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5 of 5 bubbles Review of Isola Bella

Isola Bella
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Borromean Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Ferry Tour from Stresa
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Attraction details
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.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
78 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

The Beautiful Island and it IS! Spectacular gardens, great murals and Napoleon stayed here. And the grotto, I've never seen anything like it...Wow! Mosaics, architecture, tapestries romance and the history! Will definitely be coming back here. Plan an all day trip if seeing all 3 islands and take a private boat. It's about 80 euros and so worth it. This is a must see!!!

Visited June 2013
Thank Vanessa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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966 reviews from our community

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Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“great place! beautiful...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2013

the palace & gardens are amazing! we walked around the island for a few hours, it was great! little shops with arts and jewellery.. though you should go to the fisherman island for lunch- better restaurants for sure!

Visited August 2013
Thank Namz88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Where the White Peacock Play”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited July 2013
Thank JeneneThurecht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
747 reviews
367 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 422 helpful votes
“How could anything so beautiful have been built like this?”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank mccorquinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“As fine as I remembered”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

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

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