Lake Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda, but surely one of the richest in history and charm throughout Europe.

Lag Magiur in Piedmont, Lag Maggior in Lombardy, stretches between the provinces of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Novara, Varese and Switzerland, for a small part.

It is a little Italy made of water, castles, villas, gardens among the most prestigious, uncontaminated islands.

The most exciting way to discover it is to rely definitely on a navigation service in order to freely grasp the culture and nature of these beautiful places.

It is not news when you consider that the navigation of the lake is an activity started in 1825 and has never stopped.

My name is Fulvio and for over 30 years I have been concerned with the navigation of Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands, a non-scheduled public navigation service for groups.

The trips take place on board a comfortable motorboat, the “Pirate”, able to accommodate up to 57 persons comfortably and according to the law.

Many say that the main attraction is represented by the Borromean Islands, for which a specific navigation tour is expected, but there are many artistic and cultural attractions of places and nearby villages.

The best way to fully enjoy a vacation or a trip on Lake Maggiore, and the advantage of choosing a non-scheduled navigation, is not to give up anything and be able to agree a personalised navigation.

This page illustrates some attractions of Lake Maggiore, but I suggest you contact me and we will plan together a visit according to your requirements.

Navigation Tour of Lake Maggiore to the monastery of Santa Caterina del Sasso

Resting on rocks overlooking one of the deepest lakes - about 300 metres - the Monastery of Santa Caterina del Sasso Ballaro makes a fine showing.

It was founded by Beato Alberto Besozzi (12th century) who - rescued from a strong storm - retired on these rocks to live like a hermit and witnessed in the following centuries the construction of a chapel dedicated to Santa Caterina d’Egitto and then other two dedicated to San Nicola and Santa Maria Nova.

It is currently open to visitors coming comfortably from the Lake and is run by Benedictine Oblates.




The city of Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore is the ideal destination for nature lovers but also for those who are fond of history, culture, Italian art.


Stresa, the pearl of Lake Maggiore, is usually the port of departure of all the proposed navigation tours but it can also be a destination for unforgettable stays.

The beautiful lakeside takes visitors in a town full of shopping and culinary attractions in a panorama made of villas and gardens.

Many mention the lake and visit it because of the famous Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées that was even mentioned by Hemingway!


Verbania is a beautiful garden on Lake Maggiore, one of the most popular destinations for tourists from all over the world.

Famous for its "enchanted" villas:

  • Villa Giulia, home to major events organised by the Municipality
  • Villa San Remigio, headquarters of the province, can be visited on reservation; the story has it that it was born for the love of a musician and a painter.
  • Villa Taranto, famous for its botanical gardens, with more than 1,000 species of flowers.


Known for its "Rocca di Borromeo" or "Rocca di Angera", it is a typical example of a fortified medieval town. Among the major attractions, "the museum of dolls and toys", which is home to many examples of robots of the nineteenth century, among the most important of Europe, deserves a special place.

The medieval gardens recently restored and open to the public overlook one of the most charming lakesides.


In the southern part of Lake Maggiore, the Piedmont side, Arona is perhaps the most young-looking town of Lake Maggiore but still full of cultural interest.

In particular:

  • The museum, in the ancient Filippi palace, to discover the history of the city since Roman times.
  • The colossal statue of St. Charles Borromeo, an imposing structure completely in copper, 23.5 meters high and resting on a base wide 12.

What to see on a tour of Lake Maggiore

On this page, I have briefly outlined some of the main attractions of Lake Maggiore, knowing that I can only partly suggest a tour that is as rich and exciting as a few others.

Compared to scheduled shipping companies or other companies, my idea was to plan together the itinerary and the most satisfying ways to visit Lake Maggiore.

For example, it is not possible to speak of the Lake without mentioning the Borromean Islands, for which there is a specific navigation service, but you might be interested in visiting only some islands and places.


For this reason, I suggest you  contact me  and plan a personalised navigation.

Happy navigation,



Pubblic navigation of the Borromean Islands