The province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola is located in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, or Piemonte in Italian; in the north, it borders Switzerland. The province itself was born out of a fusion of three distinct geographic areas; the Verbano area, the Cusio area and the Ossola Valley. The first, Verbano, is actually another name for the area surrounding the Lago Maggiore, or Major Lake, one of the most important alpine lakes and the second largest lake in Italy. Cusio is also a name for yet another lake, the Orta Lake, while the Ossola Valley is a historically important geographical area that contains numerous historical cities and natural parks. For exposure to some of the cultural offerings of the province, head to the town of Stresa; attractions here include the International Center for Rosminian Studies, a structure centered on the life and thought of the priest-philosopher Antonio Rosmini. The town also hosts numerous week-long music festivals, held in historical locations throughout the town.
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