all over the world to grow and thrive. A visit to the Brissago Islands is a must for anyone who is staying in the area. They are home to the botanical gardens of the Canton of Ticino. The Island of Sant’Apollinare is the smaller of the two and it is covered in spontaneous vegetation – mainly from the Insubria region – which has been kept in its natural state. The larger island is known as Isola Grande or the Island of San Pancrazio and it has been open to the public since 1950. The majority of the plants that are grown here are subtropical species from the northern and southern hemispheres.

Useful Information:
Entrance: adults CHF 8.00, children 6-16 CHF 2.50 (approximately €2.00), families CHF 20.00 for families
Opening hours: the islands are open from one week before Easter to mid-October

Estimated duration: 2 to 3hr
Transfer: take a boat from either Ascona, or Locarno
Botanical Park Gambarogno
A fragrant experience.
The Gambarogno botanic garden on the hill between Piazzogna and Vairano is yet another little piece of paradise in Ticino. It is the pet project of the horticulturist Otto Eisenhut and it covers more than 17,000 square metres. There are approximately 950 different types of camellias and almost as many varieties of magnolias, as well as azaleas, peonies and rhododendrons.

Estimated time of visiting: 2hr
Transfer: by car, travel from San Nazzaro towards Piazzogna. If you are using public transport, take the train to Cadenazzo and then the PostBus as far as the stop near the “Gambarogno” restaurant. From there, it is a 2min walk over the bridge
 
Lunch
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A visit to the Camellia Park Locarno
The remarkable Camellia Park in Locarno was opened in March 2005 during the Congress of the International Camellia Society (ICS). The park has become an international attraction due to its exceptional landscaping and its precious botanical content. The large number of species ensure that there are plants flowering for nine months of the year.

Useful Information:
The park has a spectacular layout with flowerbeds that form a labyrinth-like route, allowing visitors to drift away among the wonders of nature, the birdsong and the relaxing sound of the waves on the lake. The park has been named as one of the International Camellia Society’s Gardens of Excellence

Estimated time of visiting: 1hr and 30min to 2hr
Transfer: it takes approximately 10min to travel to Locarno station by car or with public transport, and then around 10 to 15min to walk from the station to the lakeside
 
Dinner
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Lodging
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Visit the Zoo Park of Villa Pallavicino
A park full of animals and flowers coloratri, a paradise for children and a relaxing oasis for visitors larger. A short walk from Stresa, with a wonderful view of the lake.

Estimated time of visiting: 2hr
Transfer: to Stresa with the back journey of the cable car and then drive towards Arona, until you reach Villa Pallavicino, about 1 km from the center of Stresa
Visit to Isola Bella
Isola Bella is perhaps the best known of the three: a wonderful palace full of artistic works and the Italian gardens, with rare plant species of exotic origin.

Estimated time of visiting: 3hr
Transfer: to Isola Bella with public boat of Navigazione Lago Maggiore or by private boat service
 
Lunch
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Visit to Isola Madre
This is the largest of the Borromeo Islands and it is also the most characteristic due to its collected, tranquil, and enchanted atmosphere.

Estimated time of visiting: 1hr and 30min
Transfer: to Isola Madre with public boat of Navigazione Lago Maggiore or by private boat service
 
Dinner
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Lodging
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Morning guided tour of some of the villas in Varese Città Gardino
Varese is still known as the "Garden City" due to the many parks and formal gardens both public and private present from the time in which the noble families of northern Italy spent their holidays around the lakes in the province.
The weekend in Italy are thus enriched, besides the beauty of natural landscapes, including the refinement of the original Art Nouveau decorations and furnishings that characterize these structures.

Estimated time of visiting: 4h
Transfer: on foot through the historical centre or by car
 
Lunch
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Visit the historic center of Varese
The distinctive title of Città Giardino comes from numerous parks and gardens that are part of the common, largely appliances therein villas built in the eighteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, first by noble families and more recently by industrial and representatives of the upper class, originating mainly in Milan.

Estimated time of visiting: 3hr
Transfer: BY TRAIN take Ferrovie Nord or Ferrovie dello Stato towards Laveno and get off at Varese stop. Then take the bus for Biandronno. The old town centre is 10 minutes far by foot or, alternatively, take the bus which goes straight to the town centre.
BY CAR from Milan, take the A8 motorway towards Varese. Leave the motorway once arrived to Varese. From Switzerland, get the Ponte Tresa passage towards Varese
 
Dinner
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