"Isola Bella" Isola Bella Favorite Tip by ettiewyn
Isola Bella Favorites: 7 reviews and 31 photos
Favorite thing: Isola Bella is the island that is closest to the shore, and from Stresa it can be seen very clearly. Until 1630, this island was called Isola Inferiore (the lower island, because it was closer to the shore), but then it caught the attention of the House of Borromeo and Carlo III decided to construct a palace here. He named the island after his wife, Isola Isabella, and the name was later shortened to Isola Bella. After Carlo's death, his sons continued the work. Today it is an island of luxury, with its splendid palace and large baroque gardens. Along the waterfront, there are many souvenir shops, as well as the small harbour. To the north, there is an area close to the palace where you can go for free (you need to pay an admission fee to visit the palace and gardens). This area has some benches and nice trees, and is a good place to sit and have a break, enjoying the views across the lake.
Isola Bella is the most famous of the islands, but I must admit that it was the one I liked the least. One reason for this was that it was very, very crowded. When you leave the boat, there are many tacky souvenir stalls, and during the two hours we stayed there, more and more people arrived. The atmosphere in this part of the island was very commercial. On the other hand, I did not feel very well while we visited here, so this might have influenced my perception and I thought I should add this to be fair.
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