Lake Maggiore is amazes with its nature, and the verdant island of Borromeo attracts more and more travelers. Translated from the Italian "Lago Maggiore" means "Big Lake", and this has an excellent confirmation - the lake is not only located on the border of Switzerland and Italy, but also belongs to two Italian regions - Lombardy and Piedmont.
Travellizy Team tells you how to get to Lake Maggiore and what to see on the Borromean Islands.
How to get to Lake Maggiore in Italy
For the beginning, let's fly to Milan, and Travellizy will take care of the most advantageous fares.
If you travel from Milan to Stresa, it is convenient to go by regional train. The ticket price starts from € 8.60, and just in 1-1.5 hours, you will already enjoy the panorama of a huge lake. Check the schedule and ticket prices on the website.
At the exit from the railway station, you will find a signpost. You need to follow the direction of Navigazione Lago Maggiore - you will begin your boat trip to the islands of Lake Maggiore from here.
What to see on Lake Maggiore
One of the main attractions of Lake Maggiore are the Borromeo Islands - Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola Superiore (also called Isola Pescatori). On the island of Isola Bella, there is a large baroque palace, which houses priceless works of art, as well as a stunning garden with terraces. Isola Pescatori is a typical fishing village with picturesque streets and a special atmosphere. On the island of Isola Madre, the largest of the Borromeo Islands, there is a palace with a unique collection of dolls and puppet theaters of the 18th century, which is surrounded by a magnificent park.
We recommend you to prepare for the trip in advance and select the islands or towns to visit, as the cost of travel by boat depends on it. There are such types of tickets for moving around Lake Maggiore: “one way” without stopping, “one way” with one intermediate stop or no-limit ticket for 1 day. Ticket prices start from € 2.30 for and up to € 30.10 for a day pass, you can find out the exact price using the special table on the website.
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The distance between the islands is small, but the boats go not so often and at different intervals, so it is better to plan in advance based on their schedule.
What to see on the Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore
Isola Madre Island is the largest of the three islands, which occupies 7.8 hectares and is located right in the middle of the Borromeo Gulf. Despite the large territory, the island is not inhabited, and its main part is occupied by luxurious gardens, and one of the oldest botanical gardens in Italy is located right here.
The second largest island is Isola Bella, almost all of its territory is occupied by the Baroque palace of the Palazzo Borromeo and a huge park with terraces, statues, fountains and an incredible panorama of Lake Maggiore. Most of the castle is open to the public, so you can stroll through its grand halls and elegant rooms that are decorated with works of art. Thanks to the particularly mild climate of the Borromeo Gulf, you can see exotic plants and flowers in the park. At the foot of the Palazzo Borromeo, there is a small village with restaurants and local shops.
In 2019, Isola Bella and Isola Madre are available to public from March 22 to October 20 every day from 9:00 to 17:30. The cost of admission to the Palace and Garden at Isola Bella is € 17 for an adult and 9 a child (6-15 years old). A ticket to Isola Madre is € 13.50 for an adult and € 7 for a child. There is also a combination ticket (Isola Bella + Isola Madre) - € 24 for an adult, and a children's ticket is € 10.50. Admission is free for children under 6 years old. Ferry tickets to the islands are not included in this price.
Isola Superiore, also known as Isola dei Pescatori, is the most picturesque and the only Borromean island where residents live all year round. The peculiarity of local houses is the long balconies, as they are necessary for drying fish. Fishing is still very popular here, so the island is also called Fisher Island. This is the perfect place to try the freshest, freshly caught fish in one of the fish restaurants overlooking Lake Maggiore, so we recommend planning a visit to Isola Superior for lunchtime.
Another unusual attraction on Lake Maggiore is a monastery in the rock of Santa Caterina del Sasso. The entrance ticket costs € 5, and you can visit it every day from 9:30 to 19:30 (except for special religious days).
Travellizy Team hopes, that on Lake Maggiore, you are going to receive impressions, which will surpass even the wildest expectations. We wish you a wonderful holiday! Don't forget to bring along a camera and a removable flash drive.