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Monday, October 18, 2010

Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore, it wasn't a very nice day but the lake was still beautiful!! We drove out there, about an hour drive, and then took the ferry over to the islands :)

Beautiful hotel on the shore in Spesa. The architecture was all really french in this area!

Just cool looking clouds above the lake

Isola Bella- Napoleon apparently stayed here while in Italy, and Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms is set here during WW2

An alley picture, just for good measure.

The outside of the Palace, with Reese and Richard in the courtyard

One of the guns on the courtyard platform looking toward the mainland

Inside the Palace. Now you're not supposed to take pictures but since I wasn't using flash and EVERYONE else was taking pictures, some using very stupidly USING flash, I felt it was ok!!! But the pictures from inside aren't brilliant because it was quite dark in there. Apparently flash can degrade frescos and paintings etc so i've been avoiding it when in churches, and historic sites. I'm kind of the minority though, which is sad because I would love these historic sites to be around for my grandchildren's grandchildren to see, but at this rate they won't be :(

The dining room

Paintings in the dining room, and all the crazy decorations!

The place setting, so beautiful

I do not even want to think about how long it would take to clean this chandelier, and there were SEVERAL like it!!

I wasn't expecting this room, you come through small hallways, and then the dining room to get to it, and all of a sudden you just walk into this very high, ornately decorated hall. It was fabulous!!! Very french with the pastel blue and white trim.

How cool is this room!?!?! I want my room to be the one in the middle on the top balcony.

"Humilitas" This palace was used by Napoleon, but belongs to the House of Borromeo, the collection of islands on Lake Maggiore are the Borromean Islands. The latin word Humilitas is throughout the house and also found on the Borromeo family crest.

The upper balcony

My room in the middle :)

SUPER ornate !!

Some of the architecture

The art gallery room

The art room

And up close!! Crazy you can see the cracks!

I was SO excited about this, I know, call me a nerd, but look at how OLD these books are!!!!

The libary

The decorations on the ceiling in one of the halls

The BALLROOM!!! It wasn't as big as I thought it would be :)

The grotto. It was AMAZING. Really hard to get a good shot down there though because it was so dark.

The latin word again

Going out into the garden

big tree in the gardens, I just liked the look of it!

Random artsy pictures from the garden

Reese frolicking in the gardens

Reese and Richard in the gardens

Peacocks were everywhere in the gardens. It was pretty amazing really


Reese checking out the bird house, on her way to the aviary

Reese, sitting on an old stone chair in the gardens of Isola Bella, looking out across the lake

Hanging out in the chair!!!

walking toward what is now used as a gift shop

Reese getting strict instructions NOT to pull the flowers off the plants, about 10 seconds after this she yanked one off *sigh* time out

The statues in the garden

flowers in the pond

View from the balcony in the garden

Isn't it AWESOME!!!!?

Yellow flower in the garden, have no idea what its called though!

The front side of the garden, seashells and all sorts of crazy stone statues.

statues on top of the monument, and yes, that is a unicorn :)

This is my island, or at least I would like it to be mine. It only has trees and sand on it but I figure I can build up :)

This is the island town of Pescatori, the only inhabited island of the three

Isola Bella and the palace from Isola Pescitori

The cool looking stairs leading up to the Borromeo family home on Isola Madre. I didn't know this until just now when I was looking up info on the Cyprus Tree but this particular staircase is called the "Scala dei Morti"or "Staircase of the Dead" it has had cultivated Wisteria grown over it apparently, and I'm now on a mission to find out WHY its called that!
So far this is all I've got
"The prized Scala dei Morti or Staircase of the Dead refers to the site of the former 9th century cemetery which is now covered with wisteria"

Just a cool looking boat house!!

More peacocks wandering the grounds

And this random, very brightly coloured bird!!!!

And a rooster!! hahaha this is included just because I like the look on his face, he means business!!

The Kashmir Cyprus Tree, over 200 years old and the oldest of its kind in Europe. Apparently it was once thought to be the most beautiful tree in the world. Unfortunately a freak tornado hit it in 2006 yanking it from its roots and toppling it over. Apparently helicopters and heavy duty wire were used to hoist this thing back upright which took FOREVER, and then they started the mission to save it using all sorts of garden-y CPR which I can't even begin to understand!!!!!! Its kind of sad looking now though :(
this is what is looked like in its heydayPre-tornado picture

The purple crocus that are growing underneath the tree

The wall of flowers

It was gorgeous!! I want to live somewhere where I can make flowers do this!! of course this happened over a couple hundred years I guess!!

The Borromeo family chapel

The "Scala dei Morti" from the top, apparently the wisteria goes all purple from the flowers in the spring/summer.

Flowers down near the docks, I wish I knew what they were. Anyone know???

We had to wait for about an hour for the next ferry. Entertained ourselves by taking pictures, and feeding the birds.

Macroglossum stellatarum

AKA the Hummingbird hawk moth. I thought it WAS a hummingbird and went dancing after the holy grail for photographers!!! hahaha, it fooled me at first until I saw the antennas and then I had NO idea what it was, so I googled it :)

It was freaking FAST though!

Our little birdie friends

And the cracker that Reese threw into the flower bed, those ants will eat for the next year!!!


Anonymous November 7, 2010 at 5:59 PM  

Testing-this is june :)

Anonymous November 7, 2010 at 5:59 PM  


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About Me

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Milan, Italy
I am 34 years old, married to my wonderful husband Richard and mother to a beautiful 8 year old daughter named Reese. We lived in the suburbs of Calgary until January 2010 where I worked as an ER Nurse. Then my husband was transferred to Vancouver for a 6 month temporary project. Our blog Tripping over the Sidewalk told all about our adventure living on the 30th floor of an apartment building in the middle of downtown Vancouver. Then we moved to Milan, Italy for 18 months, Ciao-Eh was the online forum for our Italian adventures. We moved to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates in January 2012 and lived there for two and a half years. Sandscrapers, Souks and Sand is the blog of our adventures in the Middle East! We are now happy to be back on a little acreage just outside of Calgary where I'm sure more adventures await!!!!



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