Last month I rented a last-minute room at a really lovely, small hotel in Stresa on Lago Maggiore, a large lake in northern Italy. After touring through the Borromeo Palace on Isola Bella in the morning, I took a small boat over to Isola Superiore, otherwise known as Isola dei Pescatori, “Island of the Fishermen”. The island is known for having great little trattorias for a lakeside lunch, something I definitely wanted to experience!
The island is small – the entire thing is one quaint fishing village – but is the only island on the lake to have been continuously inhabited since the 10th century. In the middle ages it was owned by the Borromeo family but is now part of Stresa. The island has kept is charm even through the transition from a tradesman’s village to a tourist destination. The multi-story buildings have wrap-around decks, perfect for drying fish, and you can see the metal anchors near the shore where they used to (or still do?) attach nets to catch wandering fish. Small boats line the store in all different colors and little shops on the inner streets sell local products.
I had a wonderful lunch right by the small port before walking the perimeter of the island. From Isola dei Pescatori, there’s an incredible view of the Borromeo Palace on Isola Bella. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon on Lago Maggiore!