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Published: September 1st 2018
This morning the rainy had not quite departed when we boarded a boat for Isola Bella, the summer residence of the Borromeos. The palazzo on the island took 100 years, three generations of Borromeos, to build. It has about 100 rooms--25 of them devoted to a museum. The Borromeos were in residence today--all three of them. They had the other 75.
The museum reflects the original Baroque style of the time with the newer parts done in the Neo-classical style. The lavish art and fixtures were done to impress their guests. The king and queen of Italy, Napoleon and Josephine, and other rich and famous people stayed there. Before World War II, Mussolini, Flandin (French PM), Mussolini, and MacDonald met there to try to resolve differences and prevent war. The meeting was a failure. There are many fabulous secretaries amongst the furnishings with lots of little drawers which, according to our wonderful guide, held secrets. I never before made a connection between those two words in English. Secretaries ( the furniture) held secrets; I guess secretaries, the personal assistants were expected to hold secrets, too!
There are beautiful gardens on the island inhabited by albino peacocks. We strolled through them
and then through narrow lanes into the town below where the folks supporting the Borromeo family once lived. Very touristy shops and cafes now. We stopped for my new favorite Italian coffee drink- latte macchiato.
From Isola Bella we boarded a boat to go to Isola de Pescatori, the Island of the Fishermen, where we had a wonderful meal consisting of a salmon antipasto, a primo of risotto with perch and nuts and fried filet of Lake white fish called Laverti. Finished with. Lemon soaked cake-yum!
Back on the boat and to the hotel with free time in the town. The sun finally came out and we strolled into Stresa to do some shopping and work up an appetite for some gelato. First of the trip! YUM! Bought some risotto to bring home to cook, some great cars for Kento, and a couple more Christmas presents.
Then back at the hotel we headed for the rooftop bar for some wine at sunset. The vistas were magnificent and I wished I could be here longer. This is a truly gorgeous place. There were lots of weddings today all over town--a real destination wedding place.
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