Verbania is a picturesque town situated in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, on the western shore of Lake Maggiore. With a population of around 30,000, Verbania is the largest town on the lake, and it’s a popular destination for tourists seeking a tranquil lakeside getaway. Here I want to tell you what to see in Verbania to make your vacation amazing.
One of the main attractions of Verbania is its beautiful waterfront, which boasts stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can stroll along the promenade, take a boat tour of the lake, or simply relax on one of the many beaches.
The town’s historic center, known as Intra, is also worth exploring. Here, you’ll find charming cobblestone streets lined with old-fashioned shops, restaurants, and cafes. Be sure to check out the 16th-century San Vittore Church and the beautiful Villa Taranto botanical gardens.
For those interested in outdoor activities, Verbania offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and water sports. The nearby Val Grande National Park is a particularly popular destination for nature lovers.
Verbania is also a great base for exploring the rest of Lake Maggiore. The area counts a lot of picturesque towns and villages, as well as numerous historic castles and palaces.
Overall, Verbania is an ideal destination for travelers seeking a combination of natural beauty, history, and culture.
Read also: Luxury on Maggiore Lake.
History of Verbania
The area around Verbania has been inhabited since ancient times. Archeologists underline the evidence of human settlement dating back to the Bronze Age. The town itself was founded during the Roman period, and was an important trading center during the Middle Ages.
During the 19th century, Verbania and the surrounding area became a popular destination for wealthy European aristocrats. They were drawn to the natural beauty of Lake Maggiore. During this time, people built many grand villas and palaces along the lakefront. Among them it is included the Villa Taranto botanical gardens, which were established in the 1930s by Scottish captain Neil McEacharn.
In the 20th century, Verbania was heavily bombed during World War II. Bombs, in that period, destroyed many historic buildings. However, locals rebuilt the town and today it remains a popular destination for tourists seeking a taste of Italian lake life.
In 1992, the city councils of neighboring towns of Intra and Pallanza decided to merge them. They formed the new municipality of Verbania. The town continues to be an important center for tourism. As well agriculture and commerce grown, with a thriving market selling locally-grown produce and artisanal products.
Verbania and its curiosities
Before to learn what to see in Verbania, it is important to know history and curiosities. The two elements help to draw the itinerary and decide what to do. Here you can read some curious fact about the town.
- Verbania is the result of the merger of two towns, Intra and Pallanza, which were once fierce rivals.
- The town is home to the Villa Taranto botanical gardens, which boast over 20,000 species of plants from around the world.
- In the 19th century, Verbania and the surrounding area was a popular destination for writers and artists. Among them there are Ernest Hemingway and the composer Giuseppe Verdi.
- Verbania is the birthplace of Gianni Rodari, an Italian writer and journalist. He got the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for children’s literature in 1970.
- The town is famous for its annual music festival. This place host the Festival delle Nazioni every September since 1959. It attracts top musicians and performers from around the world.
- Verbania is home to the Sacro Monte di Ghiffa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features a series of chapels and statues depicting scenes from the life of Christ.
- The town has a long-standing tradition of boat-building, and the annual Riva Boat Show showcases the latest in luxury boats and yachts.
- People know Verbania also for its delicious local cuisine. It includes dishes such as risotto with lake fish, roasted chestnuts, and locally-produced cheeses and wines.
How to get here
There are several ways to get to Verbania, depending on where you’re coming from.
By Plane. The closest airport to Verbania is Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP), which is approximately 70 kilometers away. From there, you can take a train or a bus to Verbania.
By Train. Verbania is connected to the Italian railway network, and the closest train station is Verbania-Pallanza. Regional trains serve the local station, and you can catch direct trains from Milan, Turin, and other major Italian cities.
By Car. Verbania is easily accessible by car, and the town is located just off the A26 motorway. If you’re coming from Milan, take the A8 motorway towards Gravellona Toce, and then continue on the A26 towards Verbania.
By Bus. Verbania is well-connected to other towns and cities in the region by bus. You can catch a bus from Milan, Turin, and other major cities, as well as from neighboring towns along Lake Maggiore.
By Boat. You can also reach Verbania by boat. The town has several ports. Ferries and water taxis serve them. You can catch a ferry from Stresa, Baveno, and other towns along Lake Maggiore, as well as from the nearby Borromean Islands.
Verbania has a mild Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and cool winters. The average temperature in the summer months (June to August) is around 25°C (77°F), while in the winter months (December to February), it is around 5°C (41°F).
The best time to visit Verbania depends on your interests and preferences. The summer months are the busiest and most popular time to visit. In fact, the weather is warm and sunny, and there are many outdoor activities and events. However, this is also the peak tourist season, and the town can get quite crowded.
If you prefer a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are good times to visit. The weather is generally mild and pleasant during these seasons, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and cultural attractions without the crowds.
Overall, the best period to visit Verbania is from late spring to early autumn (May to September). In this period the weather is warm and there are plenty of outdoor activities and events. However, if you’re looking for a more peaceful and less crowded experience, the shoulder seasons (March to April and October to November) can also be a good choice.
What to see in Verbania
Verbania and its surroundings offer a wealth of attractions for visitors. They includes stunning natural scenery, historic landmarks, and cultural events. Here are some of the top things to see and do in Verbania.
1. The Botanical Gardens of Villa Taranto
These stunning gardens are home to over 20,000 species of plants from around the world, including rare and exotic species. In the 1930s the Scottish captain Neil McEacharn created the gardens. Anyone visiting Verbania has to go to this must-see attraction.
2. The Sacro Monte di Ghiffa
This UNESCO World Heritage Site features a series of chapels and statues depicting scenes from the life of Christ. The site is located in the nearby town of Ghiffa and offers stunning views of Lake Maggiore.
3. The Market of Verbania
The town’s weekly market is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, and features a wide range of fresh local produce, artisanal products, and souvenirs.
4. The Historical Center of Intra
Intra is the oldest part of Verbania, and its historic center is filled with beautiful buildings, narrow streets, and charming squares. Visitors can explore the town’s many churches, museums, and galleries, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll through its picturesque streets.
5. The Borromean Islands
These beautiful islands are located just a short ferry ride from Verbania. They are home to stunning gardens, historic palaces, and beautiful beaches. Visitors can explore the islands’ many attractions, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
6. The Mountain Hiking Trails
The beautiful mountains of the Italian Alps surround Verbania. There are many hiking trails that offer stunning views of the lake and surrounding countryside. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, there are trails to suit all skill levels.
7. The Festival delle Nazioni
Verbania hosts this annual music festival since 1959 and features top musicians and performers from around the world. The festival takes place in September and is a must-see for music lovers.
8. The Churches of Verbania
The town is home to several beautiful churches, including the Church of San Leonardo, the Church of San Vittore, and the Church of Madonna di Campagna. These historic buildings offer a glimpse into the town’s rich cultural heritage.
Overall, Verbania and its surroundings offer something for everyone. You find something whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or simply relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
What to eat in Verbania
Verbania, like many other towns in the Piedmont region of Italy, has a rich culinary tradition. It is characterized by simple, flavorful dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Here are some of the top dishes to try in Verbania.
This creamy rice dish is a staple of the Piedmont region, and Verbania is no exception. Risotto is typically made with arborio rice, butter, parmesan cheese, and a variety of other ingredients such as mushrooms, asparagus, or seafood.
This hearty dish is made from cornmeal and is typically served with meat, cheese, or mushrooms. In Verbania, people often top polenta with a rich, meaty ragù or a creamy mushroom sauce.
This flatbread is a popular snack in Verbania and is often served with cheese or cured meats. Focaccia is typically flavored with olive oil, salt, and rosemary, and is best eaten fresh from the oven.
This traditional dish is a type of rice and bean stew that is similar to risotto. Paniscia is typically made with borlotti beans, arborio rice, pancetta, and vegetables such as onions and carrots.
5. Lake Fish
Lake Maggiore is known for its freshwater fish, which include trout, pike, and perch. These fish are often grilled or roasted and served with a simple sauce made from olive oil, lemon, and herbs.
These small, potato-based dumplings are a popular dish in Verbania and are typically served with a rich tomato or meat sauce.
7. Local Wines
Verbania is surrounded by vineyards that produce a variety of excellent wines, including reds such as Nebbiolo and Barbera, and whites such as Moscato and Arneis.
Overall, Verbania offers a range of delicious dishes that are sure to please any food lover. Whether you’re looking for a hearty stew, a simple snack, or a glass of excellent local wine, Verbania has something to offer.
Where to eat in Verbania
Verbania has many great restaurants and eateries that offer a wide range of delicious dishes. They are made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Here are some of the top places to eat in Verbania.
1. Osteria del Castello
This cozy restaurant is located in the historic center of Intra and offers a range of delicious dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The menu features traditional Piedmontese dishes such as risotto, polenta, and roasted meats, as well as a selection of local wines.
2. La Cucina di Nonna Nina
This charming restaurant is located in the nearby town of Ghiffa and is known for its delicious homemade pasta dishes and fresh seafood. The menu changes regularly to reflect the seasonal ingredients, and the restaurant also offers a selection of local wines.
3. Ristorante Pizzeria Due Palme
This family-friendly restaurant is located in the center of Verbania and offers a wide range of classic Italian dishes, including pizza, pasta, and seafood. The restaurant also has a great selection of local wines and beers.
4. Ristorante Osteria del Porto
This restaurant is located in the town of Pallanza and offers stunning views of Lake Maggiore. The menu features a range of traditional Piedmontese dishes, as well as a selection of fresh seafood and grilled meats. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, with a focus on local wines.
5. Antica Osteria del Ristoro
This historic restaurant is located in the village of Cicogna and is known for its delicious regional cuisine. The menu features dishes made with local ingredients, including fresh vegetables, meats, and cheeses, as well as a selection of local wines.
6. Ristorante Il Portale
This restaurant is located in the center of Intra and offers a range of traditional Piedmontese dishes, including risotto, polenta, and grilled meats. The restaurant also has a great selection of local wines and beers, as well as a selection of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
Overall, Verbania has many great restaurants and eateries that offer a wide range of delicious dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Whether you’re looking for traditional Piedmontese cuisine, fresh seafood, or a great pizza, Verbania has something to offer.
Map of Verbania
In order to find all the places listed in this guide, you can use the map on Google. Just click here to access the map of Verbania. It will be easier to reach attractions, restaurants, bars, and hotels.
What to see in Verbania: bars and nighlife
Have a coffe and go out at night is an experience. There is something to see also in this way. So, get some tips about the places to try.
Verbania is a relatively small town, so the nightlife scene is not as bustling as in larger cities. However, there are still some great bars and clubs to check out for those looking for a night out. Here are some of the top bars and nightlife spots in Verbania.
1. Il Mercato
This stylish wine bar is located in the center of Verbania and offers a great selection of local and international wines, as well as a range of cocktails and beers. The bar also hosts live music events and DJ nights on weekends.
2. Bar Nazionale
This historic bar is located in the heart of Intra and has been serving drinks since the early 1900s. The bar has a charming vintage atmosphere and offers a range of classic cocktails and local wines.
3. Bar Tana dei Lupi
This cozy bar is located in the historic center of Intra and is known for its delicious cocktails and craft beers. The bar also serves a range of light snacks and small plates.
4. Lido di Pallanza
This beachfront bar is located in the town of Pallanza and offers stunning views of Lake Maggiore. The bar serves a range of cocktails and beers, as well as light snacks and sandwiches.
This German-style pub is located in the center of Verbania and offers a range of local and international beers, as well as a selection of German and Italian snacks.
This nightclub is located in the town of Baveno, just a short drive from Verbania. The club features a range of live music events and DJ nights, with a focus on electronic music.
Overall, Verbania offers a range of great bars and nightlife spots for those looking to enjoy a night out. Whether you’re in the mood for a glass of wine, a classic cocktail, or a night of dancing, Verbania has something to offer.
Where to sleep in Verbania
You know what to see in Verbania, but you will need some rest too. The town offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, here are some of the top places to stay in Verbania.
1. Grand Hotel Majestic
This historic five-star hotel is located on the shores of Lake Maggiore and offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The hotel features luxurious rooms and suites, a spa, and an outdoor swimming pool. Rooms and rates.
2. Hotel San Gottardo
This charming four-star hotel is located in the center of Intra and offers comfortable rooms with traditional Italian decor. The hotel also has a restaurant, a bar, and a terrace with views of the lake. Rooms and rates.
3. Hotel Pallanza
This elegant four-star hotel is located in the town of Pallanza and offers stylish rooms with modern decor. The hotel also has a restaurant, a bar, and a terrace with views of the lake. Rooms and rates.
4. Hotel Belvedere
This cozy three-star hotel is located in the village of Cannero Riviera and offers comfortable rooms with views of the lake. The hotel also has a restaurant, a bar, and a terrace overlooking the lake. Rooms and rates.
5. Villa Margherita
This charming bed and breakfast is located in the town of Ghiffa and offers comfortable rooms with views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The B&B also has a garden and a terrace with panoramic views. Rooms and rates.
6. Albergo Miralago
This family-run hotel is located in the town of Cannobio and offers comfortable rooms with views of the lake. The hotel also has a restaurant, a bar, and a terrace with views of the lake. Rooms and rates.
What to do in Verbania: tips for the trip
Verbania offers a variety of activities and attractions for travelers to enjoy. Here are some top tips for things to do in Verbania.
1. Explore the gardens
Verbania is known for its beautiful gardens, including the Villa Taranto and the Villa San Remigio. Both gardens offer stunning views of Lake Maggiore and are filled with exotic plants and flowers.
2. Take a boat tour
Lake Maggiore is a highlight of the Verbania area, and one of the best ways to experience it is by taking a boat tour. You can choose from a range of tours, including sunset cruises, island-hopping tours, and private boat tours.
3. Visit the museums
Verbania has several interesting museums to explore, including the Museo del Paesaggio, which focuses on the history and culture of the area, and the Museo del Vetro, which showcases the art of glassblowing.
4. Go hiking
The surrounding mountains offer some great hiking trails, including the Val Grande National Park and the Mottarone mountain. These areas offer stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
5. Visit the markets
Verbania has several markets throughout the week, including the weekly Saturday market in Intra. These markets offer a variety of local products, including fresh produce, cheese, and handmade crafts.
6. Go wine tasting
The Verbania area is known for its wine, particularly the Nebbiolo and Barbera varieties. You can visit local wineries for tastings and tours, or head to one of the many wine bars in the area to sample the local vintages.
Conclusions about what to do in Verbania
Now, you are surely ready to visit the bigger town on Lake Maggiore. I gave you all the tips I can to make you aware about all the things you can see in Verbania. I must confess that I really love this place. It is one of my favorite destinations, not too far from my home. Anyway, I took there many people from different part of the world, friends and colleagues, and all of them were positively surprised.
Plan the trip is up to you, but I think it is good to mention that the links of the hotels, under the words ”Rooms and rates” give you the access to special rates. Clicking them, yo directly go to pages with an already applied discount. It is a good way to save money and have a pleasant stay. From Verbania you can easily visit all the locations on the lake and go to Switzerland too. This place is perfect to do a huge number of daily excursions. Take advantage also of the last-minute proposals. You have the chance to use many offers and promotions.
Well, I have only to say one thing. Have a wonderful trip!