If you are talking about these places, you are surely planning one of the most exciting and suggestive tours of the peninsula.

If you are on this page, you have the opportunity to discover how to live them fully and without secrets, in the most natural and exciting way, with a navigation of Lake Maggiore and the Borromean islands.

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.

Here's an example of one of the most popular tours, the navigation of the Borromean Islands, but, as mentioned, the advantage is that we can agree together a different place of departure or the legs of the tour.


Borromean islands tour by motorboat

From Stresa (Piazzale Lido) to:

Isola Bella, with a visit to the ancient Borromeo Palace and gardens

Isola Pescatori, picturesque village with characteristic views

Isola Madre, where the oldest botanical garden in Italy is located

Return to Stresa

* The duration of the tour of the 3 islands, including stops for visits, is about 5/6 hours

* You can choose to leave from a different port, for example from Baveno, Pallanza, Verbania or other locations; or customise your own tour focusing on one or more islands according to choice.

You can contact me to book a complete tour, for information on rates and other information: I will be happy to plan together your trip.

Why visit the Borromean Islands

Most service companies of navigation of Lake Maggiore and the Borromean islands are used to entering a list of monuments and points of interest of the Borromean Islands.

I do it too but not before answering the most important question

"Why visit the Borromean Islands and why do it in a motorboat?"

The Borromean islands are one of those places that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. A mix of art and nature to explore and live even for one day.

"Navigating the Borromean islands" in a motorboat allows you to fully capture the beauty of the landscape and put yourselves in the place of the explorer.

It is a romantic and mysterious adventure at the same time, perfect also for nature lovers.
Recommended for field trips, school groups, groups of conscripts, parish trips, dinners, transfers, etc.

Borromean Islands: History and curiosity

In Lake Maggiore, the Borromean archipelago rises in the area between Stresa and Pallanza, consisting of three islands, a small island and a rock.

The Borromee name comes from the Borromean family, powerful landowners of the 14th century and still owners of Isola Madre and Isola Bella.

Today, the Borromean islands still tell the story of one of the most renowned families of Italy, among the most sensitive in the cultural and botanical protection of our history.

The Borromean Islands, visiting Isola Bella

"A giant ship that emerges from the lake where the fore consists of the garden and of 10 terraces, and the aft facing Isola Pescatori is marked by the pier and by the tip of the Island."

In 1500, Isola Bella was a simple rock inhabited by fishermen, with a church and some cultivated fields. It took over four hundred years, a meticulous architectural study to make it today a masterpiece of nature and culture.

Today, Isola Bella is defined as a microcosm of inestimable beauty where flower gardens blend together with unparalleled artistic beauties.

Two of all, the distinctive elements of the jewel of Isola Bella:


The gardens of Isola Bella

The garden of Isola Bella is a real uncontaminated paradise where valuable botanic species are preserved, kept among architectural elements of rare beauty.

Visitors can still follow the ancient alleys until they reach the summit on the terrace from where to admire in all its splendour the gulf of the Borromean Islands.


The palace of Isola Bella

The palace of Isola Bella is a case of Baroque art overlooking the Lake. The Music Room inside it hosted the conference of Stresa; the room of Napoleon is dedicated to the great emperor, who stayed with his wife Josephine in 1797.

The palace has a majestic gallery "of general Berthier" with more than 130 paintings depicting the history of the Borromeo family, preserved for centuries.


The Borromean Islands, visiting Isola Madre

It is the largest of the Borromean Islands and looks isolated compared to Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori.

Isola Madre is known around the world for its refined botanical garden, among the oldest in Italy.

The garden is home to botanical species from around the world and at any time of the year you will discover unique and valuable species.

Visiting the Borromean Islands, it is impossible not to stop and walk through its streets and admire the landscape with the typical telescopes facing the Lake Maggiore

You should also visit the Palace opened to the public in 1978; more specifically:

  • The Venetian living room with walls decorated in trompe l'oeil resembling those of a flowered gazebo
  • The section dedicated to puppets
  • The view over the Borromean Gulf from the large windows

The Borromean Islands, visiting Isola dei Pescatori

Isola dei Pescatori is the only one among the Borromean islands that does not belong to the Borromeo family. Its name derives from the fishing tradition of the island and even today, despite the tourist flow, the island is still inhabited by a few families committed two fishing.

It is the ideal destination to experience the ancient habits and enjoy the excellent cuisine.

On this page, I tried to tell a bit of the history and charm of the Borromean islands. A taste of what you can see and enjoy with an organised tour and with emotions that visiting the gulf in motorboat will be able to give you.

Before saying goodbye, here are some frequently asked questions on navigating the Borromean Islands.

In any case, the best way to book a tour or other information is to contact me and we will talk about it together.

Navigation of the Borromean Islands: FAQs 

For other questions or to book now your navigation of the Borromean Islands, you just need to fill out the form or contact me.

Happy navigation,



Pubblic navigation of the Borromean Islands