Awoke to a gloriously sunny day.
After a (rather rushed) breakfast, we took a short walk to a jetty, from which we boarded a boat. This took us across to Isola Bella, one of the islands owned by the Borromeo family.
We then had a guided tour, led by the very knowledgeable Matteo, of the extraordinary Borromean Palace on the island, used as a summer residence by the family. They were apparently present, but only on the upper two floors.
We then went downstairs into the grottos (caves).
The gardens were next.
We stopped for a coffee at the cafeteria. 2 € each. No problem – except we got done 2 € each on top as a cover charge. Proper rip-off.
We then walked back to the jetty on the island to await a boat taking us the even shorter distance across to the Isola di Pescatore (Fishermen’s Island).
Unlike Isola Bella, this is state-owned. Around 50 people live on it permanently, swelled by thousands of tourists, as we found out. It is a very pretty island.
We docked just outside the very pretty town of Stresa. Jean wanted some milk, so we eventually found a supermarket. And bought some milk. And some snacks. And some Prosecco. And some wine. And some gin. And some tonic……
Laden with all these goodies, we walked the short distance back to the hotel with temperatures in the high twenties.
We were due to visit a local hotel which sported a rooftop sky bar, the only one in the area. Jean opted out and went for a swim in the hotel indoor pool, but I decided to give it a whirl. After all, a free glass of fizz was on offer…..
The next hour or so passed very pleasantly, but the threat of thundery rain was always there. A rainbow made an appearance.
After dinner, the next exciting instalment was a “romantic” lake night-time cruise.
It was indeed very pleasant, made slightly weird by the electrical storm all around us. No rain, though, mercifully.
We stopped for about 20 minutes at Baveno, another pretty small lakeside town. Jean took a couple of pictures of the church tower, one in the dark:
And one with a lightning flash behind it:
There was also an impressive coloured fountain on the way back:
And so ended a splendid, if long, day.
Tomorrow offers a longish boat ride to Cannobbio plus more besides. Catch up with us tomorrow.