Isola Bella: A Treasure Island in Lago Maggiore
I’m so surprised that after four years in Italy I had never heard of Isola Bella. It’s truly a masterpiece hidden in the west of Lago Maggiore, just a 10 minute boat ride from Stresa. Of course, Italy is a small nation packed with thousands of marvelous destinations, but if you’re in the northern lake district this Island is not to be missed.
This Island was transformed in the 17th century to the palace that dominates all the land today. The website Isole Borromee gives a thorough summary of Isola Bella’s history, click here to check it out. Vitaliano VI is one of the men accredited for creating this Treasure chest. He was a nobleman, politician, military commander and author from Milan, who played a critical role in the Franco-Spanish War. Due to the noblemen who called this Island home, art has been collected throughout the centuries. Now there is not a square meter without a piece painting, tapestry, or sculpture, even the grounds are filled with sculptures and luxurious gardens.
We stayed in Stresa, a very cute little town that overlooks the Borromee Islands. Our hotel, Hotel du Parc, was absolutely lovely! We were welcomed with a glass of Prosecco that had a spectacular view over the village and Lago Maggiore. The building was extraordinary dating back to the early 1900s. It had a beautiful dining room and the breakfast was fantastic. The staff was so helpful and kind. In addition, it’s pet friendly!
How to reach the island
From the town of Stresa you can catch a ferry that will take you to the Island in roughly 10 minutes. There are multiple companies and boats take off about every 10/15 minutes, so you won’t have to wait long. To visit the palace, gardens, and take the ferry will cost you a little bit more than 30 Euros. Trust me, if you are an art lover that money is worth it, plus you can easily spend the whole day exploring the garden.
Add this Island to your itinerary next time you’re in northern Italy! If you’ve already been comment about your trip below.