Point of interestIntra, a short distance from the lake
The little town of Intra, in a beautiful situation on the Borromean Gulf, is part of the municipality of Verbania, along with Pallanza, Suna and other smaller villages.
Verbania became the capital of the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola in 1992. Intra owes its name (from the Latin “intra flumina” or “between the rivers”) to its location between two mountain rivers, the San Bernardino and the San Giovanni.
Now a lively tourist resort with excellent visitor facilities, Intra has its roots in the Middle Ages; there are still a few traces of its distant past in its main streets such as Via San Vittore, which goes from the lakefront to the church of the same name (15th and 16th century paintings), Via San Fabiano, leading to Piazza Castello, or Vicolo del Freschetto, leading to the pretty square of Piazza San Rocco.
Today visitors will enjoy exploring the fascinating historic centre, where many of the townhouses show Baroque and Neoclassical features, evidence of the sophisticated bourgeoisie of the past. Palazzo Peretti on Via De Bonis is the most opulent, with windows decorated with stone and stucco surrounds, carved granite doorways, stone balconies with wrought iron railings. Piazza Ranzoni is the commercial and social centre of the town; its finest buildings are the 19th century Palazzo delle Beccherie, and Palazzo del Pretorio, dating from the 14th century, which was the Town Hall of Intra until 1939, and has a great sundial (1868) painted on its façade.
Intra is a pleasant town to stroll around, with its cafés and its wealth of little shops.
A walk along the lakefront will show you the old harbour, with a tall Montorfano granite column at its entrance, the old Boat Station, an attractive late 19th century structure, Palazzo Flaim, once the Casa del Fascio (Fascist Party Headquarters) but now called after the resistance leader Mario Flaim, and the new harbour, where the boats leave for Italian and Swiss towns around the lake and the ferry departs for Laveno.
How to get thereBy car: from the A26 motorway exit at Arona; once in the town continue in the direction of the Rocca. The Villa is in Via San Carlo (no. 57).
By train: the nearest railway station is Arona.
Further detailsUfficio Turismo Città di Verbania