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THE "REGINA" CAMELLIA

 

Lago Maggiore in blossom is like dreaming with your eyes open

Here, there is something sublime about the euphoria of spring. And the gleaming colours of the camellias spread contagious bliss, which extends from shore to shore and in all places.
 
Spring is synonymous with awakening. Nature forgets the numbness of winter and abandons itself to the flattering rays of the sun. Everything turns to green and the flowers come out to play. Lago Maggiore is famous for its gardens and in springtime they blissfully gleam with enchantment, beauty and charm. Among the myriad of flowers that bloom during this period, one has become the symbol of the lake: the camellia, authentic queen of this enchanted place. That is why an exhibit has been dedicated to this flower, which takes place on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March at Verbania. This is the exhibit’s 49th edition. There are over three hundred varieties on display and everything will be focused on the queen of the lake: floral arrangements, books and tastings. And this year in homage to the Giro d’Italia bike race that will pass through here on 28 May, the horticulturists of Lago Maggiore have dedicated a new hybrid of pink camellias to the event presented by the F.lli Savioli nursery. The set up for the event was inspired by bicycles and, thus, antique models of penny-farthings and bicycles will be presented in one of the halls at Villa Giulia, as well as three special models belonging to famous champions - Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi and Marco Pantani – including historical photos and mementos.
In spring everything comes back to life, including Villa Taranto, which opens its doors starting 19 March. Its world-famous botanical gardens alone are worth a trip to Verbania. The herbarium, the road of conifers, the fountain of angels adorned with a wide array of coloured flowers, the labyrinth of the dahlias, the nurseries, the mausoleum, the little valley, the balcony gardens, the lotus flowers, handkerchief trees and the splendid villa are all stops on this magnificent journey through nature, which reaches sublime peaks.
The dream continues on the islands of the lake: just getting there drifting over the water is marvellous in itself. And the closer you get, the more intense the call of the enchanted gardens becomes. It’s not a coincidence that the exhibit at Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella, dedicated to the Grand Tour and landscape paintings in the Borromeo domain from Gaspar Van Wittel and Luigi Ashtondomini, has been titled ‘Le isole incantate’ (The enchanted islands). The exhibit, which will commence on 20 March and end on 25 October, makes a splendid addition to the views of the breathtaking gardens of Isola Bella and Isola Madre. Just as it is no coincidence that Isola Bella was the location of Lavinia Borromeo and John Elkann’s wedding and next summer will again serve as centre stage for the wedding of Beatrice Borromeo and Pierre Casiraghi. There is nothing left to do but to let oneself be enchanted by all the beauty; and never stop dreaming. Just take a trip to Villa San Remigio, which will shine again after the terrible devastation inflicted by a tornado in 2012. The villa is housed in a splendid spot on the promontory of Castagnola bordered on its north end by the gulf and the Borromean Islands. Here, the view embraces the entire lake from north to south. Given its size and position, the villa is one of the most important historical settlements of Lago Maggiore. Built at the end of 1800 to crown the romantic love between the Marquis Silvio della Valle di Casanova, poet and musician, and Sophie Browne, a painter, and surrounded by “the garden of dreams”, this place was desired and erected by two lovers. Stroll in a park rich with centennial plants and fragrant flowers, which wind along the lake’s shore for 300 metres. Having a swim and getting sun on the beach here is something that borders on the sublime.
All around the lake are shimmering marvels. It is lovely to lose oneself among the Sacri Monti (sacred mountains), architectural and artistic works of sacred art immersed in the natural landscape. In this part of Piedmont they reach their height of expression, so much so that they have been added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The Sacro Monte of the Holy Trinity at Ghiffa, the Calvario di Domodossola, the Monte Mesma in Orta, the Sacro Monte of Varallo and the Sacro Monte of Varese are not only important from a historic and religious point of view, they are situated in panoramic positions and represent the successful combination of architecture and fine arts in a landscape of notable beauty.
Lastly, for hiking and high mountain lovers we have to mention these undoubtedly fascinating Alpine spots: Alpe Devero, an authentic place of peace and marvel over two-thousand metres high; Val Formazza and its impressive and evocative Toce Falls, wild nature and seemingly distant peaks; Macugnaga and Monte Rosa, for those who like to dream at four thousand metres.
Lago Maggiore in spring, and its surroundings, is a must-see for those who love to be enchanted by beauty and to dream with their eyes open, and who know how to fully appreciate nature’s charm, which is both thriving and delicate at the same time.
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Опубликовано:
Grand Hotel Majestic, Editor