Italy is a country I adore, and one it’s very difficult to get tired of. There’s always something to see and do, food to experience, culture to soak up and history to re live. I have recently enjoyed the most glorious of trips visiting Golfo Gabella Lake Resort Maccagno in the Italian Lakes. I thought it would be a great idea what to do in Lake Maggiore for families.
Staying On The Edge Of Lake Maggiore
At the Golfo Gabella Lake Resort in Maccagno. It is the perfect location to explore the Italian Lakes but also enjoy a little chilled family time. For booking info check out Bookings For You. There is a choice of apartments from simple 2 bedroom apartments to ultra stylish Italian lake view apartments.
Jo and her team will be able to advise which is the best accommodation to suit your needs. Should you want a super luxurious home from home or a more simple apartment, the team are on hand to offer tips and advice.
The Apartments At Golfo Gabella Lake Resort Are Self Catering
Hence you need to be prepared and stop for a shop en route to stock up on supplies such as toilet rolls, tea towels, kitchen rolls washing up liquid etc. It’s worth doing a big shop, but if you run out of supplies there is also a supermarket in town, which is a ten minute walk and sells a great selection of food and wine. ( Check out the pink fizz it was delicious and only €3.50 a bottle)
There is a hairdryer, although this is attached in the bathroom so taking your own is a great idea. The kitchen has an oven, dishwasher, microwave, lots of cupboard space and kettle so cooking a meal for a family night in is an option.
Also pack an iron and iron pad as the apartments do have have irons. But are a fantastic blank canvas to make memories.
The resort is just over an hour from Milan airport so it’s handy to have a car. However there is onsite parking at Golfo Gabella. Each apartment has its own dedicated space.
But what is there to do in and around Lake Maggiore For Families?
I have compiled a little list of fun activities for adults and teens to ensure you have a varied Italian lakes family holiday itinerary.
Spend A Day By The Pool Overlooking Lake Maggiore
Golfo Gabella also boasts one of the best pool views on the lake, perfect for chilling out after a day exploring. You can not stay at Golfo Gabella and not factor in pool time.
Make Pizza Onsite At Golfo Gabella Lake Resort
Book a session to make pizza with your family at the onsite restaurant. This is a great activity and the pizza tastes amazing. What better way to enjoy Italian pizza than to make your own with an Italian chef.
Book A Chef To Cook A Meal In Your Apartment
Bookings For You booked the incredible Chef Marco Perocco to cook for us in out apartment, this is a wonderful way to enjoy a foodie experience in your apartment. Chef Marco takes the guess work out of fine dining by creating an authentic Italian experience right down to pairing the wine.
I loved that we had a choice of choosing a menu or allowing him to weave his magic in kitchen, we chose the latter and wow it paid off, the food was spectacular. You can even book a cooking lesson with Marco which would be perfect for our family.
And what better way to wind down after a busy day exploring the lakes, than taking in a mixology lesson with the hotels resident expert. There is something amazing about a bar man who is passionate about cocktails, it certainly shines through and we laughed sooooo much, but also created some pretty fantastic creations.
Take A Kayak Into Lake Maggiore Or Go For A Bike Ride And Explore Maccagno
Should you want to spend a day around the resort taking in that glorious Italian sunshine and breathtaking views the hotel has an option to hire bikes or kayaks. What better way to explore via land or water.
Stroll Around The Town Or Along The Shoreline In Front Of Golfo Gabella Lake Resort
Have a wander up to Maccagno town, it is a 5-10 min stroll from the hotel and is full of pretty buildings and street cafes to grab a coffee and people watch, you have to embrace Italian life in Italy and this is the way to do it.
Alternatively take a left out of the hotel and wander along the banks of the river where you will find a restaurant, bar, play park, sports court and skate park. There is also a great pebbly area, perfect for skimming stones on the lake. (Is is just my boys that can spend hours doing this?)
Get The Ferry Across From Lake Maggiore To Cannobio
Visiting Cannobio was the highlight of my trip, all those pastel houses and pretty cobbled streets straight out of an Italian picture book. I sound like a broken record but this has to be one of the prettiest places I have ever been. The ferry port is only a 10-15 minute stroll from the resort, READ THIS post above for more info.
Can You Visit Switzerland From Maccagno?
Yes, you can drive or get the ferry or train to Switzerland from Maccagno. It takes around 35 minutes in the car! Or the train station is only 10 minutes walk from Golfo Gabella Lake Resort. Maybe it’s living on an Island that makes this so fascinating, can you imagine just nipping to Switzerland?
Visit The Food Markets In Luino
The train from Maccagno to Luino takes around 15-20 minutes. If you go on market day which is every Wednesday, from 8.30 am to 5 pm Luino is turned into a bustling market town, with hundreds of stalls selling clothes, handbags, and the very best bit, food.
The food market is packed with local delights, cheeses, wine, calamari oh my if it had not have been raining I would have spent hours trying out all that amazing food.
Explore The Santa Caterina del Sasso
The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, overlooks the Borromeo Gulf, which is one of the most breathtaking historical sites on Lake Maggiore and has lots to offer for families.
You can reach it from the lake or from the car park above. From the lake you must climb 80 steps, or the car park descend 240 steps. However you can also pay to ride the lift.
The Hermitage was founded in the 12th century by the merchant Alberto Besozzi of Arolo (Leggiuno), who took refuge in a cave after being shipwrecked, and vowed devotion to St Catherine. In 1195 he built a tiny, isolated church in homage. The present buildings date from the late 13th – early 14th centuries.
Musignano is an off the beaten path village in the hills above Lake Maggiore and a great place for a good walk for families with older kids and teens. This is not a tourist area but locals will welcome you with open arms.
Check out Donna’s post to find out about the stick men of the village, its a quirky place to visit if you are travelling with teens.
Go Up A Mountain In A Bucket In Laveno
This blew my mind, I will be honest I never thought they were real buckets and expected cable cars. But the bucket lift in Laveno “is” large buckets that ride up the mountain.
If I had time to think about it I would never have paid my €10 and jumped in the bucket. However I am soooooo glad I did, the view is extraordinary. Although I may have held on rather tight to Karen, but it was worth it. If we visited as a family I would be holding on very tight to Joe!
Phew, I think that’s it visiting Maccagno is a wonderful experience there is so much to see and do, but just in case check out these other great posts. This post first appeared here.
Where to stay in Lake Maggiore
Luxury Villa In Lake Maggiore
Lake Maggiore for outdoor families