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“Where the White Peacock Play”
Review of Isola Bella

Isola Bella
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$17.89*
and up
Borromean Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Ferry 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 August 28, 2013

This Island was beautiful. The Palazzo offered fantastic views across Lake Maggoire as well as the Island's beautiful gardens. As for walking in the gardens it was a real delight. Manicured lawns, wonderful gardens, statues, and ponds. Then there is the resident white peacocks, what a sight. Just loved this place.

Thank JeneneThurecht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"borromeo family"
in 23 reviews
"beautiful island"
in 26 reviews
"over the top"
in 14 reviews
"borromeo palace"
in 12 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 10 reviews
"boat trip"
in 15 reviews
"audio guide"
in 10 reviews
"three islands"
in 15 reviews
"white peacock"
in 9 reviews
"borromean islands"
in 17 reviews
"formal gardens"
in 8 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 7 reviews
"water taxi"
in 6 reviews
"spectacular gardens"
in 5 reviews
"throne room"
in 5 reviews
"italian garden"
in 5 reviews
"gelato"
in 7 reviews
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339 - 343 of 1,268 reviews

Reviewed August 27, 2013

After a simple five-minute ferry ride from Stresa on the public Navigazione Lago Maggiore (3 Euros per adult) ferry we paid 14 Euros each to visit and tour the magnificent Palazzo of the Borromean princely family, who not only still reside there on occasion but own Isola Bella and two other islands (Isola Madre and Isola Superiore/Pescatore) as well. Their illusterious forebears include not only two Archbishops of Milan but also St Charles Borromeo! But back to the Palace. It sprawls over many levels, but it's an easy "do it yourself" tour because the many helpful explanatory descriptions are in English, Italian, French and German. For an additional 14 Euros you can also visit their staggering collection of Renaissance art, but there is so much other art on the Palace walls that I'd recommend you give it a miss unless you're seriously in to art. The Palace includes the bed in which Napoleon and Josephine slept and a magnificent table given to a Borromean forebear by Pope Leo XII. The rooms are presented in sequential order and the tour you do on your own is easy and interesting, affording also magnificent views over the Lake. The grounds and the landscaping have to be seen to be believed, and there is a tasteful bookshop offering souvenirs and a Tower cafe with very helpful and welcoming staff in the palace grounds before you exit.

2  Thank mccorquinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

It was some 50 years since I last visited this beautiful island and it lived up to my youthful recollections, indeed the only change was that when I came before you did not have to follow a single route so I can clearly recall escaping from the heat of the gardens into the coolness of the glorious palace rooms, something no longer possible as once you leave the palace part of the visit you can no longer return. I found it is still possible to view the gardens and get stunning pictures with no-one else about. To do this arrive on the first boat, turn left once disembarked and walk smartly along the path to the official buildings, which mark the entrance. Many of your fellow travellers will have turned right and will be caught up in the shops and restaurants giving you a head start. The palazzo is lovely but if seeing the gardens in something approaching solitude is your aim then proceed fairly fast through it to achieve your reward.

1  Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We took a boat trip from Stresa on the Lake Maggiore to the Borromean Island of Isola Bella. It is here that you can visit the beautiful palace and really unusual gardens.
On entering the palace one is impressed by the height of the main rooms and the beautiful plaster work on the walls and ceilings. The Venetian glass chandeliers look resplendent in such a place. We toured the building without a guide which enabled us to look at specific items at leisure. There were lovely paintings, clocks, four poster bed, tapestries etc. On the lower floors there were toys and Marionettes and then further down there were grottos which looked to be made of shells but were in fact man made.
Outside the gardens were exquisite. On entering the garden there was an enormous cinnamon tree. We then walked to the centre piece of tiered gardens. Looking down one could see the beautiful formal gardens laid out with box hedges and surrounded by lily ponds. Throughout the gardens there were some wonderful sculptures.
The setting on an island made this place very special as there were lake views all around.
On our return to the boat there were some tourist shops for souvenirs but we bypassed them!

1  Thank walkingwizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 14, 2013

Nice to walk around the palazzo, but the gardens are the real gem. Beautiful, unusual and huge shell fountain in the garden. Lovely to see the white peacocks too. You've got to visit Isola Bella when you are in Lake Maggiore. Nice little cafes and restaurants on the island too. And if you want to take some touristy souvenirs home, this is the place to get them.

1  Thank KateLondon_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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