Madames and Monsieur, today let’s go back on our little day trip topic, cause the sun is out for longer and spring is closer than it seems, even though the weather doesn’t make you think it. Today we’ll talk about the amazing Lake Maggiore Italy, how to get there, what to see, and why you should take a boat ride across the Borromean Islands while you’re there.

Milan to Lake Maggiore Italy

It’s not that far that’s why you should hop on a train to Stresa and visit all the places I’m going to tell you about in the article.

Most Importantly don’t forget that if you’re in Milan you can check out my other two posts, about the Milan Day Trips to Pavia and the Milan Day Trips to Varese. Plus you should also check out all our content on Milan, maybe you’ll find some useful info.

Photo by Miljan Mijatovi? on Unsplash

How far is Lake Maggiore from Milano?

So, Lake Maggiore Italy is just an hour away from Milan, as you know that’s what most of our day trip itineraries are about for now. But why pick Lake Maggiore or Lake Como? Well, you don’t have to it’s just that being a day trip I wouldn’t advise to try and do them both, cause it’s a bit of a hassle. Anyway, Lago Maggiore Italy is one of the loveliest places to go and see some nature, and really fancy houses. The fancy houses were put there by the Borromean family (Borromeo) which was one of the most important families of the Italian north during the renaissance. They had a gazillion bankers, and if I’m correct two of them became Pope, so you know they had a fair amount of power, but you’ll see that when you get to the various Borromean Islands points of interest, like the Borromean gardens Italy, or the Borromean Islands Palazzo Borromeo, that has its own family of white peacocks walking around the gardens. Really it’s just amazing.

Where is Lake Maggiore?

Lake Maggiore and the Isole Borromee Italy are an hour/an hour and a half from Milano Centrale. It really depends on how much you want to spend on the train, the fast one costs about 20€ each way, while the longer one comes at about 9€ each way, so I would advise taking the hour and a half one, ’cause you’re gonna save a fair amount of cash. Remember that you have to get the train to Stresa, as that is the best place to get off so you can hop on a boat that’ll bring you around the Borromean Islands. Remember Stresa Borromeo Islands is where you need to ask the ticket seller in the train station or the machine. Anyway, that’s how you get from Milan to Borromean Islands. Also if you’re wondering how to get from Malpensa Airport to Lake Maggiore, worry not you can hop on the trains to Gallarate from the airport and from there hop onto another train that will leave you in Stresa.

Lake Maggiore Italy
check Andy Hay out on Flickr

Once you arrive you’ll see a huge collection of beautiful hotels like the Grand Hotel Des Miles Borromees Lake Maggiore. I was lucky enough to sleep there for a night, and I’ve got to tell you it feels like you’ve just become royalty for the night. Once you see it a bit down the road you’ll find the ferry docks, where you’ll buy the daily ticket that will bring you around the three major islands, Isola Bella, Isola Madre, and Isola Superiore. Isola Bella is where you’ll find the Botanical Gardens, and I can’t stress this enough you need to get in there so you can feast your eyes on some beautiful scenery. Isola Madre is where you will find the stunning Palazzo Borromeo, I think that this is something you really need to see first hand to actually take it in. Finally, there is Isola Superiore, also called, Isola Pescatori lake maggiore, because it use to be the island in which most of the fishermen of the area used to live, predominately under the Borromeo family.

If you want to visit all the attractions the islands have to offer, you are going to spend 24€, this is to go inside the Botanical Gardens and Palazzo Borromeo, as Isola Superiore is a town and you can just walk around without having to pay entrance fees for anything. While the boat ticket comes around 5€ and you can get off at all the stops, let’s call it a day pass. 

Lake Maggiore

So in all you’re going to spend 18€ for the train, 24€ for the culture, and 5€ for the ferry. With 40€ you’ve got a whole day planned and you really can’t beat that in my opinion, plus if you don’t want to go inside the palazzo or the gardens you’ll only spend 23€.

Lago Maggiore Italy

Which is prettier Lake Como or Lake Maggiore?

Well, I really can’t answer that because I like both of them, they’re both beautiful, it really depends on how much time you have. My advice would be to visit both cause they are equally breathtaking.

Distance from Milan to Lake Maggiore

The official distance is 90km, but as I said before, go by train at least you don’t need to worry about anything but getting to the station on time.


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