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rocca borromeo di angera The Castle or Rocca of Angera an unusual example of a completely preserved medieval fortified building, rises on a spur of calcareous rock that has always dominated the southern part of Lake Maggiore. This imposing construction houses items that bear important witness to local history, which is revisited thanks to the marvellous cycle of frescoes of the "Sala di Giustizia" (Justice Hall) dating from the end of the 13th century. It also has many historical rooms, and includes the Torre Castellana, the top of which affords magnificent panoramic views. Also particularly worthy of mention is the seventeenth century wine press that is housed in the wine-pressing room. Some rooms house the Doll and Children's Clothes Museum. This is the most important collection of its kind in Europe, and a large section is dedicated to mechanical automatons dating from the nineteenth century, all of which are fully functioning. www.borromeoturismo.it Museo della Bambola e della Moda Infantile - Rocca Borromeo
Museo della Bambola e della Moda Infantile - Rocca Borromeo
Museo dei Trasporti Ogliari Ranco
Villa della Porta Bozzolo
The European Transport Museum, founded in 1954 by Francesco Ogliari is situated in Ranco. A passionate collector of his subject, he supervises and maintains the collection, the fruits of over forty years of research.

Villa della Porta Bozzolo, Casalzuigno (VA).
This villa was built by a member of the family Della Porta about 1500. During the course of time the property was enlarged, but the significant changes were made by Gianangelo III Della Porta at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The villa is now the property of the FAI, and it is a well-know place to visit.
Villa della Porta Bozzolo, la sala da ballo.
Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza, Varese
Isola Bella
Isola Bella Stresa
Famous for its colours and scents, Lake Maggiore offers visitors scenery of incomparable beauty starting with the islands of the Borromeo Gulf, a small archipelago in one of the most alluring parts of the lake and easily reached by boat from Ranco or Angera:
Isola Bella, famous for its sumptuous Baroque palazzo and magnificent Italianate terraced gardens with a rich variety of rare plants.
Isola Madre: the largest of the three islands features a well stocked botanical garden with rare plants and exotic flowers and inhabited by white peacocks, parrots and pheasants.
Isola dei Pescatori: the picturesque old village is still inhabited.
Isola Madre
Isola Madre
Villa Taranto
Villa Taranto
Verbania boasts the renowned Villa Taranto botanical gardens, a magnificent park with thousands of plants, some of them unique in Europe, imported from throughout the world and masterfully displayed in this lake and mountain setting. www.villataranto.it

Continuing the tour, on the other side of the lake and reached by water is the remarkable hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, a chapel dating back to the 12th century flanked by two others from the 14th century. The current appearance of the buildings is due to modifications made in the 16th century to unify the three chapels. The monastery is today run by the Benedictine order and is a religious and tourist destination.
Santa Caterina
Orta San Giulio
Milano - Galleria
Located a few kilometres from Lake Maggiore, we warmly recommend a visit to the smaller Lake Orta, surrounded by attractive villages, with Orta itself of particular interest. This Medieval settlement has been completely pedestrianised and is the base for enjoyable excursions to the island of San Giulio and to the Sacro Monte. www.ortasangiulio.com

56 kilometres from Ranco, Milan, an international capital of style with its countless shops, is a city waiting to be explored, with diverse itineraries guiding you along hidden streets and around its magnificent monuments. The myriad historical sites include the Duomo, the Castello Sforzesco, the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio and La Scala opera house. It is easily reached by car or by train from Sesto Calende.
Milano - Castello Sforzesco
Milano - Duomo
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