Is 5 nights too much on Isola Pescatori?

Old Sep 5th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Is 5 nights too much on Isola Pescatori?

We are going to spend 5 days in the Lake District with another couple at the end of June, 2006 I was wondering if the Hotel Verbano on Isola Pescatori would make a good base. From other Fodorites the hotel sounds charming as does the island. My concern is that the ferry stops running in the evening so we wouldn't be able to go other places for dinner (we'll have a car which I guess we would leave in Stressa). Does anyone know how hard or expensive it is to get a (private) boat to take us on or off the island after the public ferry stops? Thanks.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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I would find 2 nites to be too much. It is charming but very isolated--why limit your options? I would stay in Stresa, or better yet on Lago Orta.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Hello bruse, being familar with this area I agree with Bobthenavigator. I would only stay one night on the island. Stresa would give you more options and Lago Orta is very beautiful and charming. Best wishes.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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It totally depends on what you're looking for. It wouldn't suit me for even one evening. But many people who love the idea of "isolation" would be happy there for a week -- going elsewhere for the day, but returning to this little oasis of solitude, almost totally devoid of other tourists.

To put it in perspective, I would go crazy for a week in a remote villa in Tuscany, but others would find it pure heaven. Which camp are you in?
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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bruse: We loved the Island, the hotel, the views, the dining patio...for two nights. We took one day to wander the Island. This doesn't take long, but be sure to do it. There are shops well hidden from view as you wander the narrow lanes. We spent the rest of the day ferrying to the other Islands.
On the second day, we toured Stressa. Be sure to get on the streets away from the city center for some of the interesting architecture (if this appeals to you).
All any of us can do is speak from our own desires and delights. Two nights on the Island, although thoroughly enjoyable, were enough.
We had no trouble with the ferries and there are private boats which we used from time to time and I don't recall that they were especially expensive. You could go into Stressa for dinner on the ferry, enquire at the large parking lot adjacent to the landing where the private boat owners hang out and make arrangements for a return trip with one of them before dining.
In the same parking lot, there is a parking director (watches the meters, collects fees, makes change, etc.) and you can negotiate a long term parking arrangement with him so you don't have to constantly feed the meter.
For your other days (Lago du Orta is nice), I would drive to the Swiss end of the Lake (beautiful drive) to Locarno or over to Lago di Como for a couple of fun days at Bellagio and Varenna. You are going to a great area, so you can't really go wrong.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 12:20 PM
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We spent a lovely day there - but wouldn't want to stay overnight - much too isolated. This is a TINY island. Much better to stay in Stresa - so you have many more options of things to do.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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Dear Folks,

Thanks for all your replies - it's a lot to think about. What attacted me was the idea of sightseeing in other towns all day and coming back to the island at the end of the night and having a gorgeous view of a lake from my window without any noise from cars or lots of other tourists. Can anyone recommend other moderate hotels in the Lake area that will be on some Lake and be peaceful yet be accessible by car to restaurants and such?

Bruse
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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By the way Joegri - thank you for all the info about the boats and the parking lot.

B
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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We had a nice lunch there but would not want to stay more than one night. It is a tiny island and you are cut off from other areas.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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Bruse

I don't know all the lake towns but I can certainly attest that rooms with a view at Hotel Belvedere in Bellagio are troubled by NO car noise, as not cars are around the part of the lake that leads down from the hotel.

Now, I know this isn't the area you are asking about, but from my experience in Lake Como and Lake Garda, there are plenty of lakeside settings without noise, and many small towns with no or very limited car access.

I don't think you have to go as far you might think to get a peaceful and quiet setting.
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 02:11 PM
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Villa Ruscello might suit you then if you are looking for a small and inexpensive hotel, it is situated on Via Sempione so you need a car to reach it because it's half way between Stresa and Baveno. It's position is great because from the terraces you can have a perfect view of the islands (Isola Bella and PEscatori). It's a 2 star, family run hotel, check this web site which has lots of photos. Their prices are reasonable too.

http://xoomer.virgilio.it/gicardan/
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 05:06 PM
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Tuscanlifeedit - I would be very interested hearing what quiet lakeside towns and hotels you'd recommend on Lake Como - we're not wedded to Lake Maggiore.

Batuffolina - thanks for the info on Villa Ruscello, it looks interesting. Have you stayed there?

Bruse
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Old Sep 5th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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yep stayed there several times in the past. The rooms are not on the main building, but in an adjoining one. Ask for a room facing the lake on the second floor. The rooms on the back overlook a creek (hence the name of the hotel). The hotel is run by 3 siblings. Say hello to them from my part (LILY) if you end up staying there. Here are some reviews from Slowtrav.com:

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/hotels...cello&s=baveno

http://%20www.slowtrav.com/tr/TripRe...id=508&index=2
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 03:12 AM
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Dear Bruse,
I agree with the others...Stresa is where you want to be, not Isola Pescatori. My husband and I stayed at Hotel Verbano for 2 nights, and that was plenty. In fact, while I liked the hotel, I didn't find it nearly as quiet as I was led to believe. We slept opposite a church, and the bells went off hourly all night long. I ended up having to keep the windows closed, and even with ear plugs, it was difficult to sleep because those bells were very close by.

Personally, I preferred staying in Bellagio and on Lake Como. I found the scenery more dramatic.

Paule
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 03:23 AM
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We really like the village of Baveno which is next to Stresa. It's much quieter and yet close enough to Stresa for evenings out. We stayed at Hotel Splendid, at the borders of the lake. It's part of the Zacchera Hotel Group that stands for excellent quality.
The Splendid has been completely renovated a few years ago. We stayed there before restoration and it was already perfect back then.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 06:30 PM
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Thank you everyone for all the information and advice. This was my first posting on Fodors - you certainly get a lot to think about.

Bruce
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 06:59 PM
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I'll just add to everyone else's posts to say that one night on Isola Pescator would be sufficient. It's not a 'base" for anything - it's just a tiny island in a lake. Stresa is a much better base.
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Old Sep 7th, 2005, 03:24 AM
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I visited Isola dei Pescatori briefly. It might be pleasant to stay there one night, no more. I used Stesa as a base for three nights in October two years ago. I did not like Stresa at all, but I suppose it was a good base, though the day after I arrived both the bus service and the day tour service to Lake Orta were discontinued, and that was one o the places I'd wanted to go.
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Old Sep 7th, 2005, 03:30 AM
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Oh cmt, I am sorry your did not get to Lago Orta, I hope you do during another trip...it is a beautiful lake and area.
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Old Sep 7th, 2005, 03:52 AM
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A friend had told me that was her favorite of the lakes, but I just thought for a first visit to the area I should pick two bases on Como and Maggiore. I knew there were several options for going to Lake Orta and assumed I could easily figure it out once I got to Stresa, so I didn't plan in detail how and when I'd go. I was a bit turned off "the lakes" by my experience, so I'm not sure wjhether I'd go to that area again, but if I do, it might be to Orta only.

Maybe the lakes are more pleasant in the summer, but I don't like to travel in summer. I also think in the high tourist season, there may be many seasonal temporary workers in the tourist industry in Stresa from other parts of Italy who may be a lot friendlier than the year-round local workers, some of whom were the rudest people I've ever met working in tourist-related jobs (tourist info office, boat ticket seller, etc.). (In other parts of Italy, I think people may be much more hospitable nd friendly and glad to see visitors in the off- or mid-season than in summer when they are inundated with visitors, so it has taken me a while to speculate that in Stresa the opposite may be true, since the friendlier non-local workers may do a lot to improve the atmosphere.)
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