How to get
By train: the nearest station is Verbania Pallanza. From here you can get a bus to Pallanza.
The elegant town of Pallanza looks out over Lake Maggiore from its privileged situation on the Borromean Gulf. Pallanza and Intra are the two main centres of the municipality of Verbania.
The Roman origins of the town are shown by a marble votive cippus from the 1st century AD, kept in the Church of Santo Stefano; today Pallanza is a renowned tourist resort with a rich heritage of hotels, villas and parks.
The historic centre is crisscrossed by ancient streets and squares lined with fine, substantial period buildings with ornamental doorways, porticoes, and capitals. Pallanza’s lakefront is one of the finest on Lake Maggiore; a walk along its promenade with the lake and the Borromean Islands on one side and colourful facades, porticoes, flowered balconies, terraces and cafés on the other is a highly agreeable experience. Bustling with visitors through the day and well into the evening, this is the main meeting place of the town.
Towards the end of Viale Azari away from the lake stands the beautiful Church of Madonna di Campagna (Our Lady of the Countryside), a Romanesque basilica with 16th century features.
In the past the town was divided into the two medieval nuclei of “ Villa” and “Piazza”.
Villa, on the slopes of the lovely Castagnola Hill, from which there are superb views of the lake, is graced by the Villa and the Church of San Remigio. Piazza includes the lower part of the town near the lake. Here the most characteristic buildings are the Church of San Leonardo with its fine, broad flight of shallow steps, the 19th century Town Hall, whose portico is made of 32 pillars in pink Baveno granite, and Villa Giulia, a superb 19th century mansion built in 1847 by Bernardino Branca (the creator of the amaro Fernet-Branca), and used all year for exhibitions and other events.
Other buildings gracing the town have become important art centres, such as Palazzo Viani-Dugnani, built between the 17th and 18th centuries and which has housed the Museo del Paesaggio (Landscape Museum) since 1909. Palazzo Biumi-Innocenti, a building of medieval origin, today houses the folk piety section of the Museo del Paesaggio.
Major visitor events held in Pallanza include the Corso Fiorito (Flower Parade) and the Palio Remiero (Rowing Race), which attract crowds to the town, also to watch the marvellous firework displays that accompany the events.