Lago Maggiore – Where History and Italian Elegance are merged with Music

Where History meets Elegance and Music

Visit Lago Maggiore and the Music Scene

By Irma de Jong

Lake (Lago) Maggiore is situated on the south side of the Alps. It is the second-largest lake in Italy and the largest in southern Switzerland. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy and the Swiss canton of Ticino.  All around the lake, there are beautiful cities and villages located, but what strikes most is the enormous amounts of music events you can find here practically throughout the whole year. 


With a  mild climate in both summer and winter, it is no wonder you will find here  Mediterranean vegetation, with many gardens growing rare and exotic plants. Well-known gardens include those of the Borromean and Brissago Islands, that of the Villa Taranto in Verbania, and the Alpinia Botanical Garden above Stresa. Immersed in the marvelous and suggestive waters of Lake Maggiore, the Borromean Islands are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Loved by Ernest Hemingway and, in more recent times, by the English Royals, this Archipelago is made up of the monumental Isola Bella, with its 17th-Century Palazzo Borromeo, surrounded by scenographic gardens, the picturesque Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island), Isola Madre, noted for its botanical garden, rich in rare plants, the little Island of San Giovanni that faces Pallanza, and the Rock of Marghera. (Source: Agenzia Nazionale Turismo)

Visit Lago Maggiore and the Stresa International Music Festival

The Stresa Festival, also known as the Musical Weeks of Stresa, is one of the most significant musical events in the Lake Maggiore area. This year its 58th edition will be placed as usual on enchanting and historical places like the Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella, the highly atmospheric Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, the historic Regina Palace Hotel in Stresa and the Villa Ponti in Arona, and the islands Piscatory Madre and Bella.

Started in 1961 by the aristocratic Venetian lawyer Italo Trentinaglia de Daverio, the event has become a landmark in international classical music festivals.

Curious to find out more about the 2019 program? Click here.

Ride along Lago Maggiore for a musical tour!

The best thing to do is to rent a car and drive along the Lago Maggiore to discover the richness and combination of beautiful nature, historical wealth, and enjoyable music events. To make your life easier I listed below the well and less known musical jewels that are enriching the shores of Lago Maggiore. Do not forget as well to stop by at the local initiatives that many hotels developed with piano music, opera singers, and acoustic guitar.

Arona - International Organ Festival, June 15 - July 6, 2019

Arona Music Festival - Punta Vevera Pop, Rock & Jazz, George Benson July 12, 2019, Italian artists July 13 & 14

Arona - various events (information only in Italian)

Ascona Music Festival - Classical Music, June 8-18, 2019

Ascona Jazz - June 20-29, 2019

Cannero Riviera - Brass Band Contest, July 14, 2019

Ferragosto (national holiday on August 15) and the local food, music, and fireworks events

Laveno - various music events info available on Facebook Page here

Locarno - Moon&Stars,  - Pop&Rock, July 11-21, 2019

Luino - Street Food Music Festival, July 20-22 and August 3-5, 2019

Stresa - International Music Festival, Jazz and Classical Music, July 14 - September 8, 2019

Ticino in music - various music events from opera to jazz and classical music

Verbania - various music events

Do you have a specific question to ask me? Just drop me a line! (email address on top of this article)