Travels in Italy: Lombardy – Isola Isabella & Isola Madre on Lake Maggiore (May 27, 2015)

Isola Bella

Map of the Lombardy region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Maps

Map of the Lombardy region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Maps

The Isola Isabella (Isabelle Island) is home to a few wonders. The Borromeo family built a Baroque and Neoclassical palace that took 150 years to complete. Inside there are several paintings and sculptures that the family collected. Also, it is said that Napoleon and his entourage once stayed at the palace for one night but left the rooms in a disorganized state.

On the bottommost level, there is a grotto made of volcanic rock from Pompeii and several pebbles from the local surroundings. The grotto is dedicated to the Lady Isabella Borromeo and houses a sleeping Venus statue as well as several artifacts.

Isola Bella

Isola Bella

The sculpture garden at the back of the palace is built on several layers of stone with twisting vines. It also is home to several white peacocks and peahens that shrill indignantly when one walks close by. Continue reading

Travels in Italy: Lombardy – Lake Como & Lake Maggiore (May 26-27, 2015)

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Map of the Lombardy region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Maps

Map of the Lombardy region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Maps

Lake Como is a resort area for the ritzy and trendy peoples of the world. At Lake Como, our tour director arranged a private boat to give us a tour of the lake. One can see the villas of famous celebrities, including the Queen of England, George Clooney, etc. It is a pleasant experience for those who enjoy learning of the private lives of famous people.

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The town of Lake Como is a small, touristy place that had its usual shops and a Gothic-style church. We only had a couple of hours to wander around.

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We resided in the resort area nearby Lake Maggiore at Grand Hotel Dino for two nights (while we visited Lake Como and the nearby Isola Isabella and Isola Madre). Unfortunately a lot of the shops in the nearby area close early, so it was difficult to do any grocery or souvenir shopping.

Italy