Ispra (Varese province) is located on the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore, in an area of low hills. The village is situated at the foot of two rocky outcrops: the Monte del Prete and the Monte dei Nassi. If you get to Ispra by boat, take the lakefront promenade to the left, following the signs for “Giro Fornaci”. This is the start of the route.
How to get there
Autostrada A8 towards Varese, to Vergiate – Sesto Calende. Continue on SS 33 to Sesto Calende, then on SS 629 in the direction of Laveno Mombello.
Angera – Sesto Calende – Milan line (Società Autolinee Varesine, +39 0332 731110).
Summer service provided by the Navigazione Lago Maggiore.
The south-eastern shore of Lake Maggiore offers some particularly enjoyable walks with amazing views of the southern part of the lake, the hinterland and the Alps.
The picturesque kilns and the cliff of Ispra, which originated in the Mesozoic era and was formed by a succession of marine sediment depositions, are the distinctive features of this itinerary. The medieval kilns are still largely intact.
When you get off the boat, go to the left along the lakefront promenade following the signs for “Giro Fornaci”. If you arrived by car, park in Piazza Ranci and walk down to the square at the harbour.
Going northwards along the Vespucci promenade you will pass the yacht club and walk along the cliff beside the lake; then take the footpath between the rocks. A little bridge takes you past the entrance to Villa Sagramoso Brivio, and then upwards to the first kiln.
A stretch of dirt track winds between a series of houses and leads to a path which takes you up some steep steps to the second furnace. If you turn left onto the surfaced road you can go downhill to another kiln on the lake shore. Go on by the side of the lake and a steep path will take you a viewpoint of stunning beauty.
You then go down the Via Panoramica for a short distance and go on along Via della Volpe and Via degli Alpini (viewpoint with benches) to the level area of Lavorascio below. Overlooking the Lavorascio bay, this is an important nature reserve with a breathtaking view of the mountains towards Arona and behind Verbania.
Go back to the fork in Via della Volpe and continue along the surfaced road, away from the lake side, to reach the promenade below and the boat station, where you started from.
Navigazione Lago Maggiore: www.navlaghi.it
Refreshment facility: Ristorante San Gottardo tel.0332780186