A small, charming archipelago in Lake Maggiore
A small archipelago in Lake Maggiore opposite the Borromean Gulf, between the towns of Stresa and Verbania: the Borromean Islands are among the pearls of Piedmont. Isola Madre, Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori are the main islands of the archipelago, joined by Isolino di San Giovanni and Scoglio della Malghera, which are not accessible to visitors.
We recommend starting at Isola Madre, accessible in a few minutes by boat from Stresa. You can enjoy a romantic stroll through the large English garden surrounding Palazzo Borromeo.
Isola Bella, the second largest island, is home to a large 17th-century palace owned by the Borromeo family. Today, it houses a museum with room after room of paintings and tapestries.
Isola dei Pescatori, 100 metres wide by 350 metres long, is the only inhabited island among the Borromean Islands. The small village consists of a main square and narrow alleyways dotted with shops and markets dedicated to local crafts. On Ferragosto, 15th August, don’t miss the procession of the statue of the Virgin Mary, which is carried across the lake waters by boat.