Photographer's Note

The scene before you was taken from Isola Bella looking towards Isola dei Pescatori. It was a wonderful experience hopping from island to island, admiring the architecture, gardens and treasures inside fine palaces.

Unfortunately, as I have learned long ago, appearances can be misleading and behind the apparent beauty and purity of vision, there is often a story of infamy and deeds that have terrible consequences.I am not referring to the distant past when the nobility got away with murder literally speaking, but of a not too distant past.
In talking to the local fishermen I have been told that for the last twenty years or more fishing was banned on Lago Maggiore as the waters had been heavily contaminated by toxins (I think it was DDT) that rivers brought from chemical plants higher up in the mountains. The people who lived on the Fishermen's Island had lost their traditional livelihood and families disintegrated as individuals left to make a living elsewhere. Needless to say, like with many cases in Italy, the guilty parties, according to the locals, were never punished and the communities were never compensated.


The Borromean Islands (It. Isole Borromee) are a group of three small islands and two islets in the Italian part of Lago Maggiore, located in the western arm of the lake, between Verbania to the north and Stresa to the south. Together totalling just 50 acres (20 hectares) in area, they are a major local tourist attraction for their picturesque setting.

Their name derives from the Borromeo family, which started acquiring them in the early 16th century (Isola Madre) and still owns the majority of them (Isola Madre, Bella, San Giovanni) today.

Isola Bella, named for Isabella, countess Borromeo, was originally a largely barren rock; after first improvements and buildings, opened by count Carlo III between 1629 and 1652, his son Vitaliano the 6th built an attractive summer palace, bringing in vast quantities of soil in order to build up a system of ten terraces for the garden. The unfinished building displays paintings by Lombard artists and Flemish tapestries.
Isola Madre, the largest of the three, is also noted for its gardens, which are maintained from about 1823 in an English style. Its palace, though uninhabited, is splendidly furnished with 16th to 19th century Italian masterpieces and paintings.
Isola dei Pescatori or Isola Superiore is now the only inhabited island in the archipelago. It has a fishing village, which in 1971 had a population of 208.
Isolino di San Giovanni is located just off Pallanza (today part of Verbania) to the north.
The tiny uninhabited rock of Malghera, with an area of only 200 square meters, lies between Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori and offers bushy vegetation and a small beach.

Nobody has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3579 W: 114 N: 6335] (28656)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2011-09-08
  • Categories: Nature
  • Exposure: f/10.0, 1/80 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2012-08-15 4:26
Viewed: 1344
Points: 10
Additional Photos by Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3579 W: 114 N: 6335] (28656)
View More Pictures