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“Amazing”
Review of Isola Bella

Isola Bella
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$17.43*
and up
Borromean Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour from...
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: One of three magical islands on Lake Maggiore, Isola Bella charms visitors with its magnificent Baroque palace and terraced gardens that slope to the lake.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

My fiancé and I headed for a day trip to Stresa to visit Isola Bella. We got a boat to the island which was 8 euros return per person. Upon arrival we walked the little streets having a look around and then headed into the palace and gardens which was 13 euros per person entry and defiantly worth it. The palace was beautiful and massive, then followed by the gardens which were amazing and so relaxing walking through it. Overall a great place to visit for a day trip.

2  Thank Emma8801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"beautiful island"
in 32 reviews
"over the top"
in 14 reviews
"borromeo family"
in 24 reviews
"boat trip"
in 20 reviews
"borromeo palace"
in 13 reviews
"audio guide"
in 13 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 11 reviews
"formal gardens"
in 10 reviews
"three islands"
in 17 reviews
"white peacock"
in 9 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 8 reviews
"baroque style"
in 5 reviews
"borromean islands"
in 17 reviews
"water taxi"
in 6 reviews
"spectacular gardens"
in 6 reviews
"gelato"
in 8 reviews
"throne room"
in 5 reviews
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405 - 409 of 1,464 reviews

Reviewed July 13, 2013

We came to Stresa to look at gardens and were not disappointed. First stop was Isola Bella. We took the ferry, bought a round trip ticket. One problem when we landed was that there were no clear directions to get into the gardens. Walked around for about twenty minutes to find the way in. Rather too many shops selling rather tawdry souvenirs. Once we found our way in we visited the Palace - quite lovely but no photography allowed inside. The gardens were interesting and had some very interesting species. The white peacocks strutted their stuff as if on cue, and we had a nice lunch, courtesy of the little cafe. If in the area, certainly worth a visit.

Thank Kotuku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Definately worth visiting. That being said, there is no reason why you wouldnt make a half-day or day out of visiting all 3 islands.

Start with Isola Madre and lose yourself in the phenomenal 8 hectares of English gardens with plants from all over the whole world. The Palazzo Borromeo is also interesting in that it provides a more personal glimpse at the lives of the Borromeo family from the last 500 years with many personal artifacts on display

Then continue on to Isola Bella and enjoy the phenomenal architecture and beauty of the palace as well as the very unique gardens. As you sit outside looking at the gardens you can just imagine the fantastic parties that were held here in the 1700's and 1800's that attracted the likes of Napoleon and the Princess of Wales. Also very interesting are the all white peacocks that can be seen everywhere throughout the gardens. I recommend getting a guided tour of the palace if you can.

Finish the trip by visiting the more down to earth Isola dei Pescatori (Fisherman's Island). A charming place to stroll and enjoy a meal before heading back.

Negotiate a shuttle service if you can. Its more enjoyable than the scheduled ferry shuttles. Give yourself about 1.5 hours in each of the first 2 islands

3  Thank Lorenzo P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2013

The gardens at Isola Bella deserve all the superlatives lavished on them. They are a must-see if you visit the region.
You pay for admission to the palace and the gardens. Whether you wish to linger in the palace is a matter of personal taste, but you have to go through all the rooms to get to the gardens. Therein lies an irritant.
There are no signs in the building directing you to the gardens and, once your entrance ticket has been checked by the surly individual on the door, not a single employee is to be found in any of the rooms. At any one time, there are visitors (like us, not on a guided tour) wandering lost around the rooms. I might add that there are no signs directing you to the palace/gardens from the ferry dock - you turn left.
The gardens can get very busy. The best plan may be to get to Isola Bella as soon as the palace/gardens open. You would rush through to the gardens (if you can find them), while the tour groups are being told more about the rooms than they might possibly want. I am not sure you could then get back into the rooms, if you so wished.
If you plan also to visit Isola Madre (which also gets busy), it may be worth going there first, and perhaps trying to get back to Isola Bella in the relatively quieter lunch period.

1  Thank pgwill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 1, 2013

Much trumpeted, and a bit overpriced methinks. The whole island is occupied by a huge palatial villa and formal gardens with a monstrosity of a stone terraced 'thing' at the far end. Some call it a 'wedding cake'. I call it something else. Not for everyone.

1  Thank Chris C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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