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

Botanical Garden at Cascate del Varone

The climb up to the Upper Cave is not just a passageway between the two caves, but a path with numerous interesting features. 

115 steps will lead you to a path climbing up in a series of hairpin bends and surrounded by the flowers and plant beds of the Botanical Garden, recently built.

This walkway is also part of the work that was carried out to enable visitors to see the waterfall; in the past you had to make your way uphill through prickly thorns and scrubland. 

The area around the Varone waterfall, part of the Lower Sarca Valley, has its own microclimate that allows a luxuriant and rare vegetation to grow:

Plants typical of the Mediterranean area stand alongside trees which are generally found only up in the mountains

Palm trees, yuccas, loquats, cypresses, oleanders, hortensias and olive trees together with oaks, wild laurel, pines and larches: 

Looking around is like leafing through a book on botan

Gorgeous Hibiscus

Cascata del Varone in Italy 2017

Cascata del Varone

Text is from the official webpage. You can find out more here: Cascata del Varone

Cascate del Varone

Cave Varone and its waterfall are a rare geological phenomenon.


The falls has a height of almost 100 metres, and is sourced from the river Margnone, which runs beneath the valley of Ravizze and down to Lake Garda.

Starting at the bottom wiew point.

Making our way up to the top wiew point.

Its waters are fed by underground leakage from Lake Tenno into the mountain that then forms the waterfall. 

I could only use my mobile phone camera in there. It was like standing in the rain.

You can find more information about the geology and history of the waterfall here: Cascata del Varone 
(Text from waterfall website and Wikipedia)