Isola Bella Garden #wanderlust

After the amazing interior of the palace comes the spectacular garden.

The garden is full of flowers and exotic plants of great rarity, which grow thanks to the particularly mild climate of the Borromean Gulf.

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Everything on the island has been designed to create a scenic effect, including the “Theatre” constructed at the end of the superimposed terraces, dominated by a statue of a Unicorn, the heraldic emblem of the Borromeos, which is flanked by statues representing Nature and Art.

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Unfortunately we just didn’t have enough time to explore the garden.

The huge, extraordinary garden is further decorated with ponds, fountains and a plethora of statues dating from the second half of the 17th century.

The white peacocks that wander over the manicured lawns add their grace to this enchanting spot.

I must admit I thought the white peacocks would look more impressive. They looked a bit scruffy.

Adjacent to the palace and the gardens is part of the village which used to occupy the island, with some restaurants and souvenir shops. You can see the shops through the foliage.

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Here’s a little panorama from the front of the palace.

The palace hides its treasures behind a simple looking front.

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Next blog post will be of the two last Borromero islands we visited that day.

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Isola Bella 2 #wanderlust

It’s time to explore the lower level of the castle.

Passing classic sculptures and funny ones.

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On the lower floor of the pallazo you see the cobblestoned shell grottos, embellished with black and white rock and tuff stone chips. Source

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The view is towards the Fisher island.

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The stones on the floor is shiny due to lots of use.

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Another beautiful ceiling.

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The flowers are painted on marble.

The tapestry gallery is beautiful.

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I really wish we’d had more time there. After the tapestry gallery we continue out to the amazing garden. That will be the next blog post.

Isola Bella #wanderlust

The first day in Verbania the guide took us on a small tour around the city. Afterwards we took a water taxi to the Borromero islands. The first island was Isola Bella. We unfortunately had very limited time there since we went with the travel company’s tour of all three islands. We had to rush through the amazing baroque castle and barely had time to check out the garden.

Isola Bella (lit. ‘beautiful island’) is one of the Borromeran Islands of Lago Maggiore in north Italy. The island is situated in the Borromean Gulf 400 metres from the lakeside town of Stresa. Isola Bella is 320 metres long by 400 metres wide and is divided between the Palace, its Italianate garden, and a small fishing village.

Source Wipikedia

The island is a natural treasure made even richer by human intervention; it has always been one of the favourite visitor attractions of Lake Maggiore, not to be missed if you want unparalleled views of the lake and its surroundings. Isola Bella is dominated by its sumptuous Baroque palace, along with a luxuriant Italian-style garden, which reaches a height of 37 metres and is laid out on ten terraces. Many parts of the palace are open to visitors: richly furnished rooms and opulent salons embellished with priceless artworks.

Source Isola Bella

Adjacent to the palace and the gardens is part of the village which used to occupy the island, with some restaurants and souvenir shops.

Everything is gorgeous, especially the ceilings. The pictures are a bit crooked since we were in a hurry.

Hall ceiling.

Aside from the ceilings, there was Murano chandeliers everywhere.

Murano glass is glass made on the Venetian island of Murano, which has specialized in glassware for centuries.

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Agate and other semi precious stones are inlaid in the bureau’s.

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The paintings was almost working as wallpaper.

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In the end of the room there was a bed.

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The craftsmanship is amazing.

There was even a throne with a canopy above.

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The next room was filled with Murano glass.

Then a circular room with a round ceiling.

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The family crest includes a unicorn.

I loved the pink music room’s ceiling.

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View from bedroom.

The island you can see from here is Isola dei Pescatori (meaning Fishermen’s Island).

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.The next blog post will continue in the stone basement. I can’t describe it so you’ll just have to wait for the pictures.

Lago Maggiore #wanderlust

View from the balcony.

Lake Maggiore (literally ‘Greater Lake’) is a large lake located on the south side of the Alps. It is the second largest lake in Italy and the largest in southern Switzerland. The lake and its shoreline are divided between Italy and Switzerland.

Lake Maggiore is 64.37 km (40 mi) long, and 3 to 5 km (2 to 3 mi) wide, except at the bay opening westward between Pallanza and Stresa, where it is 10 km (6 mi) wide. It is the longest Italian lake, although Lake Garda has a greater area. Its mean height above the sea level is 193 metres; a deep lake, its bottom is almost everywhere below sea-level: at its deepest, 179 metres below. Its form is very sinuous, so that there are few points from which any considerable part of its surface can be seen at a single glance. If this lessens the effect of the apparent size, it increases the variety of its scenery. While the upper end is completely alpine in character, the middle region lies between hills of gentler form, and the lower end advances to the verge of the plain of Lombardy.

Source Wipikedia


The climate is mild in both summer and winter, producing Mediterranean vegetation, with many gardens growing rare and exotic plants. Well-known gardens include those of the Borromean islands that we also visited.

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Very old olive tree.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber #wanderlust

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town, a destination for tourists from around the world.

On the way to Italy we had a short stop here. It was the weekend of the Rothenburg in Renaissance and Reformation fair.

It was fun to see all the different costumes.

This poor guy couldn’t go two steps without having his picture taken. Luckily he seemed to enjoy the attention.

It was in the morning we were there, so they were just starting to get ready for the day.

Town hall.

I absolutely love the sundial.

Street corner with small statue.

There was so many gorgeous signs hanging everywhere.

I could have spent much more time than we had to explore everything.

So cute and cosy looking.

After that little adventure we continued on towards Italy.

You can find more info about the tow and sights here Rothenburg ob der Tauber

*Death and the Maiden* #poetry

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His mahogany voice

Full of whiskey
Whispered promises
Of nebulous deeds
Star shattered feelings
In the obscure part
Of my opaque spirit
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Revelry ruptures my placid Hart
Benevolence flees my body
In search of pleasurable pain
To alleviate the empty space
Left in my dying imagination
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Oh how sweet the memory
Of sublime creation
My milky way of artistry
Leaves me with tears of starlight
Filling the river Styx

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On my deathbed
His whispers
Destroy and rebuild me
Fortifying my eternal devotion
To his purpose
To his very essence
The other half of my soul

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©Helle Gade 2018

Oath Forger by Nia Mars @niamars_author

– Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a huge binge reader. If I find an author I like, I will read everything they’ve ever written. I read a book a night. I’m a total insomniac.
– Have you always wanted to become an author?
Yes! LOL As a kid, I used to make up rhymes. I used to hide with books (so I wouldn’t get nabbed for chores), and make up my own stories. They mostly featured princesses, and heavily focused on the ball gowns.
– What was your inspiration for the Oath Forger series?
I ran out of sci-fi romance to read. LOL I wanted something quick and fun, with a kick-ass heroine and guys I could fall in love with. As I thought about it, a story came to life.
– Do you have any quirks while writing?
Not so much of a quirk, but a bad habit. Every time I get stuck with the story, I go and grab a snack. I keep thinking that getting up and walking away from the computer will restart my brain. My desk is by the kitchen door. Not good!!!
– Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?
Write whatever makes you happiest. Be in love with your story. There will be readers who are looking for exactly what you’re looking for. You’re not alone. Put your best ideas out there, and your people will find you.
What are you working on now?
I’m outlining 3 different series. One is sci-fi, in the Oath Forger world. One is dark fantasy. One is contemporary. I love all three. At the moment, I’m worried about the new censorship law in the US. I’m not sure how that will affect romance authors. Will my books be banned because I write love scenes? That I even have to worry about this, is insane.
What are your hopes for the future.
I hope readers will connect to my books. That’s really all I want. I’ve already made a number of online friends who found me because of Oath Forger. The RH community is a wonderful, supportive community. I’m so grateful that I get to be part of it. I hope I’ll get to write more RH stories.
Do you have anything to say to your fans?
A message to readers: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! You are the best. Thank you for reading my books! Thank you for the reviews! Thank you for sharing online. I’m grateful beyond words. Please, please keep reading. And, please, help us authors fight censorship, if you can.
Thank you for taking time to answer all my questions, Nia! 💓
—Thank you so much for interviewing me, Helle!!!

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Review for book 5:

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I’m ashamed to say that I have only reviewed book 5 so far.