Stresa Isola Bella in Lago Maggiore Italy: The Beautiful Island – Until 1630 Isola Bella, which name means Beautiful Island, was only a rock inhabited by fishermen but today it is one of the most beautiful things to visit on Lake Maggiore for the magnificent Borromeo palace and its gardens which have been included among the most beautiful gardens in the world by sites and specialized magazines.
Isola Bella is the island of the Borromean Islands closest to Stresa and from the lakeside of Stresa you can clearly see the gardens located on various levels of Isola Bella. Given its proximity you can get to Isola Bella in a few minutes by leaving by boat from Stresa.
When you go down to the island you can visit the area where you will find various stalls, shops, bars and restaurants without paying any entrance fee. However, the most beautiful part is the one inside the Borromeo palace.
By paying the entrance fee you can visit both the luxurious palace overlooking Lake Maggiore and the gardens. If you are in Stresa it is definitely worth visiting the island and the palace.
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Video Stresa Isola Bella in Lago Maggiore Italy
Watch the following video about the Isola Bella in Lago Maggiore Italy.
The Palace of Isola Bella
One of the things to see on Isola Bella is certainly the Palazzo Borromeo. The entrance fee to Palazzo Borromeo is 20 euros for an adult (price verified in October 2023).
The visit to the Borromeo Palace begins with a large staircase that takes you to the upper floor. At this point the route takes you through a succession of rooms full of period paintings and works of art.
After a series of small rooms we arrive in a beautiful hall also full of paintings. The WOW effect is guaranteed.
In the palace we also find period furnishings such as magnificent canopy beds positioned in specially decorated niches with a majestic appearance.
Raising our heads we see magnificent chandeliers, finely decorated sideboards and golden thrones around us.
We also find a long dining table with an opaline glass service made in France in the nineteenth century and a magnificent library with ancient books.
Magnificent art, majestic rooms and magnificent furnishings with a beautiful view of Lake Maggiore from the palace windows. To all this we add the historical value of the place as important historical figures such as Napoleon passed through here.
In fact, the room where Napoleon slept is indicated in the palace even if his arrival was not well received. In fact, Napoleon arrived at the palace on Isola Bella without warning and the palace service staff were happy that his stay lasted only two days: he brought many people with him and they were also rude and left the palace dirty and smelly.
Then going down to the garden level we have a collection of ancient marionettes, dolls and a series of extensively and finely decorated caves. Some of the caves are decorated following the shell theme, creating a truly very particular and unique effect.
Walking along a very long hall/corridor enriched with precious tapestries on the walls we finally arrive at the palace exit and begin visiting the magnificent gardens.
The gardens of Isola Bella are worth exploring and you will find many corners in which to take beautiful photos. The gardens of Isola Bella also have beautiful terraces full of flowers from which you can admire the beautiful compositions of the gardens on the lower floors. To keep you company in the sight of the beautiful peacocks.
You cannot have a picnic in the gardens of the Palazzo dell’Isola Bella, picnics are prohibited.
Is the Borromean Palace on the Isola Bella open in winter?
It is important to know that the palaces of the Borromean Islands are not open in winter. You can go down to Isola Bella in Lago Maggiore because part of the island is not occupied by the palace but do not go in to visit the Borromeo Palace.
Good idea for a day trip from Milan
The visit at the Isola Bella is a good idea as a day trip from Milan. To get to Isola Bella from Milan you have to go to Stresa. You can arrive in Stresa by train or by car. In Stresa go to the imbarcadero to get the boat and in a few minutes, you can arrive at Isola Bella.
What are the other Borromean Islands?
Go the following post: TOP TIPS for the 3 Lake Maggiore Borromean Islands Italy
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