Getting through to the lakes!
Lake Maggiore Travel Blog› entry 1 of 19 › view all entries
When you have such a beautiful country with such a beautiful sceneries and such old and marvellous monuments, investing money in infraestructures is a secondary matter.
I am, of course, kidding, but if you´re going to drive there you must notice some details: you have to pay for all highways, and free main roads are narrow and full of trucks which slow your way.
This first day we have to manage with all those inconveniences, and with the troubles of the road signs and their tiny and piled up lines. We had a begining quite discouraging as we where trapped in traffic jams after jam. But finally we made it and reached this beautiful scenery you can see at the pictures.
Our plan was to reach Lake Maggiore and follow west shore until verbania. There we changed the car for a boat trip to Borromei Islands, three jewels within the lake.
There are three islands inside Lake Maggiore: Isola Bella, Pescatori and Madre (Beauty, Fishermen and Mother Island, respectively) and you can find boat trips along the coast with different times. I strongly recomend you to take the official boats, that works as regular "buses" with fixed times and reasonable prices. You can hop in and off every time you want in each island, and you don´t have to wait long for next boat.
Our first stop was Bella, home of the luxury Borromeo Palace. The palace and its garden is big enough to cover the whole island, and the space between the two structures is covered by bunches of coloured houses piled up which we were going to see in many other places.
In Bella Island you can have a short walk around these tiny town and have a beer or a souvenir in the many bars and shops. In case you feel like visiting the palace, there is a combined ticket for both palace and gardens for (if I´m not wrong) more or less 10 euros. It worth it. Inside the palace you can see a incredible collection of sculptures and lovely paintings, as well as an amazing collection of old-fashioned puppets (incredible), plus the curious "sea-like rooms": five rooms decorated with shells and pebbles in a marvellous way.
The garden... well, take a look at the pictures...
Isola Pescatori is a free walk through narrow streets fulled with souvenirs shops. It has some good nooks for a snap or a beer. I will reccomend it for having a snack or lunch.
The third one, Madre, is a trap. The only free part of the island is a corridor that leads you to a crappy bar. It has also the mandatory souvenir shop but both shop and restaurante seemed bad for me. The rest of the island is a botanical garden you have to pay to visit. It seems to be very nice but we didn´t want to enter. So, if you don´t want to pay, don´t even think in going to this island!
After the trip to the islands, we went back to the car and went to Intra, where we take the ferry to laveno, east part of the lake. Then we headed to our next destination: Lake Como!