Monday, June 18, 2018

Bumba's GREAT Suggestion to Visit Lago Maggiore


Monday, 18 June, 2018

Last night at dinner, Coach Bumba asked if we had visited Lago Maggiore yet.

Our answer was that we had indeed taken the train from Venegono Inferiore to the Lago Maggiore village of Leveno.

His response was that we simply HAD to visit Lago Maggiore's Borromean Islands before we returned to California.

So, wasting no time, today we did.

We drove about an hour to the northwest of Venegono Superiore to the Lago Maggiore city of Stresa.

The view from Stresa's
Lago Maggiore harbor

Over there was our first goal,
Isola Bella

There was only one way to get to Isola Bella, named after Isabella who was the wife of Carlo Borromeo III when the 17th-century villa when was built, and where we were going.

The villa in question is the Palazzo Borromeo, a quaint, austere little home that takes up almost an entire island. 

But how to get there?

 Well by boat of course!

We left the mainland behind as
we ventured to Isola Bella

The Gardens at the rear
of the Palazzo grounds

Docking at Isola Bella

Happy to announce that neither one of us got seasick on the five minute island hop.

In case we needed to sail off
on our own at any point

Laurie, is that a church?

Replica weapons of
Medieval Destruction

Authentic Weapons of
Camarillo, California Child Control

We bought some cool
coffee spoons here

 Interesting but we were saving
ourselves for lunch later on
Isola Superiore dei Pescatori

The ristoranti on this small island were highly touted by both Bumba and my Lonely Planet guidebook.

I'm sure these shops were not
on Isola Bella back in the
17th-century

We entered Isola Bella's only church.

 One of the many Borromeos
is buried here in the church

Is this the final resting place for
Alexander Dumas' Man in the Iron Mask?

 Instead of a sail boat, we could
highjack this speedier craft

Or they could . . .

Happy to be alive in ITALIA!

Trees sucking in the
Lago's magical waters

I could get used to this view

Maybe the view could get used to me too

It was time to enter Isola Bella's main attraction, the Palazzo Borromeo.

We were greeted by weaponry

And also by San Rocco and his
plague related leg wound

 The Palazzo's Grand Staircase
was, well, GRAND!

The lower end of the long
Grand Staircase banister . . .

. . . and the top end

Who is that mysterious man?

I said earlier that this Palazzo was
". . . a quaint, austere little home . . ."

I'm beginning to think that I might have been wrong about that.

A Camino de Santiago Peregrino!

Italians at War

 Moses wishing GPS had been invented
when he was lost in the desert

The Borromeo family
loves desks . . .

. . . Ornate desks

It's GOOD to be the King!

Not quaint at all!

Well over 130 amazing paintings from the vast Borromeo collection are on display throughout the first floor.

A Donna

 Laurie liked this BVM painting

The Martyrdom of St. Agnes

Prosecco Time gone WILD!

 Does it hurt when I touch here?

What is he doing?

Helping to hold up another
ornate Borromeo desk

Who let him into the Palazzo?

The Throne Room

Another view of the Throne Room

We have a Throne Room in Camarillo but it serves an entirely different purpose.

Nice Dinner Set

Humitas maybe?

 The Ball Room

 We need a modest area to dance
at the Villa Skorpion

 Laurie fit in with the Ball Room nicely

Lunch is on that island!

 A simple piano of course
for the Borromeo family

 And yet another ornate desk

Napoleon slept here

I just liked it

That riding saddle does not
look too comfortable to me

Laurie is going to try to do this
to our living room when we get
back to Camarillo

A simple table

Not sure what the purpose
of this room is other than to
awe visitors

Great wall decorations

 Laurie liked this chandelier

"Bring out your dead . . ."

Creepy kids toys

MAMMA MIA!

Totally different architecture now
  
Mirth

The modest Tack Room
  
A good palazzo must have
GREAT tapestries!

This lion looks sick

These lions do not!

Maybe this is why you don't see unicorns anymore?

Score one for the unicorn!

 Weird looking animals

 Lots of details are woven into
these tapestries

 The garden was something
to behold too

 Lots of peacocks

Lots of statues

 Laurie blending in

Great view of Lago Maggiore
   
Amazing gardens 

 Amazing gardeners

 Breathtaking

A comfy chair I'm sure

There was indeed a frog
in this lily pond

The Palazzo Borromeo was incredible and well worth the price of admission.

We now boarded another boat for the short ride to Isola Superiore dei Pescatori for lunch. 

The boat ride was smooth

Lonely Plane highly recommended
the Belvedere for lunch 

The Belvedere offered
great views . . .

. . . Great wine . . .

. . . and great food!

La Dolce Vita!

We boarded yet another boat to take us back to Stresa but we still wanted to explore this village a bit before heading home.
  
We sat and read here for a few minutes

The Grand Hotel des Iles Bornoyées
was built in 1862

Ernest Hemingway checked in here after WWI to nurse some battle scars. He also wrote his anti-war novel A Farewell to Arms while in residence. 

A Tribute to the mountain fighting
Alpini Soldiers

Honoring Stresa's WWII fallen

A vintage Fiat 500
with a picnic basket/luggage

Getting married on Lago Maggiore

I highly recommend it!

It was truly another fabulous day living in Italia!

Grazie Bumba!