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Along Lake Maggiore, from San Carlone to the Borromeo Gulf

MAPPA DELL'ITINERARIO

Note: To view the attached GPS map, install Google Earth (on both phones and computers) or an application that can manage maps and GPS tracks.

Itinerary Description
Before embarking on this journey, it is worth a visit to the centre of Arona, with the churches and the Archaeological and Mineralogical Museum, and its immediate surroundings: in particular the Rocca Borromea and the Sacro Monte di San Carlo, which although it has this name, it is not included in the group of UNESCO Sacro Monte sites.
From the colossal statue of San Carlo, more commonly known as "San Carlone", we leave in the direction of Dagnente, and then to Meina, walking mostly on paved roads that pass through residential areas. We must pay particular attention to road traffic, because most of these roads do not have sidewalks or spaces for pedestrian transit.
In Meina, it may be worth a deviation from the centre to visit the Museum of Meina, housed in the historic Villa Faraggiana
By alternating woodlands with short glimpses of the lake, we quickly come to Lesa, where the trail gains a bit of elevation, and begins to offer hikers a wider scenic view, alternating with historical villas built in the nineteenth century. And here also, we recommend a deviation to visit to the Manzoni Museum.
The trail continues through residential areas and some agricultural areas, until it reaches Belgirate, with the majestic Old Church or the Church of Santa Maria, dating back to the ninth century. From here, we see a wide panorama of the lower Verbano.
Quickly, we climb in elevation to then continue high above the lake to Stresa and its surrounding villages. At the limit of a glade, we come to the small oratory of St. Paul, near which a few coins from the Roman imperial age were found in addition to a rock with holes in it, evidence that the area was populated in ancient times. The mule track continues up to Magognino, and then descends to the small cemetery where the Church of Sant'Albino is located, another medieval structure, with a small characteristic bell tower not unlike other parish churches of that time.
Now, the trail begins to descend slightly, always on paths and mule tracks, toward Passera and then Stresa, passing behind Villa Pallavicino, which houses a botanical park with local fauna that we can visit.
At Stresa, the itinerary runs along the lake, but a visit to the city centre is recommended, and also a boat ride (public or private) to the Borromean Islands (Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Madre). After passing the big luxury hotels of the Stresa Riviera, it is a short walk up the Sempione State Road to the Hotel Villa Aminta, where the trail rises rapidly and we are immersed in a rural world that strongly contrasts with the lake's touristic luxury image.
The trail seems level, and going through fields and woods, we reach the hamlet of Baveno and Roncaro, and then descend to the lakeshore.
The itinerary touches the city's tourist-cultural heart, with the Church of SS. Gervasio and Protasio, the Baptistery and the Granum Museum, dedicated to Baveno's pink granite and the work of masons. Then we continue towards the hamlet of Oltrefiume, which stands at the foot of the quarries of fine granite.
We continue northwards, gradually turning away from the inhabited area and starting a short climb towards the hill that is home to the Tower of Feriolo, a medieval watchtower over the lake and the outlet of Ossola. We then descend to Feriolo, and along the bicycle-pedestrian path, we enter the Natural Reserve of Fondotoce, skirting the area of the reed bed, of considerable naturalistic importance and a place of nesting and passage of numerous species of birds. After leaving the reservation, the trail rises rapidly to the village of Cavandone, with its ancient yew tree, and then on a comfortable mule track we descend to the shore of Lake Maggiore, in the village of Suna.

POINTS OF INTEREST
Arona
Chiesa dei SS Martiri (Chiesa di San Graziano)
Collegiata della Natività di Maria Vergine
Chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto (Chiesa di Santa Marta)
Colosso di San Carlo
Parco dei Lagoni di Mercurago
Civico Museo Archeologico
Civico Museo Mineralogico
Rocca borromea
Piazza del Popolo

Meina
Museo Meina
Chiesa Santa Margherita
Chiesa La Madonnina
Villa Bonomi
Villa De Savoiroux
Villa Eden
Villa Faraggiana
Villa Faraone
Villa Kitzerow
Villa Paradiso
Villa La Favorita

Lesa
Chiesa San Giorgio
Chiesa San Rocco
Chiesa San Giovanni Battista
Chiesa San Sebastiano
Chiesa San Martino
Santuario Madonna di Campagna
Museo Manzoniano
Palazzo Stampa
Villa Cavallini

Belgirate
Chiesa Santa Maria e San Carlo
Chiesa Vecchia
Oratorio di San Paolo
Casa De Fichard
Casa Martelli
Villa Conelli
Villa Serafini
Villa Principessa Matilde

Stresa
Isole Borromee
Villa Pallavicino
Villa Ducale

Baveno
Chiesa SS. Gervaso e Protasio
Battistero
Museo Granum
Oltrefiume
Torre di Feriolo
Feriolo

Suna
Chiesa di Santa Lucia
Oratorio della Beata Vergine del Buon Rimedio
Torraccia medievale
Cappelle devozionali lungo i Sentieri del Monterosso
Cavandone
Chiesa Parrocchiale della Natività di Maria

FACILITIES
STRUTTURE RICETTIVE

TECHNICAL NOTES
LEGS: the journey is recommended in three legs: from Arona to Belgirate (10 km), from Belgirate to Baveno (10 km), and from Baveno to Suna (13 km)
DIFFERENCE IN ELEVATION: minimum elevation of the itinerary: 204 m a.s.l.; maximum elevation 450 m a.s.l. See the map.
DURATION: from 3 to 6 hours for each leg
TYPE OF PATH: Hiking - MOSTLY DIRT roads but long stretches on asphalt

FOR MORE DETAILS
http://www.distrettolaghi.it
http://www.statuasancarlo.it
http://www.comune.meina.no.it/ComGuidaTuristica.asp
http://www.comune.lesa.no.it/ComGuidaTuristica.asp
http://www.comune.belgirate.vb.it/ComGuidaTuristica.asp
http://www.stresaturismo.it/default.asp
http://www.bavenoturismo.it

Tourist Information
Distretto Turistico dei Laghi, Monti e Valli d'Ossola -
www.distrettolaghi.it
tel. +39 032330416/fax 0323934335