L'Isola Bella, Italy
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll already know that I visited L'Isola Bella this past weekend for a quick weekend getaway.
L'Isola Bella is an island that is located on Lake Maggiore in the Piemonte region of Northern Italy just a short hour and a half drive outside the city of Milan. My starting point was the town of Stresa, where you can then take an inexpensive boat ride to the small Isola Bella. This same boat is also available from Verbania, Baveno, Arona Laveno, Pallanza, and Intra, if you'd like to start from any of these other towns that are located on Lake Maggiore.
When you arrive by boat to this Island, you can choose to pay and entrance fee which includes the price of exploring the gardens and walking around the Palace, or you can roam around a small area on the island, for free, that is filled with souvenir shops, delicious restaurants that serve local specialties and take in the beautiful views of the lake from the island. After visiting, I would suggest to pay the entrance fee and explore/roam around everything this stunning island has to offer!
The cost for adults is 13€ and 11€ for children between the ages of 6 and 15. For an added fee visitors also have the option to have a guided tour of the palazzo and the gardens. During peak times it is suggested to call ahead to reserve a guide. [email@example.com]
This island (Beautiful Island) is one of the Borromean Islands which is still owned by the Borromean Family today. This island is 320 meters long by 400 meters wide and is made up of a quite large and breathtaking botanical garden and a Palace which was built in a Baroque style. Today, the gardens are opened to visitors in addition to many different rooms of the palace. The rooms are lavishly decorated with, among other things, furniture, artwork, sculptures, and tapestries.
Behind the palace and through the gardens, you will discover the most beautiful "outdoor theater" which is made up of 10 different balconies that are topped off with a giant sculpture of a unicorn, the symbol of the Borromeo family.
The palace took almost four hundred years to be completed, once you are there you will understand why. So much attention to detail was put into each of the different areas of the palace that you will be overwhelmed taking it all in.. you could easily spend up to two hours just wandering around the different rooms!
If you don't want to pay extra for a guided tour, you can always download "The official audio tour for Isole Borromee" from iTunes or google play and learn about the rich history behind Isola Bella, available in English along with other languages.
I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the beautiful gardens and the palace. You can spend as much time as you'd like on this island, and the small boat comes about every hour. There is also an area filled with grass which was filled with many visitors who had set up little picnic areas to eat lunch or an afternoon snack.
Unfortunately, since this is a private island, there is no place to stay overnight so I would suggest taking the boat ride back to Stresa, the mainland, and staying at a hotel there, or you can even take the hour train ride back to Milan and make a day trip out of it!
L'Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore, Italy 🇮🇹