An elegant, old lakeside town, where art, history and culture encounter tourism and economic development. The town, situated at the mouth of the Valtravaglia valley, is the biggest on the Lombardy shore of Lake Maggiore.
An enchanting place where the vegetation and breathtaking views are magical experiences. This pearl in the province of Varese is part of the MAB RISERVA (Man and Biosphere) “Ticino Val Grande Verbano”, which includes the “Parco del Ticino Piemontese” and the protected areas of Lake Maggiore, the “Parco del Ticino Lombardo”, “Nazionale della Val Grande” and ” Parco Regionale del Campo dei Fiori”. In particular, Luino is a “transition area”. That means a zone in which all economic activities, and not only these, are carried out with regard to economic development and the protection of the environment.
Let’s discover why
Its origins go far back, and it has played important roles over the course of history. We need only consider 18 August 1848, when it was an important stage in the clashes between Garibaldi and the Austrians, or 10 May 1898, when it was the site of the Bread Riots. A place that has always been a symbol of independence and the struggle for rights and freedom.
History and culture are alive in the streets of the town where the poet Vittorio Sereni and writer Piero Chiara were born. Dario Fo lived here, and the writer Earnest Hemmingway mentioned Luino in his novel, “A Farewell to Arms”.
Walking and exploring are a must here
You can choose the lakeshore from where the XV century Church of the Madonna del Carmine, the private Serbelloni Chapel, Palazzo Verbania with its library and the Civic Archaeological Paleontological Museum can all be seen. Coming back up from the old harbour with its statue of the Virgin Mary and the Caffè Clerici, where Piero Chiara was a regular, along Via Cavallotti you pass Palazzo “Due Scale”, the writer’s birthplace, and enter the old town.
The “Belvedere” path starts from Piazza San Francesco and goes up Via Carnella where you can admire views of Luino from above, and then leads through an enchanting wood before heading down to Colmegna. Near La Motte hamlet you can see the ruins of buildings dating to WWII.
If you love art, you can satisfy your craving for knowledge and wonder by visiting the Churches of San Giuseppe, Madonna del Carmine on the lakeside, SS. Pietro e Paolo in the old town, and San Pietro by the cemetery, where you can see a fresco attributed to Bernadino Luini. Splendid villas and palazzos line the shores of the lake. .
The 350 stalls of the renowned Wednesday market attract visitors also from Switzerland and Germany. This weekly folkloristic event has a long history – it began in 1541 by virtue of a permit granted by Emperor Charles V. Called Luino Market, it is the biggest on Lake Maggiore.
A dash of history, a handful of wonder and a gust of enchantment … this is Luino, come and discover it.