this is an excerpt from the book “Lake Maggiore” by Enrico Massetti.
Stresa – Locarno, a boat trip
This boat itinerary covers the Northern part of Lake Maggiore and ends in Locarno, Canton Ticino Switzerland, so, bring your passport with you, as you will need it to cross the border between Italy and Switzerland.
Baveno and Pallanza
From Stresa, the hydrofoil also stops in Baveno and Pallanza, while the slow boat doesn’t.
The boat crosses the basin reaching Porto Valtravaglia on the Lombardy side, in about twenty minutes, locality that inherited its name from the surrounding territory, with summit in Germignaga, it stretches out to the west to Castelveccana, to the south towards the mountains Cuvignone, Colonna, Nudo and San Martino, and to the east towards the valley of the Margorabbia stream.
Tourist center with a small lake-front, Porto preserves in the area going towards the mountains the Romanesque style parrocchiale dell’Assunta, later adapted in the 16th cent., and the 17th Oratorio of San Rocco.
Arriving in this locality, is visible on the right the promontory Rocca di Calde’, so called because of the ancient fortress that rises there that was restored by Ottone Visconti, and then dismantled by the Swiss in 1513.
Departing once again from Porto Valtravaglia the boat continues in the direction of Luino fronting the Piedmontese shore. It fronts the tiny centers towns that comprise the commune of Oggebbio (Novaglio, Camogno, Gonte, Barbe, where there is the 19th cent. villa of Massimo D’Azeglio, Piancavallo and Resega) and you arrive after having doubled round Germignaga, industrial center stretch froth on the lake and home of the Stehli silk mills.
Birthplace of Piero Chiara and frequently mentioned in his novels, positioned at the mouth of the Valtravaglia and of the Tresa, in a wide inlet of the high lake, Luino is a prominent tourist spot.
Besides, favored by the confluence of communications networks and by the proximity of the frontier mountains passes with Switzerland, it is the site of industrial and commercial activity of ancient tradition.
While the old Borgo, of which there remain epoch buildings and narrow, steep streets, originated in the hinterland along the right bank of Tresa River, the most recent development is the lake-front, where the 15th cent. Madonna del Carmine rises, and the southern zone of the built-up area.
In the central Piazza Garibaldi, is the Monumento all’Eroe (Monument to the Heroes) of 1867 by Alessandro Puttinati, to commemorate the fight that occurred here between the Austrians and the 1500 volunteers led by Garibaldi on August 14th, 1848.
Here, every Wednesday, you have the famous crowded market, instituted with the particular edict of the Emperor Charles the Fifth of the Hapsburg in 1541 and considered the oldest market in Europe. Still fronting on the lake is also piazza della Libertˆ, where Palazzo Crivelli Serbelloni rises, planned by Carlo Felice Soave (today home of the Municipal) and surrounded by other elegant 19th-century buildings.
End of the excerpt, you can have the rest buying the book “One Day Stresa – Locarno From Milan.” The following are the localities touched.
Locarno, Madonna del Sasso
Where to stay in Locarno
There are hotels, apartments, villas, and B&Bs available, check it out and make a reservation here.