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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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.

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