Lake Maggiore isn’t the largest of the Italian Lakes but it is the longest, sharing its northern shores with Switzerland. Like the other lakes not so very far away it is a stunner, with picturesque lakeside towns by the bucket load. It also boasts some sparkling lake treasures in the Borromean Islands, each one with its own distinct character.

These are some snapshots of an Italian beauty.

Cannero Riviera

Yacht, Cannero Riviera, Lake Maggiore, Italy
There might be views of the Alps but the Cannero Riviera has more of a feel of the Mediterranean about it, with the air perfumed by lime, lemon, orange and olive groves. This is such a typical Lake Maggiore scene – immaculate gardens, elegant villa and a yacht the colour of lemons bobbing on the olive waters. Idyllic.

Chic Cannero

Promenade, Cannero Riviera, Lake Maggiore, Italy
A small town with a big personality near the border with Switzerland, Cannero is the sort of place where I wished I had a sharp Armani suit to throw on before we strolled its perfect promenade. Charm and style personified.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Bored guard dog, Cannobio, Lake Maggiore, Italy
This statue at the entrance of a house located beside the woodland path between Cannero and Cannobio seemed to mock those oh so serious ‘beware of the guard dog’ signs you often get. Maybe he’s more bored guard dog as not so many people pass his way, so he doesn’t have a lot to bark about.

Multicultural Villa Taranto

Villa Taranto, Verbenia, Lake Maggiore, Italy
The creation of a Scottish sea captain, the gardens at Villa Taranto in Verbania are part classical Italian, part flowery British and part exotically botanical. This scene captures some of its mixed up, but totally enchanting, personality. Neat gardens, palms and a snowy mountain backdrop.

Flowery Fields

Flowers, Villa Taranto, Verbenia, Lake Maggiore, Italy
Another Villa Taranto shot. There are always flowers in bloom apparently. What I like about this is that although there’s a neatness to the display, the flowers past their best lend it a slightly unkempt look which makes it less Mary, Mary quite contrary.

Contrasts

Mausoleum, Villa Taranto, Verbenia, Lake Maggiore, Italy
The stained glass windows really pop out against the stark stone in the last resting place of Villa Taranto’s Captain Neil McEacharn.

Classically Italian

Isola Bella, Borromean Islands, Lake Maggiore, Italy
There’s no mistaking which country you’re in when you gaze out across the gardens on Isola Bella, one of the Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore.

Proud as a Peacock

White Peacock, Isola Madre, Borromean Islands, Lake Maggiore, Italy
And no ordinary peacock at that, one of the striking white peacocks on another garden Borromean Island on Lake Maggiore, Isola Madre.

The Prince and the Pauper

Isola Bella from Isola dei Pescatori, Lake Maggiore, Italy
An image that shows the wildly differing personalities of the Borromean Islands. The aristocratic pomp of the palace on Isola Bella brought down to earth by the simple fishing boat on Isola dei Pescatori.

Honest Charm

Jetty, Isola dei Pescatori, Lake Maggiore, Italy
There are no gardens to speak of, but its honest, simple, working class charm made Isola dei Pescatori our favourite amongst the Borromean Islands, especially after the day-trippers left and we felt as though we had the tiny island all to ourselves.

Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+

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