From Laveno, throught the cableway, it is possible to reach the summit of Sasso del Ferro from which you can admire an extraordinary view on Lake Maggiore, Alps, Po Valley and the other lombard lakes. The ideal trip for who loves breathtaking views and for who want to pass a relaxing day surrounded by nature. The Luckiest ones will also attend the jump of hang-gliders starting their flight. It is advisable to book your visit in the warmest periods of the year in order to guarantee the opening.

Further informations can be found at

The red arrow in the picture indicates the hostel.



It is said that, in 1200 A.D., a wealthy merchant (someone says moneylender) Alberto Besozzi, during a crossing was surprised by a cloudburst. To survive he made a vow to St. Catherine of Alexandria. The Blessed menaged to reach the coast just at the point where he built a chapel in honour of the Saint and he started living there as a hermit.

Forward, the site was enriched with two other churches, the first dedicated to Saint Nicola and the second to Saint Maria Nova

At the beginning of the eighteenth century five boulders ruched to the church but remained suspended in the vault of a chapel, fortunately without damages. The boulders remained there for nearly two centuries and they were remoded in 1910.


Santa Caterina


It seems that this event helped to complete the name of the place ( Santa Caterina del Sasso Ballaro ) althought “Ballaro” is probably due to the near suburb “Ballarate”.

Further informations can be found at the official site.






  • isoleborromee

The cove that starts from the mouth of the river Toce and reaches the towns of Verbania and Stresa is called “Borromean Gulf” in honor of the family who, since the sixteenth century, became the owner of the islands, except Isola dei Pescatori, turning them into masterpieces which are still visited by thousands of tourists.

Isola Madre
In 1501 Lancelot Borromeo bought this island from Novara’s Curia. It is the biggest of the islands and it is possible to visit both the recidences of the counts and the wonderful gardens.
Inside the Renaissance palace, the ancient rooms were rebuilt and now it is possible to observe collections of dolls , liveries and porcelain. It includes also an important puppets exhibition of eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The garden, in addition to the spectacular blooms of azaleas, magnolias, wisteria , rhododendrons , countless species of rare and exotic plants, charms its guests with peacocks, pheasants and other varieties of birds.
Isola Bella
Forty years of work, starting from 1630, allowed Count Carlo III and his son Vitaliano VI Borromeo to build this masterpiece of Baroque architecture. The palace is full of rooms decorated with furniture, sculptures, tapestries and plasters.
The garden, with its terraces leading down to the lake, are the most shining example of Italian baroque garden in which the tourists are entertained with colours and scents from March to November.
Isola Dei Pescatori
Isola dei Pescatori, also called “Isola Superiore”, is the only island continuously populated by fifty people who are involved with fishing and tourism. The Church of Saint Vittore, declared a national monument, is famous for its sixteenth-century frescoes, its seventeeth-century canvas and many other treasures.
Walking through the narrow streets, surrounded by typical shops and restaurants offering dishes of freshly caught fish, it is possible to reach the tree-lined promenade on the other side of the island.
Isola di San Giovanni
It is a private island that it is not possible to visit, but it is possible to be observed from the lakeside of Pallanza.
Scoglio Della Malghera
Located halfway between the Isola Bella and the Isola dei Pescatori, this small island, uninhabited and partly covered with vegetation, houses on its small beach a large colony of gulls.


Further informations can be found at the official site.

How to reach

From Laveno take the ferryboat to Intra and then take the boat to the islands

Navigation Lago Maggiore

Navigation Isole Borromee 

Ostello Casa Rossa

Via Roma, 23

21014 Laveno Mombello, Varese, Italy

TEL: 0039 3488131112   - 0039 0332/669822



The hostel is run by:

Cooperativa Sociale Eureka!

Via di Vittorio, 113

20097 San Donato Milanese, Milano, Italy

Partita Iva: 10864220156



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