The local area
In the northeast of Italy, the enchanting Lake Maggiore is the epitome of Italian escape.
The second largest lake in the country and the largest lake closest to the Alps, Maggiore is considered the most peaceful of northern Italy's waters, its shores a little less crowded and its hinterland wilder than its Como and Garda counterparts. In springtime, Maggiore's banks are adorned by bright and beautiful flora and fauna.
On its eastern shore, between the blue of the lake and the green of the mountains, sits the ancient fishing village of Laveno. One of the most attractive areas of the town is a little way south around the headland of the lake. The village of Cerro is a beautiful spot to watch the sunset behind Monte Rosa, and the home of our imposing Italian hideaway, Casa Paradiso.
The History of Laveno
Casa Paradiso is located in Cerro di Laveno, on the Lombardy side of the beautiful Lake Maggiore. The municipality is about 25 square kilometres long and is home to around 10,000 inhabitants. The name Laveno derives from the Roman general Tito Labieno, who opposed the Gauls on the heights of Mombello. After the Romans, Laveno fell under Spanish domination and was then passed to the Austrians.
However, a very prominent date in Laveno's history is May 30, 1859. This date was when the region was the scene of the battles of Giuseppe Garibaldi against the Austrians. Records of this momentuous occasion remain in Torre del Castello, a fort that overlooks the gulf towards Cerro as well as in the barracks at Punta San Michele.
What to See and Do in Laveno
As the tourism capital of the eastern side of Lake Maggiore, there is plenty to do in Laveno-Mombello. The lake, the mountains and the varied landscape make Laveno the perfect base for activities from scuba diving and windsurfing, to hiking and ziplining. There is also a very rich history to explore in the region, with centuries-old buildings keeping the heritage intact.
There are fun and exciting events that take place in Laveno, such as the Fiera Labiena, a street market with fantastic crafts and gastronomic products. There is also the Presepe Sommerso, a lovely underwater exhibition that opens up from early December until the end of the Christmas season.
Food & Drink
Maggiore's gastronomy is second-to-none. From Lake Maggiore itself, perch, pike and trout can be found in many local delicacies, and the area's proximity to the Ossola Valley brings cheeses such as Bettelmatt and Mascherpa. From the nearby province of Varsese comes specialiaites such as Monate peaches and Cantello asparagus, and, from further afield, the Lombard and Piedmontese provinces influence the cuisine. There is no shortage of eateries to enjoy mouth-watering delicacies in an unsurpassable setting.