The holiday on Lake Maggiore between art and events

The history of Lake Maggiore, and in general of the provinces and municipalities bordering the lake, is made in tradition, folklore, literature, ancient villages, churches and monuments.
The places to visit and events to see are numerous. In the province of Varese for example, we recommend a visit to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, the Holy Mountain and the Basilica of San Vittore.

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina dates back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Situated on a cliff overlooking Lake Maggiore, is a real balcony overlooking the Borromeo Gulf. Over the centuries it was inhabited by Augustinian monks, then Romiti Ambrosiani, now Benedictine Oblates. The Hermitage is made ​​up of three buildings built in different periods, the southern convent, the convent and the inner courtyard, where you can admire frescoes dating back to 1500.

The Holy Mountain of Varese

The Sanctuary of Holy Mountain, now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is spread through the Sacred Way, a path consists of 14 chapels dedicated to the mysteries of the Rosary surrounded by a forest of beeches, chestnuts and hazelnuts. The 14 chapels were decorated and painted by some of the most important Lombard artists of the 600 with a style that ranges from Mannerism to Baroque. In 1983 Guttuso painted in a modern way, on the outside of the chapel dedicated to the Nativity, an acrylic depicting the Flight into Egypt.

The Basilica of San Vittore

The Basilica of San Vittore is located in the heart of the historic center of Varese, and is dedicated to the patron saint of the city. Over the centuries it underwent numerous renovations and expansions, the last of which by Leopoldo Pollak between 1788 and 1791. Among the works of art you can see the large crucifix and several frescoes in the vault and in the choir. Worth a special mention also the Campanile Bernascone, who experienced a variable construction. From the laying of the foundation stone in 1017, was then completed at the beginning of 700.

Events on Lake Maggiore

Among the main events that take place every year on Lake Maggiore, we recommend Stresa Musical Weeks and Lake Maggiore, an event that saw performances by internationally renowned artists such as Arturo Toscanini and Umberto Giordano, in the period between May and September. The music ranges from orchestral concerts, recitals, instrumental and vocal, and each edition includes a theme that unites them.
In the weekends of June through August, in the municipalities of the lake side of Verbania it held the Night of Notes, a music festival dedicated to jazz, blues, rock and pop, Italian and foreign singers-songwriters.

The stage is the natural one of the squares, which is the frame of pubs restaurants and shops that for the occasion remain open all night long.
In addition to the music festival, the area of ​​Lake Maggiore offers fairs, festivals and historic events of great beauty. Among these we recommend the Feast of San Bernardo of Macugnaga, three days of alpine craftsmanship and Walser which takes place in July, the Feast of the Beata Panacea in Ghemme, a religious holiday – every first Friday of May – with laic events, a wine exhibition and the Presepe Sommerso of Laveno, from December to January, which recreates the magic of the Nativity in the charming atmosphere of the bottom of the lake.


Among the main events of the Province of Varese recommend the Story Festival, an important event dedicated to literature and culture that takes place during the months of September, October and November. It is a series of meetings with leading figures from the world of literature, but also film and music, and on this occasion was awarded the prize Chiara, one of the most prestigious National Awards dedicated to the story. The nostalgic of the old cars, should not miss the Cup of the three lakes and Varese – Campo dei Fiori, a historic meeting with the sports tourism in the beautiful setting where the center of Varese will gather vintage cars and unique collection pieces, while the Regatta Mazzarditi – which takes place in the summer in Ispra – also gives you the opportunity to enjoy beautiful vintage boats.

But that is not all. Varese is also music with Varese Gospel Festival, a festival that is held at the Estensi Gardens and bringing together some of the best international teams of Gospel and Solevoci Festival is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy concerts, seminars and participate in contests dedicated to a cappella music.
Finally, the Theatre Festival of Comedy, is a summer festival of comedy, theater and cabaret song was established in 2007 and provides a full program of events hosted in the streets of Varese Province of Verbano Cusio, Ossola and Canton Ticino

These are just some of the opportunities for tourism Lake Maggiore, an area that knows how to surprise and delight all year round!