VILLA INTRAGNOLA: A BOTANICAL PARK ON THE SHORES OF LAKE MAGGIORE
Villa Intragnola is located within a 7-hectare botanical park that stretches for a kilometre along the Lombard shores of Lake Maggiore. The English-style park contains an important collection of exotic conifers that were planted in the early 1900s, as well as hardwood trees and flowering shrubs. Intensive gardening is carried out all year round to preserve and constantly enrich the vegetation in the grounds. The Park can be visited during specific events and guided tours are organised by prior appointment for groups who have an interest in botany. It is possible to stay inside the Park at the Polidora Farmhouse, which offers bed and breakfast services, and guests have free access to the Park for the duration of their stay. The Villa, meanwhile, is a private residence and is not open to the public.
THE HISTORY OF VILLA INTRAGNOLA
Towards the end of the 19th century, Gerolamo Pirinoli, an industrial entrepreneur from Intra, had a a granite embankment built using precious local stone from the Baveno quarries in order to provide work for the unemployed in the "Sponda Magra" area and also to cover overhanging rocks, which were dangerous for those navigating the waters. This construction follows the natural contours of the coastline with curves, landscape elements, steps, slipways and docks. The structure extends for a full kilometre and represents an important testimony to the work of the stone craftsmen or "picasass" of Verbania. Agricultural activities were carried out on site, with the farmstead serving as pastureland. At the time of the construction of the main house, known as Villa Intragnola, in 1911, a collection of exotic conifers was planted due to the passion of Pirinoli's grandson, Engineer Vincenzo Sarti. The Taxodium grove, which can be found on the beach, is the collection’s most distinctive feature.