With just over 30,000 inhabitants, Verbania is the largest town on Lago Maggiore, even significantly larger than Locarno. It is also a town frequently visited by tourists. Verbania has a beautiful old town and a lovely promenade along the lake. However, the parks and gardens are particularly well known, above all the famous botanical garden of Villa Taranto.
Verbania only came into being in 1939, when several towns such as Intra and Pallanza were united to form the town of Verbania. You can still see this clearly in the townscape today. The city on Lake Maggiore has several centres and old towns. In between are the gardens and green spaces. Verbania is large, and it is difficult to explore the entire city on foot. It stretches for about 8 kilometres along the shore of Laho Maggiore.
Intra is one of the districts of Verbania, which was a separate town until 1939. In our opinion, the old town of Intra is the most beautiful part of the town on the lake.
The old town of Intra is a sight to behold. It starts directly opposite the road along the lake. Worth seeing are the narrow streets and the colourful houses, typical for the area. Here you can go for a walk, eat an ice cream, go shopping or stop at one of the many nice cafés.
All our articles about Lake Maggiore
Lago Maggiore: Our main article about the lake
3 Boromean Islands: The archipelago, which is visited by a lot of tourists
Island Madre: Island with great botanical garden
Island Bella: The most visited island
Island Pescatori: Island with houses and many restaurants
Town Verbania: The largest city on the lake
Directly on the shore is a beautiful promenade, ideal for strolling. There is also a pier for the ferries on Lake Maggiore. Some of the palm trees so popular among Central European tourists can also be seen on Verbania’s promenade.
In the middle of the promenade is a large Dali restaurant with architecture worth seeing. You sit outside. Good, cheap pizzas, most between 5 and 10 euros. Many don’t eat here, but just order a drink.
Opposite the promenade are some large squares. Here, too, there are several restaurants and cafés with lots of tables.
Several kilometres from Intra is Pallanza, another old centre in Verbania. Here, too, there is an old town centre and a chic promenade as sights. The palace on the shore is also worth seeing.
But we liked Intra better. If you are spoilt for choice, we think you should choose Intra rather than Pallanza. But both are worthwhile.
Villa Taranto Botanical Garden
A large botanical garden, one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Italy. Unfortunately not cheap, adults pay an entrance fee of 11 euros for the Villa Taranto garden (as of September 2022). Opening hours in summer 9am to 6pm, in winter 9:30am to 5pm. Car park large and free of charge. Next to the entrance almost directly on the lake is a good restaurant (medium prices).
There are almost 20,000 species of plants to see in the Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto, an incredible number for a botanical garden. Since most visitors are mostly impressed by the flowers, it’s best to come in late spring or summer. But other plants like trees are great too. We especially liked the lotus garden. Everything is very elaborately done and maintained. For us, one of the best gardens we have ever seen. Despite the 11 euro entrance fee, almost a must in Verbania.
The Villa Taranto Botanical Garden is located in the centre of Verbania, almost on the shore of Lake Maggiore. It is well signposted in the town. The car park is right on the lake, the entrance is right behind it. The café and toilets can be used without paying an entrance fee.
Name of the town Verbania
Verbania, as I said, has only existed since 1939. It was formed by the unification of several smaller towns. The town’s name comes from the old Latin name of the lake Lacus Verbanus. Even today, the lake Lago Maggiore is Italy, somewhat outdated, is sometimes called Lago Verbano.
Verbania is about 28 kilometres along the shore road south to the border with Switzerland. The town is on the western shore of Lake Maggiore. The lake makes a 90-degree bend here. Right at the bend is the botanical garden of Villa Taranto. There is also a railway station in Verbnia with connections to long-distance transport.