Rocca Borromeo

Museo Europeo dei Trasporti

Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso

Villa di Porta Bozzolo

Arcumeggia

Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza

Isole Borromee

Villa Taranto

Villa Pallavicino

Il Sole di Ranco Special offers

Rocca Borromeo
ANGERA

The Rocca is an ancient castle and fortress, on the hilltop above the town of Angera. Dating from Medieval times, it has been extended and refurbished over the centuries,. The magnificent panoramic views over Lake Maggiore from the tower add naturalistic appeal to the history and art represented by the fresco decorations of the halls that date back to the end of the 13th century. The castle contains the Doll Museum with the largest collection in Europe, from the 19th to the 20th centuries, including some mechanical automatons.

Museo Europeo dei Trasporti
RANCO

Prof. Francesco Ogliari has collected everything related to means os transportation since his youth. In the park of his villa in Ranco, on the eastern shore of lake Maggiore, he has created an open-air axhibition full of veichles as they have evolved from the 19th century to today – starting from an early diligence carriage drawn by five horses, horse-drawn trams, platforms, uniforms, everything up to the present day, including an underground station from Milan metro.

Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso
LEGGIUNO

A hermitage built on the crags above Lake Maggiore, 15 metres above the water and 65 metres from the cliff top. It was originated in the Middle Ages, when the merchant Alberto Besozzi survived a shipwreck on the rocks below. He spent the rest of his life in a retreat, a cave on the mountainside. The population of the nearby village who survived a plague epidemic also fulfilled their vow by building a chapel resembling one on Mount Sinai where the angels took the body of Saint Catherine. Other Chapels were added later by various religious orders. The complex compromises slone lovely frescoes, and of course the views are superb.

Villa di Porta Bozzolo
CASALZUIGNO

The interior of the villa was splendidly frescoes, the beginning of the XVIII century a monumental garden was added. Exploiting the slope of the hill lying behind the villa with the result of obtaining surprising perspective effects, this garden was created in the French style with considerable use of Viggù stone A large recess was built on the northern side containing a fresco depicting Apollo and the Muses, attributed to Giovanni Battista Ronchelli. Since 1989 the villa has been owned by the Fondo per l'ambiente italiano which also restored it. The villa is open to the public. Opening time from Tue. to Sunday.

Arcumeggia

Open-air fresco gallery. This small mountain village in 1956, famous painters were asked to take “painting holidays” while creating pictures in the walls of houses in the village. These “holidays” copntinued until 1974 and now one can walk throught the village admiring over 30 wall paintings.

Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza
BIUMO

Built in the first half of the eighteenth century just below the top of the hill of Biumo in a dominating position with respect to the small town below it, it was enlarged during the second part of the XVIII century by Marquis Paolo Antonio Menafoglio. Since 1931 it has belonged to the Panza family. In the villa Giuseppe Panza has a collection of works by contemporary artists - American in particular - which he began in the middle of the 1950's. In 1996 the villa passed to the Fondo per l'ambiente italiano, which is restoring it with the contribution of the Province of Varese and private citizens.

Isole Borromee

Isola Bella is the site of the monumental baroque palazzo build from 1632 by Conte Borromeo for his wife Isabella d'Adda. The interiors feature all sorts of works of art, including a remarkable collection of Flemish tapestries. The beautiful Italian gardens occupying ten levels of terraces are also a work of art, possibly one of the finest examples of the Baroque Italian garden, with its grottoes, statues, fountains, camelias, magnolias, cypresses, citrus trees, rare plants and flowers. Isola Madre is the largest island of the three, virtually a botanic garden on water, with rare plants and exotic flowers, and peacocks, pheasants and parrots wish roam free among the blooms. The palazzo possesses some fine forniture, and an interesting exhibition of “Teatrini delle Marionette” ( Puppet theatres ). Isola Pescatori has many tipical restaurants and souvenir shops. The church of San Vittore Martire is a national monument, originating in the 12th cetury.

Villa Taranto
VERBANIA

"A beautiful garden does not need to be big, but it should be the realization of one's dream, even though it is only a couple of square metres large and it is situated on a balcony". So explained Captain Neil McEacharn, the man who created these marvellous gardens. Many thousands of plants, brought from the far corners of the world, and rare collections, some of them unique in Europe and acclimatized after long laborious efforts, have been arranged with art in this beautiful setting, between the mountains and the lake.

Villa Pallavicinoo
STRESA

Botanical Gardens and zoo park, expecially suggested for Families.