The magic of water, a precious resource

Swimming: a way of life. A phrase, perhaps an aphorism, which expresses the passion of those who spend hours in contact with water, nourished by harmonic and rhythmic movements, by the time spent covering distances and by the repetitive gestures that give a sense of well-being.

After all, it is well known that water is life and in this regard the Province of Novara is well endowed. The water in the rice fields, the rivers, lakes and glaciers in the distance, in a symphony of colours and sensations of great importance.

Once you have discovered the infinite artistic and historical beauties of the area, or tasted the local delicacies, the call of water knocks on the door: allow your imagination a free rein, as this is the kingdom of Naiadi and Limniadi, the nymphs who live in running water and lakes.

The charm of open water

For those who are used to advancing by observing a black line on the bottom of a swimming pool, the famous “open waters” can be intimidating. Although not exactly at the mercy of Poseidon, every waterway can present pitfalls, yet the feeling of freedom of being in contact with nature is definitely gratifying.

We are challenged by the lack of reference points, cold or hot currents and considerable fatigue but they create magical experiences for us.

And you can in fact talk about magic if you decide to swim under the stars, for example in the competition organized in Orta San Giulio in August, precisely the month of San Lorenzo (10th is the night of the shooting stars): a circuit that passes around the beautiful Island of San Giulio in a truly breathtaking setting. Lake Orta, whose crystal clear waters have been cleaned up in recent years, is the ideal setting for those who want to try their hand at this activity, for example swimming from Orta to Pella or from one of the beautiful beaches or charming jetties.

Why not try your hand at longer races such as the Oceanman Lago d’Orta, which is held in June: 14 km from Omegna to Gozzano, with the mountains in the background: a real test for body and mind. Moving across to Lake Maggiore, the Aronamen triathlon takes place in Arona in July: 1.9 km swimming, 90 km by bike and 21 km running around the town. You could also swim from Arona to Angera, on the opposite side of the lake, for an electrifying experience.

The Italian Open Watercircuit makes a stop in Maccagno, on the Lombardy shore, in July, with circuits of various lengths, and in Monate, on the lake of the same name, also in Lombardy, in June: stay until the evening for fabulous sunsets. The opportunities for recreation and training in the water on the lakes are endless: take the opportunity to explore new horizons, driven by the love of water.


“Nobile dei Laghi” has been, since 2006, a circuit for all fans of open water swimming, whose fundamental principle is that it is purely amatorial.

Info: access the website

Sailing, a timeless passion

You don’t need to be Giovanni Soldini or Shackleton and James Cook fanatics to understand that sailing has a strong appeal.

A world made of ropes and knots, strange names, great expertise and knowledge, combined with the priceless pleasure of plowing the waves of seas and lakes to feel at one with the water. Going on a sailing boat takes us back in time, offering moments of pure joy.

Lake Maggiore, where the Tramontana winds blow in the morning from the mountains towards the plain, and then those of the Inverna blow in the opposite direction in the afternoon, is the scene of thrilling crossings and adrenaline-pumping races such as the Verbania Vela Festival, with various regattas, meetings and celebrations. Lake Orta hosts the Vela Days, a series of events that aim to promote nautical culture, of which Italy is very proud Take advantage of unique scenarios to savour moments of rare escapism: boating on the lakes has all the flavour of an adventure, so enjoy it.

The triumph of the SUP

The Stand up paddle, better known as SUP, is causing a sensation throughout Italy and has gained a prominent place on the shores of lakes Orta and Maggiore.

A practice that comes from exotic Hawaii and consists of gliding gently over the water on a surfboard, in the silence of nature, paddle in hand. In this way a sporting activity is combined with the pleasant experience of moving over the surface of the water; some local sailing schools, for example in Solcio, organize winter outings, to visit some of the magnificent places on the lakes during the cooler months, but every moment offers opportunities for recreation and entertainment.

SUP TOURS also allow you to explore the more hidden places around the lakes, but SUP is not just happily wandering around or training one’s balance and strength: SUP YOGA is the passion of the moment. Imagine the gentle waves of the lake that lull your movements, the soft breeze to cheer you up: a panacea for the mind and body, the various sequences strenghtening all one’s muscles. A new experience that involves everyone, from beginners to experts, ideal for events such as team building or anniversaries, with water as the common thread.

The scent of freedom – canoeing and kayaking

Constant training, breathtaking views and the discovery of inaccessible places are some of the strong points of canoeing and kayaking, two sports where direct contact with the water offers strong and genuine emotions.

The main differences between canoes and kayaks consist in their structure: a canoe is open topped while the kayaks have a closed deck that protects the rower from the water Furthermore, canoeing is practiced only in fresh waters, while it is possible to explore the seas thanks to a kayak. Both sports see us as protagonists on a journey in search of new stimuli – or ourselves – and the lakes Orta and Maggiore are the ideal playground for those who want to indulge in a unique experience, at the slow pace of gentle paddles, driven by the strong attraction to water.

There are many centers throughout the region which rent out canoes and kayaks – or offer lessons on how to master this wonderful activity offering boundless adventures.

For those who want to go further north and experience the adrelaline of rafting or canyoning, or canoeing on the rivers’ rough water, Valsesia offers countless possibilities along the Sesia river, starting from Vocca and proceeding towards Piode, or exploring the Rassa valleys, running on the whitewater of the river Sorba. Or why not try the Val d’Ossola, rafting on the Toce river. Great fun for all is guaranteed!


The main differences consist in their structure: a canoe is open topped while the kayaks have a closed deck that protects the rower from the water.

From wakeboard to flyboard – the adrenaline is here

The broad surface of the lakes, with their calm but inviting waters, is the ideal setting for the new activities of the moment: wakeboarding was born as a fusion between water skiing and snowboarding, where jumps and stunts are performed using a board similar to the snowboard.

The euphoria of the wind that keeps us company while we spin around is priceless. On the lakes it is also possible to carry out the other variations of wakeskate and wakesurf, all of which require balance whilst carrying out sensational flips and tricks.

The flyboard is the latest in water sports: try the experience of flying on water, on a board connected to a jet ski via a tube. The thrusters will make you hover in the air, the direction controlled by your feet. Challenge the laws of gravity to execute unique manoeuvres.

Where water reigns supreme

Whatever your interest, from the most frenetic sports to twilight swims in calm waters, the Province of Novara is an enviable treasure trove of offers and resources. Come and discover our waters, we look forward to seeing you.

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