Ispra is a small town of 5,000 people on the south-eastern shore of Lago Maggiore, Italy’s second largest lake. It belongs to the Lower Lake area, which covers the shorelines of the lower Piedmontese Verbano region. There are many enchanting townships in the environs, including Arona, Massino, Visconti, Meina, Lesa and Belgirate.
The surrounding mountain range of Alto Vergante reaches a maximum altitude of around 2625 feet; mountains and valleys teem with water – a characteristic feature of the region – as are the many scattered mountain villages. Before the major roads and railways were built and the steamship line started on Lago Maggiore, there was a flourishing harbour in Castelletto Sopra, Ticino and Sesto Calende on the southern mouth of the Lago. The lake played an important role for trade with the whole of Northern Italy and Switzerland.
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