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Shops will be one of the very first things you will see when you go to the Isole Borromee - in fact stalls who sell tourist tad, all along the waterfront on Isola Bella. If you desire any souvenir with any connection to Italy, you will probably find it here, along with overpriced postcards, fridge magnets, t-shirts, bags, mugs and whatever of Lago Maggiore.
You will find similar stalls along the main lakefront of Isola Pescatori, but this time with a catholic touch, there are several stalls selling little statues of the Virgin Mary, crucifixes, little angels and so on. On Isola Pescatori, there are also a few shops in the middle of the village where you get when walking through the alleys. Some of them were much prettier than the stalls at the lakefront. While they still sell all the souvenirs, they also had some nice pottery on offer, and the prices of the souvenirs were a little smaller than at other places. I bought a fridge magnet there for 3,00€ and had seen exactly the same for 3,50€ earlier at the water fronts of both Isola Bella and Isola Pescatori.
Along the waterfront, there is also a small market with stalls selling clothing.
You won't find any stalls on Isola Madre as this island is privately owned and much more elegant and classy. There is only one souvenir shop there, the official shop of the palace, and it is much more expensive. I bought a picture book about the two palaces there for 6,90€ which was rather expensive, and they have many more pricey souvenirs, which are of better quality, though, and looked quite pretty and were held in an elegant style as befitting to the palaces.
The shop on Isola Bella is located in the small courtyard close to the entrance to the palace, in a small building adjacent to the church. Just follow the signs. As you can see in the picture, it looks rather nice!
Updated Aug 10, 2012
There is a small street with an open market and cosy shops selling local craft and souvenirs. As Isola Bella is a very small piece of land, you will not miss this street for sure and be able to buy things for your unforgettable memories from the island.
Written Dec 19, 2005