Friday, January 21, 2011

Isola Bella, Stresa Italy





Isola Bella is barely a five-minute water taxi-ride from Isola Pescatori. The island is amazingly gorgeous, with its own beautiful charm... No wonder why the late Princess Diana loved holidaying here. Don't expect her posters everywhere here though...

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The jetty where the water taxi dropped us off...
and picked us up in three hours. So, we had three hours to explore the island.


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Right after I disembarked from the taxi, I saw this beautiful view of Isola Pescatori...


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I love this area - the front "lawn" of the Palazzo. It has lots of trees and very windy, too.


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This island is tranquil enough for that solitude, me-moment...


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At high tide, you lose any sense of where the shoreline was!


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As usual, we just nosily ventured into every nook and corner... And as expected, summer offered visitors the best of souvenir stalls and shops.


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And we decided to crown our visit with a tour of the Palazzo Borromeo! The late Princess Diana was said to be a regular overnighting guest here...


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My first impression of this grand mansion was deja vu of my visit to the Palace of Versailles. But unlike Versailles, they were pretty strict about taking photos in this palace... Yet, I still managed to snap a few sneak-peeks ^^


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We ventured on to the inner Borromeo crypt... and witnessed its collection of somewhat ghastly-looking dolls and statuettes.


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This is the grotto, fully lined with sea shells... and this (grotesque!) area led us into the palazzo's garden...


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The staircases on the left and right led us to the grand, main garden...


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The first view, as we stepped into the garden...


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... And an albino peacock suddenly appeared, as if to greet us...


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We had enough time to chill around in this garden, taking in its remarkable view... Given that this was at the height of summer, the lack of visitors meant only one thing: This place is still an untold secret which only very few knew about!


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The Teatro All'aperto, once used to hold plays and parties...


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One of the many allegoric statues...


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Stresa and the mainland can be seen clearly from the higher terrace of the garden...


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Roses... roses.... and more roses.... some of which beautifully creeping up the garden wall...


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Losing our sense of time, we just realized that we had spent almost three hours here... so we had to make a quick exit from the garden and head for the jetty...


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We went through some small alleys enroute to the jetty, and bumped into quite a number of gorgeous cats!


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Salem???


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Lucky for us, the taxi has yet to arrive...


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After our little exploration, we boarded the water taxi, leaving Isola Bella... Overall, the visit was more than worth all the money we spent on it... The island was so amazingly pretty! I wouldn't mind coming back here again in future...


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We reached Stresa town after the 15-minute water taxi ride... Feeling famished, we went searching for a long over-due lunch.


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Choices were aplenty here in Stresa...


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We both had pizza on our mind, so we chose Cafe Torino, although there seemed to be a crowd - which could only mean they serve good food!


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Seafood pizza for me, while Mr Cafe Elysium opted for vegetarian... How's the pizza? Hey, this is Italy... of course it was awesome!


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Local Stresa coffee... so yummy!


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After the fantastic meal, we did some shopping around town and it so occupied my mind, I forgot to snap much pictures!


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Finally, and reluctantly, we left Stresa town and walked to its train station. Believe it or not, it was already 8 PM! I didn't realize it was already "night", since in summer months, the sky is day bright even at 8 PM! We had to catch the last train at 9 PM, and there were only a few passengers taking the same train... While passing by the other stations, they were mostly deserted! Oh well, maybe Italians were busy having their dinner ;)


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It has been such a tiring day in Stresa! We reached Milan at almost 10 PM... but such a great exploration demands that I visit Stresa again one day!

9 comments:

Rajasthantraveling said...

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myoliza said...

wow..cantiknyerr, tenang dan mendamaikan.for sure u enjoy the places,kan

Anonymous said...

cantiknya....pandai ko amik gambar..

Aan Andes said...

Wahdi, so immaculate! I'm scrolling with awe!

Love love love all pictures! Espc the #2, then first view when u stepped in the garden. OMG..MasyaAllah..cantik sangat. And the seashells museum, wow..what a hardwork hehe. And the sparkling blue water...

Cantiknya..

Beautiful place with beautiful pictures!

wahdi said...

Myoliza- Kann tenang jer!
Aandes- thnx! kan? tempat tu sgt2cantik!

zafi said...

Nice!!! I am planning my trip this March to Spain n Italy... where do you stay in here Bro?

Nilcha said...

im reading this post with romantic songs in the background.. ah the place is just perrrrfect!
so, did u buy that 'cute' cooking apron? :P

wahdi said...

Zafi- kan! We actually went to Stresa on day trip, we stay in Milan bro.

Nil- ahah awesome! no, I didn't! that's too notti for me! :P

zafi said...

Great2.. where about in Milan? hotel or friend's place? Milan Rome in the list as well.. :D serious.. cantik sungguh!!! I hope I can finish my task earlier than this... Will visit my friend in Paris first.. Do you mind sharing some info about this place bro?

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