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This was our day to take the boat to 3 of the islands in Lago Maggiore.  We were blessed with the perfect weather. Blue blue skies and crystal clear water.

Lake Maggiore is a large lake located on the south side of the Alps.  It is the second largest lake in Italy  The lake and its shoreline are divided between Piedmont and Lombardy region and the largest lake of the canton of Ticino, Switzerland.


Firstly we cruised out to Isola Madre where we stayed for about 2 hours. We paid to visit the gardens and the palace which were well worth every cent. I have been to many palaces in Italy over the years but I am always impressed by the size of the rooms, the paintings, the frescos, the artwork and the beauty.

Isola Madre is part of the Borromean archipelago and home to an exotic garden of plants, birds and flowers, this magical island is considered a botanical garden on water.  These botanical gardens are beautifully designed. Isola Madre is all gardens so you must pay to enter the gardens and the villa.

Isolo Madre is a beautiful island  with  a XVI Century palace, Borromea, which is surrounded by an enchanting English style garden. You will also see white and standard peacocks everywhere in these gardens.  We enjoyed exploring this  stunning palace with its unique  theatre rooms with  old classic marionettes, which are set out on stages with special effects

We stopped for coffee at this lovely outdoor café before hopping back on to the boat and heading over to Isola dei Pescatori.

Isola dei Pescatori (island of the fishermen) was such a lovely surprise to me as I was not expecting it to be just so beautiful. There are lots of restaurants and great shopping.  It is the only one to be inhabited all year round. Unlike Isola Bella and Isola Madre, the island no longer belongs to the Borromeo.  While the traditional occupation of fishing still exists—local restaurants providing a ready market for the fish—tourism has become central to the economic life of the island as its picturesque charms have made Isola dei Pescatori a popular destination, particularly for day-trippers, but also for more extended visits. In addition to the hotel(s), restaurants and gift-shops, there are boutiques selling craft products.

We stopped for lunch at this lovely restaurant on the lake’s edge.

This lovely old tree on Isola dei Pescatori is a 200-year-old wisteria.

200yr old wisteria

After a couple of wonderful hours on this gorgeous island, one could easily spend much more time here, we hopped back on to a boat and headed for Isola Bella.

Isola Bella is one of the three magical islands on Lake Maggiore and possibly the most popular.  Isola Bella charms visitors with its magnificent Baroque palace and terraced gardens that slope to the lake.


The belle epoc palace is one thing but the over-the-top gardens are just stunning.  I loved everything about the gardens and have visited a couple of times over the years. The setting, the flowers, the designs and the views come together to make a uniquely beautiful garden


After another couple of amazing hours on this lovely island we hopped back on to the boat and made our way back to Stresa feeling very happy after One Perfect Day.

All three of these islands deserve their own stories which I will do one day.