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OMG You have to do this. Isola Bella is stunning and Isola Pescatore for lunch is a treat. totally worth it.
The day trip to Lake Maggiore was wonderful! Antonella, our tour guide, was great. She was very pleasant and knowledgable. She was very organized and kept the tour running smoothly. We had an absolutely wonderful day. I would definitely book another tour with Viator.
Had a stellar day - best tour guide of our entire week. We lucked out with beautiful weather and a small group less than 20 in mid-April. Stresa is beautiful. We loved seeing all the hotels from the art deco period. I think Stresa is better than Como, but that is just me. Boat ride was perfect, castle tour and gardens were lovely, lunch was scrumptious go with the guide's waterfront suggestion if you can. There are a lot of cheaper, smaller spots as well where you can just get a slice of pizza and find a nice lakeside bench, too. The return drive took a different route so you got to see more of the lake and beautiful mansions on the lakeside. This tour was the best value for the price of everything we did - felt very first class.
My husband and I had a wonderful time on this trip. It was a packed day, leaving promptly from Milan for Lake Maggiore. Our first stop was Isola Bella for a tour of the amazing Borromean Palace and gardens. It was really beautiful, despite the overcast weather. The peacocks were a big delight. We had lunch on a nearby island Fisherman's Island and it was fairly crowded for the holiday weekend. We managed to get a good table on the water to enjoy our lunch. Then we were back on the mainland for some strolling in Stressa before getting back on the bus for Milan. Our tour guide Carlos was wonderful! He was a great source of information and truly loved the area.
The weather was dismal, raining like cats and dogs as we left Milan however, Carlos, our guide, was very positive, saying that we need only to venture into the rain to walk through the gardens of the Palace Borromeo, which, even when raining, is worth doing.
How right he was! The one and a half hour bus trip up to Lago Maggiore was a wonderful expose' of the history of Lombardy, narrated, of course, by Carlos, whose knowledge was amazing. The driver was excellent, as well, especially in the very slippery conditions.
Once we arrived at Stressa, Lake Maggiore still raining, we quickly got on to our boat and headed out into the lake to Isole Bella we had a fascinating tour of the Castle Borromeo, where our guide, Emmanuela, took us through this amazing place. She, like Carlos, was absolutely brilliant with her knowledge of the castle and Borromeo family. This tour lasted about an hour and covered the bottom two floors of the Castle - and caves underneath - because the family still use the upper floors. So, these are, of course, out of bounds. We were then able to venture out into the gardens and walk around the stunning gardens - huge lemons, grapefruit and ancient azaleas and other trees - for about an hour. In the rain! But - totally beautiful!
We then went back to our boat and went across to Fishermans' Island Isole Pescetore for lunch, at a family owned restaurant that Carlos had recommended and booked for our group. On the way over to the island we took a vote and decided to have a two hour lunch rather than one because of the weather! What a wonderful experience lunch was and not at all expensive the quality of the fresh lake fish offered was amazing and enjoyed by all who partook.
After lunch we returned to Stressa for an hour of free time. Due to the weather still raining, most of us found a wine bar or cafe and chilled out until our bus arrived and we started back to Milan.
My wife, Susan, and I cannot speak highly enough of Carlos and Emmanuela and the tour company, Zani Viaggi. We highly recommend this trip. If you can do it on a sunny day it will be a fantastic experience, if not a sunny day, it is still worthwhile on a wet one.
Travelling Trio Australia
We are a family of 2 adults and our 11 year old son who love visiting Italy and immersing ourselves in its beauty. This tour was always on our wish list so on our visit to Milan, we decided to book this tour before we left.
We did the tour on 2nd October 2016. Our driver was Domenico, our Guide was Carlo and again the tour company was Zanni Viaggi.
We caught a small ferry boat to Isole Bella village and had a tour of the villa and its gardens, then were given free time to enjoy the gardens at leisure and wander about the island. It was beautiful and the white peacocks at the gardens are beautiful and very tame. The gardens were still lovely at this time of year and we captured some amazing video and photographs.
From here we caught another ferry to Isola Pescatori and had a superb seafood lunch which was not included in the tour, but you could book with the tour guide and go as a group. We decided to do this as we really wanted to sample the fish that were caught in the lake. We were not disappointed, the seafood was divine and the servings very large, and the prices were excellent.
From here we boarded the small fishing boats again and headed back towards Stresa and we were given some more free time to wander about this lovely town. We will be returning here definitely because the people and the scenery was beautiful. We were staying at an apartment in Milan and purchased a ceramic gift for our apartment host, and purchased another one for ourselves to remind us of this visit.
We then reboarded our tour bus and drove along the lake for a lakeside panorama which was lovely and scenic. The day was quite cloudy so visibility wasn't as good as the day we did Lake Como, but you could still not miss how gorgeous this area is. We loved the small fishing island as well and hope to return to this area and spend some time just boating around the lakes and their little islands and absorbing the culture.
If you want to have a relaxing day and sample some lovely local seafood then I highly recommend this tour. It is suitable for adults and children and is a very relaxing and laid back day so would suit all ages.
Lunch on Isola Pescatore looking back at Stresa, and touring Isola Bella and the ride there: all that made the trip worth while.
Brought as a present for my partner. A really amazing day. Wonderful memories and loads of photos.
We had a really enjoyable time. The coach was comfortable, the guide was good and the trip was well-planned. It lasted just about the right amount of time too. The Borromeo Palace was extremely interesting and we had a very good specialist guide there. Stresa was a delight and the islands well worth a visit. All in all, this trip represented good value for money and we were please we had done it.
Amazing tour, great guide who was very knowledgeable. Bus was clearly marked and easy to find and very modern. The boat tour was great as was the Palazzo Borromeo tour. There was just enough time to explore each island with the free time given. I would recommend the tour supplying some bottled water in the morning or on the boats as it gets very hot! Overall great tour and would definitely recommend this over any walking tours as well!
Good and happy trip, the guide gave much information which is useful and interesting!
Excellent service from Luigi our tour guide.
Beautifully organized trip.
Comfortable clean bus.
Thank you for everything - it was lovely!
Catalin S Romania
Wonderful trip, our Guide Eddie was great.
I highly recommend it, wonderful bus, wonderful weather, wonderful landscapes.
This is one of the most beautiful lake resorts in Italy. We also stayed around Lake Como and this was so much nicer. The tour included a tour to see a palace and then we dined on Fisherman's Island at Ristoranti Italia which was very nice. The food was good and reasonably priced with wonderful water views. This island is so small and most of the places to dine all looked nice so I don't think you could go wrong at any of the nicer ones. We enjoyed a great water tour of the lake and had plenty of time to explore both islands and the town. I highly recommend this trip. Even the drive out there by bus was breathtaking.
Wonderful trip. Guide was great. Plenty of time at Isola Bella and Isola Pescatori. Worth seeing the Borromean Palace. Lunch, which was on our own, at Isola Pesdatori was delicious and reasonably priced. Bus is very comfortable so it's a pleasant ride to and from Lake Maggiore. Makes a great day trip from Milan.
Skip lake Como and George, visit Lake Maggiore and the Isola Bella palace and gardens especially the grottoes and tapestries. Waters was choppy so we would have had nothing to do since the boat ride on the lake was cancelled but the palazzo is worth a visit. It is a great introduction to the magnificence of Italy. I love the white peacocks. A few fun places to shop also.
Marvelous tour, great company Zany and excellent tour guide, really I enjoyed a lot
We had a wonderful bus driver and tour guide who pointed out sights along the way to Lake Maggiore. This tour met all our expectations and the highlight was Isola Bella and the gardens.
Chris H. United States of ...
I had an extra day to kill in Milan and this trip looked interesting to try. I'm so glad I did, as it was my favorite part of a three-day weekend in Italy. The sites were gorgeous. The timing was perfect for walking around, eating, shopping, and touring the palace and garden. The tour guide was knowledgeable, professional, friendly, and helpful. Definitely recommend!
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