I jumped on the ferry at Sale Marasino, a small town located about 5 minutes away from my beloved Marone. The ferry ride to the island takes less than 10 minutes and is a really beautiful journey as you sail across the still water in the gorgeous summer breeze.
Monte Isola is quite small, and would most likely take less than 3 hours to walk around the entire island if you felt so inclined. Me? I’m a wanderer, so I meandered lazily along the shore, enjoying the view of the setting sun as I looked for a restaurant for dinner. You’re really spoiled for choice here, almost every restaurant boasts a menu of food local to the area, and many serve fish caught from the surrounding lake. You’ll want to look out for a pasta dish called casoncelli: a kind of stuffed pasta (similar to ravioli), typical of the north-central part of Italy, typically served with burro e salvia (melted butter flavoured with sage leaves). It’s utterly delicious and absolutely must be sampled while you’re in the area.
My restaurant of choice was Ristorante al Castello, a hidden spot up a flight of stairs. It opens up onto a beautiful grassy area that offers a beautiful view of the lake and beyond, truly the perfect spot to enjoy your dinner and a glass of wine. While I was there, an Italian couple were surveying it as a potential reception area for their wedding; it’s that pretty. And as with most restaurants in the area, the price is quite reasonable.
As you leave, you’ll be guided by fairy lights twinkling in the trees to find your way back to the path. And if you’re as lucky as I am, you’ll be #blessed enough to catch a vibrant pink sunset as you walk back to the ferry.