Lake Maggiore(literally ‘Greater Lake’) is a largelake located on the south side of the Alps. It is thesecond largestlake inItalyand thelargestin southernSwitzerland. The lake and its shoreline are divided between Italy and Switzerland.
Lake Maggiore is 64.37 km (40 mi) long, and 3 to 5 km (2 to 3 mi) wide, except at the bay opening westward between Pallanzaand Stresa, where it is 10 km (6 mi) wide. It is the longest Italian lake, althoughLakeGardahas a greater area. Its mean height above the sea level is 193 metres; a deep lake, its bottom is almost everywhere below sea-level: at its deepest, 179 metres below. Its form is very sinuous, so that there are few points from which any considerable part of its surface can be seen at a single glance. If this lessens the effect of the apparent size, it increases the variety of its scenery. While the upper end is completelyalpinein character, the middle region lies between hills of gentler form, and the lower end advances to the verge of the plain of Lombardy.
The climate is mild in both summer and winter, producing Mediterraneanvegetation, with many gardens growing rare and exotic plants. Well-known gardens include those of the Borromean islandsthat we also visited.