Isola dei Pescatori

April 21, 2009 / Places
Lago Maggiore
isolapescatori1Its full name is Isola Superiore dei Pescatori, but that name is too big for this small, very small, piccolissima small, island. Therefore it is more commonly known simply as Isola Pescatori, Island of the Fishermen. Located in the Borromean Gulf section of Lago Maggiore, and measuring only 350 meters by 100 meters, for over 1000 years fishermen have called this island home.

There are only about 50 permanent residents on Isola Pescatori today. The houses they live in have entrances in the center of the island, with doors slightly high off the ground. This protects them from the floods which frequently occur when the lake waters rise. There are fishermen here still, but most of the residents work in one of the many restaurants which cater to the visitors who come each day.

isolapescatori2Water ferries bring you from the popular Lago Maggiore towns of Stresa, Baveno, and Verbania to bask in the sun here, to wander through narrow alleys, and to visit the Church of San Vittore, which is built on remnants of a ninth century chapel.

It’s a very peaceful and quiet place and thus easy to laze away some hours here. There are benches all along the edge of the island. They look out across the lake to the bigger cities, and to the stunning, snow-capped mountains which encircle Lago Maggiore.

Dana Kaplan

by Dana Kaplan

Freelance writer, proofreader, and copyeditor. Author of StresaSights, a great blog about a beautiful town.

9 Responses to “Isola dei Pescatori”

  1. I fall in love with a different part of Italy each day! I want to see evrything and everyplace. Looks like my Italy visit will have to be a long one. Thanks for a grat website.

  2. Peggy Corrao

    This is one of our favorite haunts. We always stay for a few nights, and have been there during floods. Nothing changes the beauty of this intimate little place. Our room is in a wonderful hotel looking out to the Borromeo Palace, which we also have loved visiting. It is another little isola.

  3. What a jewel of a place. This “armchair” travel to Italy is great. These wonderful places on your website takes me if only for a moment away from the daily cares of the day. Thank you.

  4. Thanks to everyone for the comments! Isola Pescatori is indeed a little jewel of a place. Stresa’s slogan is that it is “The Pearl of Lago Maggiore;” and as you can see there are many jewels in this beautiful area.


  5. Barbara

    Sounds wonderful! Where do you recommend staying on or near Isola dei Pescatori? Thanks!

  6. Rhona Duncan

    If one was to hire a house on the island how do you get there? Leave your car on the mainland?

  7. I love this little island. I have cousins who live in Ranco, a town on Lago Maggiore. We have taken the ferry several times and have done all the stops. One time my sister and I were actually stranded on Isola Pescatori for a few hours. We had a wonderful walk over the island. Since it is so small we got to explore everything. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.


Leave a Reply