Lago Maggiore Things to Do

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    by Manara
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    View Near the Landing Dock
    by riorich55
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    by riorich55

Most Recent Things to Do in Lago Maggiore

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    Isola Madre - The Largest of the 3 Islands

    by riorich55 Written Mar 25, 2013
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    After we paid for our boat rides and tickets for entrance to Isola Madre and Isola Bella we hoped on board our boat for the short 5 minute hop over to our first island Isola Madre. The day started out nice and clear with the temperatures in the upper 60's so it was just an absolute gorgeous May day to visit.

    "Isola Madre, at 220 m wide and 330 m long, is the largest island of the Isole Borromee archipelago which falls within the Italian part of the Alpine Lake Maggiore, in the Province of Verbano Cusio Ossola, Piedmont." On the island are a number of buildings and other structures, but what you will find enchanting about the island are the gardens and the beautiful birds.

    The Borromeo family started construction of the family residence on the island in the 1500's and you can tour various parts of the home.

    You can wander all throughout the island and with the package we purchased can stay as long or as short as you would like. When you are finished with this tour you go to the boat dock and await your companies boat (there are several companies that run from island to island, so you will make note of the companies name when you board the first time in Stresa.

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    Sights while driving around Lake Maggiore

    by angiebabe Written Nov 20, 2011

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    There are so many things to do and see around the Lake Maggiore you could easily spend a week or two here if you were really keen!

    There are good roads right around the entire lake but there are also ferries that provide transportation criss crossing up and down the lake.

    I drove up to Lugano and back to Lake Como enjoying the sights along the way and did my best to get tips from guide books to see a few things.
    There are great views from the hills above and you will see many villages way up high that you can drive to - for example when I was trying to find the waterfall and gorge of Orrido di Sant Anna near Cannobio - many places are signposted but it is better to have a good road map for Italy such as the Michelin series that show viewpoint routes and points of interest.

    There are numerous stopping places as you drive around the lakeside to enhance your journey - villages with cafes and promenades to walk or take a seat and admire the view and people watch. Stunning sunsets also to take opportunities of and many beautiful homes and huge villas to impress you.

    Up on the western coast is the popular resort town of Stresa with villas and gardens and a cable car up to Monte Mottarone for panoramic views - and being the terminus for trips to the islands that are here in Lake Maggiore:

    The Borromean islands include Isola Bella home to 17th century Palazzo Borromeo, Isola Madre mainly being botanic gardens and San giovanni which has a villa once home to conductor Toscanini

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    Isola Bella

    by musti72 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Isola Bella

    Isola Bella is a beautiful small rocky island in Lake Maggiore wholly occupied by the Borromeo villa and its garden extravaganza.
    Already in the 18th century it was seen as one of the world marvels.

    Following the baroque taste for placing a villa at the centre of a layout and allowing avenues to draw the scenery into a garden, Isola Bella employs the lake and mountains as garden features. Local legend relates that the ladies of Borromeo’s household asked the Count to build on the island so that they would not have to listen to prisoners screaming in the dungeons of his mainland castle.

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    Botanical Gardens at the Lage Maggiore

    by Roeffie Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Villa Taranto

    Villa Taranto

    Beautiful Botanic Gardens at Lago Maggiore. These gardens were originally made by a Scotsman named Neil Boyd McEacharn.
    There are several different gardens each with an own athmosphere.

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    Isola Madre - 5

    by Manara Updated May 16, 2010

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    The only house on this island is the Palazzo, built by the Borromeo family of course. Its architect was Pellegrino Tibaldi, and the work started in 1585.
    The palace has two main entrances, the one I show in my second picture is called Kashmir entrance, because of the big tree in front of it. It is a Kashmir cypress (Cupressus Cashmeriana) from the Himalaya. Now this tree is not as strong and beautiful as it used to be, because it was seriously damaged by a whirlwind in the summer of 2006.

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    Isola Madre - 4

    by Manara Updated May 18, 2007

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    Among the birds you will meet here, the ones that will get more noticed are certainly the peacocks. After all, their mission in life is being beautiful, and making sure that everybody notices. You will find normal peacocks and also white ones. If you want to take pictures, you can rely on the collaboration of these birds: they will be happy to pose.

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    Isola Madre - 3

    by Manara Updated May 18, 2007

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    A Chinese pheasant
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    Those who created this garden had a taste for the exhotic not only with regard to plants, but also with birds. For me "The Little Blue Bird" was the title of a play, because I had never seen a blue bird before coming here. In this island I have also met for the first time a Chinese pheasant.

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    Isola Madre -2

    by Manara Updated May 18, 2007

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    If you have a cold, I recommend to postpone a visit to this island to when you feel better, because if your sense of smell is impaired you will miss part of the pleasure. The colours and the scents you will find will depend of course from the time of the year. If you visit the park in springtime, you will be able to enjoy the wisterias: follow the directions to these steps to find them.

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    Isola Madre - 1

    by Manara Updated May 18, 2007

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    The island is a private property and visitors must pay a fee. It is possible to buy a combined ticket that includes visits to the park and the palace of the Isola Bella as well as the visit to the park and palace of Isola Madre. Travellers who do not want to visit the island, and just make a stop here to take a few pictures of the lake, will find that the only place which is accessible without a ticket is a short lane leading to a cafe. Even this, however, is worthwhile, because the view is stunning.

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  • Cannero Riviera: take a walk beside the lake

    by MariaK Updated Jul 19, 2006

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    Cannero Riviera from above
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    We came to the village by car, and after we reached the lake bank, the road came to a dead end. So, we walked to the nice park that followed. Picturesque area which we the adults and our 2 years old son enjoyed equally, for different reasons - we loved the view and he loved the fact that he could walk and run around freely (no cars around) and the playground. :)

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    Angera

    by Aurorae Written Jan 5, 2005

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    Very near Santa Catarina del Sasso monastery, there is a lovely town of Angera, famous for its castle Rocca Borromeo, a medieval castle from 13th century, built on a hill overlooking the lake. Around it there are some farms with ponnies and other animals it looks very rural and domestic, so warm and ancient, it gives a unique feeling... something I thought was impossible to find in Lombardia!

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    Isola Bella palace

    by Aurorae Written Dec 4, 2004

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    Isola Bella by Jelena

    There is this palace at Isola Bella which is in front of the lovely yard reaching out the lake, where the trees grow out of the water and there are some docks. The palace behind is accessible all the year round, unlike the beautiful gardens on the other side of the island (pity!)

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    cats

    by Aurorae Written Dec 4, 2004

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    Isola Bella by Jelena

    On the islands Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori there is a huge population of CATS! They are the true masters of the islands. They are protected there, kind of saint animals, and people leave them food, water and sand vessels on every step. You can find them in a great number on the windows, trees, in front of the door, behind every corner! You feel like inferior species in the Felineland! But they are so gracious and beautiful, and cute! :)

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    Isola Superiore dei Pescatori

    by Aurorae Written Dec 4, 2004

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    Isola Pescatori by Jelena

    Another wonderful island belonging to Isole Borromee, the next stop of the boat after Isola Bella. It's a fishermen's island and it's full of little narrow streets with lake view of course, fishermen's nets and cute cafes and restaurants. In the winter there are mostly works undergoing around entire island, and there is not more than 10-15 people permanently living there. In the summer it's a completely different story! :)

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    Isola Bella

    by Aurorae Written Dec 4, 2004

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    Isola Bella

    It's the first island the boat stops at leaving from Stresa, as it's the closest. In my opinion, it's the most beautiful! There is a huge villa with incredible park that is open only from mid March to October, so if you want to visit the exquisite gardens, keep that in mind. Out of season most of the facilities will be closed, but still it's extremely beautiful to see and look around!

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Lago Maggiore Things to Do

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