In an hour and a half we found ourselves at Europalace Hotel. It was our first hotel in North Italy located in the town of Verbania. As soon as we put the baggage in the room we got off to see Borromean Islands as the first and one of the most beautiful and interesting destinations of our tour.
We made a boat trip to the first island called Isola Madre. It should be noted that Borromean Islands consist of only four islands. Three of them called Isola Madre, a fishing village Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Bella are the most popular. A bout trip from one island between two islands costs around 6 euro per person. Besides, the admission to the islands is charged and as far as I remember it’s around 10 euro per person for Isola Madre and around 11 euro for Isola Bella. But you may buy one common boat ticket that will allow you to save around 10 euro per person. However you should remember that it is valid for only one day and the entrance to the islands is open until 4.00 p.m.
Isola Madre is an island the greater part of which is covered with a botanical garden. You will enjoy wonderful nature, stone benches along the coastline and an impressive view on the lake and the mountains that surround it. The island is noted for its impressive sculptures and an amazing ancient staircase that you cannot step up. You will also enjoy watching peacocks rambling around the island.
But the most impressive thing on the island is nature with its secular trees, bushes and flowers that give you plenty of emotions. Just in a few minutes the island will give you a wonderful vacation atmosphere and allow you to forget about problems and worries of everyday life. At the final stage of your round-island walk you will reach the castle that in an unpretentious but interesting way displays life of the local aristocrats over the last centuries.
After some time waiting for the boat we started our trip to the other island called Isola Bella. By the way, it’s better to have the boat schedule for you not to wait at the quay. Isola Bella is a real pearl! As soon as I saw the first picture of the island while planning our trip I immediately said, “We must visit this island.” And it wasn’t a mistake. The beauty of Isola Bella can hardly be compared to anything else.
Isola Bella today is beautiful gardens, amazing white peacocks, wonderful sculpture groups and an impressive view on the Alps and the town of Stresa.
The tour over the island starts with a palace that resembles the one on Isola Madre. The only thing we remembered was a display of dolls and carpets with fantastic cruelty paintings. You can learn about the islands, dolls, palaces and Lago Maggiore here. It’s not an easy task to tell you about real beauty of Isola Bella gardens, so it’s better just to view:
More photos of Lake Maggiore
When we returned to Verbania we took a walk through picturesque town streets, bought some interesting and unusual pears in the local greengrocer’s and then went to the hotel.
The Europalace is a good three-star European hotel. It offers nice spacious rooms and large bathrooms. But the greatest advantages are an impressive view on Isola Madre and close vicinity to Lake Maggiore quay.
In the evening we were going to visit the neighbouring town of Stresa which according to Wikipedia is considered to be the most favourite place of the Queen of England. But a sleepless night before the trip had an impact on us and at 8 p.m. we went to sleep off and to gain energy for the further excursion.
The next morning we started with moderate breakfast following a wonderful walk along the quay. By the way all the hotels we stayed at offered just the same kind of breakfast. I can say that during that particular walk we fell in love with Lake Maggiore with its striking mirror-like water surface, mountains, islands and even water that seemed peculiar when touched.
After the walk we took our baggage and made our way to Bergamo.