Santa Caterina del Sasso

The hermitage is built in stone 15 meters above the water and 65 meters from the top of the cliff. Founded in the Middle Ages by the merchant Alberto Besozzi who, after escaping a shipwreck in the lake, made a vow to Saint Catherine of Alexandria to live as a hermit in that place. The local population, who survived a plague epidemic, fulfilled his vow by building a chapel similar to that of Mount Sinai. The complex is adorned with splendid frescoes and the view is superb.



Villa di Porta Bozzolo

The interior of the villa is splendidly frescoed and at the beginning of the 18th century the monumental garden was added, created in the French style with considerable use of Viggiù stone, exploiting the slope of the hill behind the villa and thus obtaining a surprising perspective effect. A large niche adorned with a fresco depicting Apollo and the muses, attributed to Giovanni Battista Ronchelli, was built on the north side. In 1989 the villa became the property of the FAI (Italian Environment Fund) which financed its restoration.


This small mountain village is an open air fresco art gallery. In 1956, famous painters were called to decorate the walls of the village houses. These “painting holidays” continued until 1974 and now you can walk around the country admiring more than 30 frescoed walls.


Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza

Built in the first half of the eighteenth century just below the top of the hill of Biumo, in a dominant position the town below, it was enlarged during the second part of the eighteenth century by the Marquis Paolo Antonio Menafoglio. Since 1931 it has been owned by the Panza family. Inside the villa, Giuseppe Panza conserves a collection of works by contemporary artists – especially Americans – that began in the 1950s. In 1996 the villa was sold to FAI (Italian Environment Fund), which also financed its restoration. thanks to the contribution of the Province of Varese and private citizens.


Isole Borromee

Isola Bella is the site of the monumental Baroque palace built in 1632 by Count Borromeo for his wife Isabella d’Adda. The interiors contain all sorts of works of art and the beautiful Italian gardens are in turn. Isola Madre is the largest of the three islands, practically a botanical garden on the water, with rare plants and exotic flowers. The palace has some valuable furniture and an interesting exhibition of Marionette Teatrini. Finally the Isola Pescatori where the famous church of San Vittore Martire is located.



Villa Taranto

“A beautiful garden does not need to be large, but it must be the realization of a dream, even if it is a couple of square meters and it is located on a balcony” explained captain Neil McEacharn, the man who created this wonderful garden. Many thousands of plants, brought from the most remote corners of the world, and rare collections, some of which are unique in Europe and acclimatized after long and laborious efforts, have been artfully arranged in this splendid setting between the mountains and the lake.


Altre informazioni

Pro Loco di Ranco

For any other information you can visit the website of the Pro Loco of Ranco


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