Isole Borromee Isole Borromee
Entrances
  • Isola Bella
  • For however fanciful and fantastic the Isola Bella may be, and is,
    it still is beautiful

     
    Charles Dickens
  • ISOLA BELLA
  • The Italian-style baroque garden
  • Statues and architectural decorations are alternated with geometries and precious plants
  • ISOLA BELLA
  • Palazzo Borromeo
  • The Baroque at its most astonishing
  • EXHIBITION 2021 | ISOLA BELLA, PALAZZO BORROMEO
  • Vitaliano VI.
    The invention of Isola Bella
  • An exhibition dedicated to its founder

History

History

Isola Bella

It took almost four hundred years and the teamwork of hundreds of architects, engineers, plasterers, painters and cabinetmakers, who have given rise to the extraordinary transformation of Isola bella from a rock of the lake into a place of delights.

Isola Bella
Isola Bella, cerchia di Antonio Joli (Modena, 1700 - Napoli, 1777), 1756-1760 (?), oil on canvas

Until 1630 Isola Bella was a rock inhabited by fishermen, with two small churches and a few vegetable gardens. The Borromeos, who had already been owners of Isola Madre since 1501, from the first two decades of the 17th century with Giulio Caesar III and Carlo III focused their interest on the island, launching the grandiose project that was to lead to the creation of the palazzo and the garden.

This aim was to be carried forward, extended and defined by Vitaliano VI, who is to all intents and purposes considered the founder of Isola Bella. The work that resulted in the current layout continued without interruption throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, arriving at 1948, when, with Vitaliano IX Borromeo, the Salone Nuovo, the northern façade and the great pier were built.

An exhibition dedicated to its founder Vitaliano VI will be hosted in 2021.

What to see

Palazzo Borromeo

What to see

Palazzo Borromeo

The Baroque at its most astonishing

 

Galleria Berthier
Galleria Berthier

A fascinating itinerary between art and history accompanies you through its over 20 rooms.
Heart of Palazzo Borromeo, the Galleria Berthier is a mosaic of over 130 paintings including masterpieces and, following a practise that is recurrent in other noble collections of the period, a number of copies of the great masters of the past of the calibre of Raphael, Correggio, Titian and Guido Reni.

Unique settings are the Sala del Trono [Throne Room], the Sala delle Regine [Queens’ Room], the Salone degli Arazzi [Tapestry Hall] and the Grotte [Caves], born to amaze guests by transporting them into a magical marine world.

 

Sofonisba, Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli
Sofonisba, Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli (detto il Giampietrino),
c. 1521/22, oil on panel
grotte Palazzo Borromeo
The Palazzo Borromeo's Grottoes, Isola Bella

What to see

The Italian-style baroque garden

What to see

The Italian-style baroque garden

Ten terraces bursting with a different colour at every flowering time

Teatro Massimo
Teatro Massimo, Isola Bella

The Baroque Italian-style garden of Isola Bella is famous all over the world; it is a place where statues and architectural decorations are alternated with geometries and precious plants.

Acting as a screen is a large camphor tree that has welcomed visitors for two hundred years now. Obelisks and fountains take visitors by surprise around every corner as they walk along the avenues of the garden, where they can climb up to the grand terrace, the island’s true control station, from where they can admire Lago Maggiore stretching out before them and the enchantment of this treasure chest forged by man.

 

For decades the skilled hands of the gardeners have taken care of the botanical heritage, conserving its enchanted beauty against the ravages of time.

 

The sculptural structure originally called Teatro Massimo is the most important monument in the garden. Most of its statues are by Milanese sculptor Carlo Simonetta and date back to the decade between 1667 and 1677. At its high point, between the personifications of Art and Nature, looms the statue of the Unicorn, the heraldic symbol of the Borromeo family, being ridden by a cherub representing “Honour”, or, according to other versions, “Love”. On the lower floors, the statues symbolise the Verbano (Lago Maggiore), and, lower down, the Rivers Ticino and Po. On the sides of the exedras stand four obelisks with statues representing the primary elements: air, water, earth and fire. Facing the monument two rectangular parterres stretch before you, where white peacocks roam free.

On the opposite side of the Theatre, the garden of love is composed of boxwood hedges creating a green embroidery that is visible from the terraces above, accentuated by the four yew trees. Espaliers and large vases of citrus fruit complete the decorations in this area. If you stand with your back to the lake, you can admire the terraces with the statues of the four seasons.

Finally, the Serra Elisa, created in the early 19th century as a winter garden and today a micro environment that welcomes exotic plants and botanical rarities.

Since 2002 the gardens of Isola Bella, along with those of Isola Madre, have been part of the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society.

The Italian-style baroque garden, Isola Bella
The Italian-style baroque garden

What to see

Vitaliano VI. The invention of Isola Bella

What to see

Vitaliano VI. The invention of Isola Bella

EXHIBITION

Until 1st November, 2020

Curated by Alessandro Morandotti and Mauro Natale

Vitaliano VI

An exhibition dedicated to its founder

400 years from the birth of Vitaliano VI and in the year of Piedmontese Baroque, this exhibition looks back over his life, and above all his work – the vessel that emerges from the waters of Lago Maggiore – still a source of admiration and amazement today to visitors from all over the world.

Staged in the grand hall completed by his descendant of the same name Vitaliano IX in 1956, in its first section the exhibition looks back over the main phases in the life of Vitaliano VI, the real author of the renewed good fortune of the family in the second half of the 17th century, through painted portraits, sculptures, medals and documents – including also the project of the Palace and the Gardens of Isola Bella – some never exhibited to the public previously.

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION +

Useful info

Useful info

See you next season!

Tickets

Adults Single Youngs Single Adults Group Youngs Group Baby
Isola Bella (Palace and gardens) € 17 € 9 € 14 € 7.5 € 2.0
Isola Bella + Isola Madre € 24 € 10,5 € 20 € 10 -
Isola Bella + Rocca di Angera € 21 € 10,5 € 17 € 10 -
Isola Bella + Parco Pallavicino € 21 € 10,5 € 17 € 10 € 3
Download the pdf table with all prices
Adults Single
Youngs Single
Adults Group
Youngs Group
Baby
Isola Bella (Palace and gardens)
€ 17
€ 9
€ 14
€ 7.5
€ 2.0
Isola Bella + Isola Madre
€ 24
€ 10,5
€ 20
€ 10
-
Isola Bella + Rocca di Angera
€ 21
€ 10,5
€ 17
€ 10
-
Isola Bella + Parco Pallavicino
€ 21
€ 10,5
€ 17
€ 10
€ 3

How to get there

By car
From the Autostrada dei Laghi motorway in the direction of Gravellona Toce, Carpugnino exit, following the signs for Stresa.
It is possible to park in Piazza Marconi in Stresa and from here you can take one of the boats to reach the Isole Borromee.
Alternatively, you can leave your car in the square in Carciano opposite the dock.

 
By train
Ferrovie dello Stato railway, Milan-Sempione line, Stresa stop. The station is around 850 m from Piazza Marconi.
With Ferrovie Nord railway, Milan-Laveno line, Laveno stop.

 
By bus
VB Arona Milan line: departure from Milan Lampugnano, stop B5.
Or Verbania–Stresa–Malpensa, which requires advance booking.
For info: www.safduemila.com.

 
By plane
Distance from the principal airports: Turin Caselle 140 km – Milan Malpensa 50 km – Milan Linate 110 km – Bergamo Orio Al Serio 130 km.

 
FROM DRY LAND TO THE ISLANDS
By ferry

The boats depart from the main locations on the lake.
For further information: Navigazione Lago Maggiore – scheduled passenger service. Also available is a non-scheduled passenger service by motorboat.

In Piazza Marconi in Stresa there is an info point called “BorromeoExperience” with information materials, where you can also purchase and book entrance tickets, guided visits and all the additional services available from Borromeo (travel by motorboat, overnight stays, restaurants, mountain bike hire, etc).

Vademecum Covid

Vademecum Covid

• You are advised to arrive at the locations with a ticket already purchased online via the platform booking.isoleborromee

• In compliance with the safety rules, access to the sites may be limited.

• It is not possible to enter the sites if you have a high temperature (over 37.5°) or other symptoms of influenza and where hazardous conditions exist, such as coming from risk areas or in close contact with persons testing positively for the virus in the last 14 days or coming from abroad in the last 14 days.

• Access is only permitted if you are wearing a mask.

• You are advised to wash your hands frequently; hand sanitising gel dispensers are located at various points inside the sites.

• Always keep a distance of more than one meter from the other visitors and from the sites personnel.

• Luggage storage is not available.

• Inside the Parco Pallavicino, touching the cages, the enclosures and/or the facilities present inside the Park is prohibited. You are also advised not to touch the animals.

We thank you for respecting all the indications on the signs and given by the supervisory personnel.

The offer of Terre Borromeo

Tour operator & agencies

All useful information for operators: location rental, exclusive experiences, download useful materials and documents.

Events & Weddings

Its multi-faceted spirit and aristocrat allure make this fortress the perfect setting for a special day.

Educational offer

The educational proposal for kindergartens, primary and secondary schools extended to all locations in the Terre Borromeo.

Terre Borromeo

A story of love, protection and respect that has lasted for six centuries.

Who we are

Helpful Tips

Hours

  • Isola Bella

  • Isola Madre

  • ROCCA DI ANGERA

  • PARCO PALLAVICINO

Buy and Book
  • Buy tickets, guided tours and much more safely and quickly directly online.

How to get

  • Terre Borromeo is easily accessible! They are only an hour and a half from Milan and easily reachable from the main airports. Find out how to reach them by car, train and how to book the ferry that will take you to the islands.
Terre Borromeo Maps
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🌿
La melagrana è un frutto molto presente nelle raffigurazioni pittoriche, sia sacre che profane. Miti e leggende ne cantano i diversi significati e proprietà: prosperità, fertilità, resurrezione.
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Tra i più importanti dipinti di pittura tardogotica lombarda di soggetto profano, la Sala delle Cerimonie della Rocca di Angera ospita un grande lacerto, proveniente dal Palazzo Borromeo di Milano, con la “Raccolta delle melagrane” in cui è possibile riconoscere l’impronta dello stile di Michelino da Besozzo, attivo per la famiglia Borromeo nel 1445.
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Pomegranate is a fruit very present in pictorial depictions, both sacred and profane. Myths and legends sing its different meanings and properties: prosperity, fertility, resurrection.
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Some of the most important of the Lombard late Gothic paintings of profane subjects are housed in the Sala delle Cerimonie [Ceremonies Room] of the Rocca di Angera, including the "Collection of pomegranates". Originally from Palazzo Borromeo in Milan, it is possible to recognize the style  of Michelino da Besozzo, active for the Borromeo family in 1445.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #melagrana #pomegranate #roccadiangera #artlovers
Siamo entusiasti che Verbania possa essere Capitale della Cultura Italiana 2022.

Un territorio con una grande ricchezza culturale al quale siamo naturalmente legati da secoli.

@verbania2022

#Verbania2022
#LaCulturaRiflette
#VerbaniaRiflette
#VerbaniaCapitaledellaCultura22
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Originario del bacino del Mediterraneo, il ciclamino fu studiato anche da Plinio il Vecchio  che consigliava di piantarlo nel giardino di casa contro la cattiva sorte.
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Una volta persi i petali, si distende verso il terreno per spargere i semi dai quali nasceranno le nuove piante.
È forse per questo che viene anche considerato simbolo di fertilità.
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Qual è il vostro colore preferito?
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Originally from the Mediterranean basin, cyclamen was studied by Pliny the Elder who advised planting it in the garden of the house to ward off bad luck.
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Once its petals are gone, it stretches out on to the ground to spread the seeds from which new plants will be born.
This is perhaps why it is also considered a symbol of fertility.
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Which is your favourite colour?

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #ciclamino #cyclamen
#botanica #natureaddicted
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È qui la festa?
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Possiamo continuare a immaginare quali meravigliose cerimonie e feste abbiano avuto luogo qui, nella Sala da Ballo di Palazzo Borromeo sull'Isola Bella.
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Reali da ogni parte d’Europa sono rimasti senza fiato davanti a questo Salone in stile neoclassico opera dell’architetto e poeta Giuseppe Zanoja, tra colonne e lesene che si alternano a specchi e nicchie con statue di marmo.
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 Is the party here?
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We can continue to imagine the wonderful ceremonies and celebrations that took place here, in the ballroom of Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella.
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Royalty from all over Europe were speechless at the sight of this Neoclassical style hall. Designed by the architect and poet Giuseppe Zanoja, it features columns and pilasters that alternate with mirrors, niches and marble statues.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #artlovers #viaggioinitalia #NextDestination #TheBestDestinations #TravelInspiration
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"Non è nelle stelle che è conservato il nostro destino, ma in noi stessi."
William Shakespeare
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Aspettando insieme il nuovo anno, Terre Borromeo vi augura un 2021 di buoni propositi.
Che possa essere davvero un nuovo inizio.
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"It is not in the stars that our destiny is preserved, but in ourselves."
William Shakespeare
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As we wait together for the New Year, Terre Borromeo wishes you a 2021 of great fortune. 
May it truly bring new beginnings.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa #2021 #happynewyear
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Questi pacchi sono fatti per non essere aperti.
🍊
I giardinieri dell'Isola Bella e dell'Isola Madre hanno impacchettato i nostri agrumi che resteranno chiusi fino a quando le temperature non torneranno miti.
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These packages are made not to be opened.
🍊
Gardeners on Isola Bella and Isola Madre have packed our citrus fruits and they will remain closed until temperatures get warmer again.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa #isolabella #arancio #orangetrees
🦚
Non ci stanchiamo mai dell'arte, dei fiori, dei musi buffi degli animali.
La bellezza è stata una risorsa fondamentale per affrontare le incognite del 2020.
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Questo Natale vi auguriamo di continuare a scoprire la meraviglia delle piccole cose.
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We never get tired of art, flowers or the funny faces of animals.
Beauty has been a key resource in addressing the unknowns of 2020.
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This Christmas we hope you continue to discover the wonder of the little things.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #christmasiscoming #natale2020