Borromean Islands, Italy
The Borromean Islands are one of the most popular destinations in northern Italy. The five islands with a total size of 18 hectares are located in the middle of Lake Maggiore, the second largest lake in Italy. The largest of these islands is Isola Madre. The island is characterized by an extremely impressive nature with many rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. The largest cashmere cypress in Europe can also be admired here.
In addition, the Isola Bella, the Isola Pescatori, the Isolino di San Giovanni and the Scoglio della Malghera belong to the Borromean Islands. The most famous sight of the Borromean Islands is the large and luxurious palace on Isola Bella. Also not to be missed is the art gallery with some works of art that are well worth seeing. The small historic church on Isola Pescatori also exudes a very special flair.
Guided island tours
The Borromean Islands are approached by ships every 30 minutes, especially in the high season. Isola Madre and Isola Bella can be visited daily from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. from March to October by tourists and locals. In order to be able to enjoy the beautiful attractions and natural landscapes of all five islands carefree, you should take a whole day. Various tour operators in the region offer guided tours to the Borromean Islands.
Rossini Opera Festival
Anyone visiting the northern Italian port city of Pesaro on the Italian Adriatic coast in August should definitely visit the Rossini Opera Festival. The opera festival, known far beyond the Italian borders, has been held annually since 1980 in honor of Gioachino Antonio Rossini, one of the most famous and popular Italian opera composers. The composer, who is considered one of the most important representatives of bel canto singing, was born in 1792 in the city of Pesaro with a population of 95,000 and lived here for ten years. The two-week festival is an absolute must for fans of Italian opera.
Rossini’s masterpieces and unknown operas
The main venue of the Rossini Opera Festival is the Teatro Rossini in the historic old town of Pesaro. There is space for around 850 spectators. Some of the performances also take place in the Adriatic Arena, which can hold 1,500 visitors. The main aim of the festival organizers is to keep the many masterpieces by Gioachino Antonio Rossini – including his most famous opera “The Barber of Seville” – alive and to save them from oblivion as well as the unknown works of the composer. Rossini composed a total of 41 operas in his life. In addition to these operas, various church works are also on the program as part of the festival. Every year around 250,000 visitors from all over the world visit the festival.
Fico theme park
If you are on holiday in northern Italy near the city of Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, you cannot avoid a very special amusement park. In the “Fico” Eataly World theme park, everything revolves around food. The largest food park in the world extends over around 200,000 square meters. Not only can countless culinary specialties from the region be tasted, bought and enjoyed. Rather, visitors experience the entire diversity of Italian cuisine in all its facets. A total of 150 different food manufacturers will present themselves on the entire site with the aim of demonstrating food excellence in Italy. There are also a total of 45 small and large restaurants in the food theme park. In fields, pastures and farms,
Lend a hand yourself
As part of workshops, guests can also get active themselves and prepare various regional dishes, among other things. And if you dare to, you can even milk a cow and make your own cheese. The park also has its own conference room and theater. Entry to the “Fico” theme park is free. If you want, you can book a guided tour through the park for 15 euros in advance of your visit, including taking part in cooking workshops.
Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano (South Tyrol) is always worth a visit. Thanks to its protected location, the castle was the place where Empress Sissi stayed. The palace’s botanical garden houses a large number of exhibition worlds for study trips. Last but not least, the Touriseum exhibition in the rooms of the castle ensures fun and informative moments.
Neuberg Castle was first mentioned in a document around 1327 on the grounds of the castle. Around 1543 the aristocratic von Trauttmansdorff family bought the castle and expanded it on a large scale. Under Josef von Trauttmansdorff, Count of Styria, the castle became a model for neo-Gothic castles from 1857. In 1870, Empress Elisabeth chose the castle for a spa stay for her daughters Gisela and Marie Valerie. Sissi spent a total of two out of four spa stays at the castle. She moved into only a few, but magnificent rooms on the first floor, which offered a magnificent view of the Adige Valley. After Sissi’s visit, Trauttmansdorff Castle became a fully booked place to stay for nobles. During the war, the castle was right on the front line. It fell to the provincial administration of South Tyrol in 1977 because no buyer could be found.
The State Museum for Tourism
The state exhibition on the development of tourism in South Tyrol from 1750 to 2015 is a permanent exhibition in 20 rooms of Trauttmansdorff Castle in South Tyrol. Trauttmansdorff Castle is the first museum in the Alpine region that is exclusively devoted to tourism in an entertaining and enjoyable way. A visit to the gardens is included in the entrance fee to the castle.
The gardens around Trauttmansdorff Castle – one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe
The area of the botanical garden around Trauttmansdorff Castle covers 12 hectares. Around 400,000 visitors visit the gardens every year. They show 80 different themed gardens for study trips, botanical rarities and unusual horticultural design elements. Unlike a grown botanical garden, the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle are a place to collect and experience knowledge from the plant world. Ten artist pavilions and changing exhibitions invite you to pause on your travels. The well-kept complex has dining facilities and is pram-friendly. It is populated by native and exotic animals. The gardens are open from late March to mid-October.
The Sissi way
From the city center of Merano, from the Kaiserin Elisabeth Park, a path leads past stately villas and parks up to Trauttmansdorff Castle. The signposted path can be used with a stroller or wheelchair. The route is 3.5 kilometers long and has an altitude difference of 45 meters.