Isole Borromee Isole Borromee

29 September 2020

The medieval-inspired garden of the Rocca di Angera

The medieval-inspired garden of the Rocca di Angera

In the Middle Ages plants were an integral part of people’s lives: they were food, flavourings, medicines, fabrics, colours, soap and much more. And they also had a symbolic meaning associated with the spiritual life.

In the garden of the Rocca Borromeo the aim has been to recreate the environment that welcomed this complex and fascinating world at that time. By studying the texts and iconographies, we have been able to trace the names of the plants that were known and used at the time; these have been sought out and, where possible, recovered. Flowers that today seem too simple, that grow at the edges of roads, that are pulled up as weeds, are valued here and, if they do grow spontaneously, they retain their place of honour showing off their rediscovered beauty.

It is the rediscovery of the “original” plant, the one that is present in nature, that knows nothing of human intervention and the cultural contaminations typical of the centuries that followed. The garden follows the life cycles of plants and revives the naturalness of far-off times. In this way it is possible to admire the beautiful blossoms of the apple and almond trees in April, the flowers of the chicory in August and the mature leafless pumpkins in September.

fioriture rocca di angera
The spontaneous flowers in the garden

Lettuces, cabbages, carrots, onions and chards grow in the Vegetable Garden. The pumpkin is the Lagenaria, the “bottle-shaped” one, the legumes are fava beans and chickpeas. A collection of aromatic herbs for seasoning enriches everything. In the Orchad apples and pears, figs and medlars.

orto rocca di angera
Aromatic herbs in the vegetable garden
frutteto rocca di angera
The quince, a very popular fruit tree in the Middle Ages

In the Garden of the Princes, the only zone devoted solely to aesthetic enjoyment, a rose garden welcomes Rosa gallica officinale, also known as the Apothecary’s rose, and Rosa alba, white and red, which with their single flowerings testify to the traditions of the past. Also present in this zone are Rosa botanica and Damask rose, which resemble to their ancient cousins, but offer continuous, generous flowering to visitors during the entire summer season. Together with the roses there are various herbaceous flowers that have been handed down from the images of that time: Madonna Lily, Martagon Lily, Common Peony, Iris florentina (white), primroses and violets.

pergolato rocca di angera
The Prince's pergola, with a spring in the center, is covered with roses in May
rose rocca di angera
The mottling of botanical roses

To guarantee a presence of colour in all the periods of the season, plants have been added that, even thought they produced flowers, had entirely different intended uses. Such as chicory, with its blue summer flowers; Saponaria, a delicate pale pink flower; Chervil, with its light white flowers; the poppy, in its many colours; Betony, with its sky blue ‘ears’.

Medicinal herbs, divided up into groups based on their curative functions and illustrated in detail by a signage system, fill the raised flowerbeds made of woven willow typical of the gardens of monks, in the Garden of small herbs Together with these, the dye-house plants, useful grasses (flax, hemp, Saponaria) and magical herbs.

In the grove, where hazels, laurels, cypresses and holm oaks create a fresh, cool atmosphere, a small brook flows into the pond where iris, buttercup, Myosotis and water mint bloom. Further along, a topiary yew tree with three overlapping disks dominates beneath the chestnut dome of the pergola, on which ancient varieties of grape climb and, with time, will provide a little shade in the sunnier months. Lawns left to grow uncut offer the image of wildness intended to be conveyed.

giardino rocca di angera
Not just red for the garden poppies
giardino erbe piccole rocca di angera
In caissons, they bloom until autumn, turning the garden yellow

Until 1st November, the seasonal closure of the Rocca di Angera, the atmosphere of the garden is rendered even more magical thanks to the “Fantastic Utopias” contemporary art exhibition being staged in the Ala Scaligera of the castle. The exhibition, curated by Ilaria Bonacossa and in collaboration with Galleria Continua, displays the works of 15 international artists who, in their difference, give rise to unexpected images and objects, both seductive and frightening at the same time, able to take us into alternative universes far removed from reality.  The exhibition came about based on the premise that in our post-real world, in which conflicts and political and environmental crises seem to follow each other in rapid succession, the fantastic and its representations have returned to being at the centre of contemporary reflections.  With the aim of escaping reality, we dream of being surrounded by magical creatures, we live thinking of monsters and battles amid dystopian worlds, as if the secularisation of society has led to the need to imagine ourselves in other worlds.

 

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Sono l’Autunno!
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Tra le molte statue che abitano il Teatro Massimo dell’Isola Bella, ci sono anche io.
In piedi, appoggiato a un tronco, reggo un tralcio di vite e saluto l’estate, ormai lontana che alla mia destra tiene in mano un fascio di spighe.
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Mi avete visto?
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I'm Autumn!
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You’ll find me among the many statues that inhabit the Teatro Massimo [Maximum Theater] of Isola Bella.
Standing on a log, I hold a vine branch and bid farewell to Summer, who, in the distance, holds a bundle of wheat.
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Have you visited me? 

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa #isolabella
Complimenti a @FerreroItalia per la nuova campagna dei barattoli #TiAmoItalia e soprattutto grazie per aver scelto l'Isola Bella.
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Congratulations @FerreroItalia on the new #TiAmoItalia campaign jars and above all, thank you for choosing Isola Bella.

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Hai in programma una giornata di shopping al @vicolungothestyleoutlets?
Ricordati di ritirare il coupon che dà diritto a uno sconto del 10% sull'ingresso a tutte le nostre location.
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Hai mai pensato di scoprire le Terre Borromeo nella loro veste autunnale? 
È il momento giusto: siamo aperti fino al 1° novembre!
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👗
Are you planning a day of shopping at the @vicolungothestyleoutlets?
Remember to pick up the coupon that entitles you to a 10% discount on entry to all of our locations.
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Have you ever thought about discovering the Terre Borromeo in their autumn colors? Now is the time: we're open until November 1st!

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #shopping
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Cos’è la perfezione?
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Vitaliano VI credeva che fosse una condizione necessaria, propria della natura, a cui aspirare.
L’ha ricercata in ogni dettaglio del suo progetto, dagli arredi e le decorazioni di Palazzo Borromeo ai richiami tra gli interni e il giardino dell’Isola Bella.
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“Vitaliano VI. L’invenzione dell’Isola Bella” in mostra fino al 1° Novembre.
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Main sponsor: @aon_italia
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What is perfection?
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Vitaliano VI believed that it is a necessary condition, essential to nature, and something we should all aspire to.
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He aimed for perfection in every detail of his project, from the furnishings and decorations of Palazzo Borromeo to the references between the interior and the garden of Isola Bella.
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"Vitaliano VI: The Invention of Isola Bella" is on display until November 1st.
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Main sponsor: @aon_italia

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #isolabella #art #artlovers #stresa #baroccopiemonte
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In una dimora principesca come Palazzo Borromeo non poteva mancare la Sala del trono.
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Sopra il trono settecentesco, acquistato a Venezia da Maria Borromeo D'Adda, sei grandi statue dorate in legno sorreggono la volta decorata da stucchi.
L’intera sala è un tripudio barocco: dagli stipi in tartaruga alle decorazioni a parete in oro e azzurro. Un’esaltazione dell’insolito e dello stravagante con cui Vitaliano VI voleva superare le corti di Mantova e Genova.
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“Vitaliano VI. L’invenzione dell’Isola Bella”. In mostra fino al 1° novembre.
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Main sponsor: @aon_italia
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In a royal residence like Palazzo Borromeo, the inclusion of a Throne Room is essential.
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Above the eighteenth-century throne, purchased in Venice by Maria Borromeo D'Adda, six large gilded wooden statues support the vault, decorated with stuccoes.
The entire room is a Baroque triumph: from the tortoiseshell cabinets to the gold and blue wall decorations. An exaltation of the unusual and extravagant, with which Vitaliano VI wanted to outdo the courts of Mantua and Genoa.
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"Vitaliano VI: The Invention of Isola Bella". On display until November 1st.
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Main sponsor: @aon_italia

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #isolabella #art #artlovers #stresa #baroccopiemonte
Prosegue senza sosta la rinascita dei Castelli di Cannero.
A un anno dall'inaugurazione dei lavori, continua a buon ritmo il restauro della fortezza che nel 2022 aprirà al pubblico.

The rebirth of the Castles of Cannero continues unabated.
One year later the inauguration of the works, the restoration of the fortress proceeds at a good pace. It will open to the public in 2022.

#TerreBorromeo
#lakemaggiore #castellidicannero
#conservation
#renovation
#thinkingaboutfuture
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"Rompi le regole, perdona in fretta, bacia piano, ama profondamente, ridi a crepapelle e non rimpiangere mai ciò che ti ha fatto sorridere." 
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Così scriveva Mark Twain, invitandoci a vivere intensamente ogni giorno.
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Con le sue parole vi auguriamo una buona Giornata Mondiale del Sorriso!
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"Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss softly, love deeply, laugh and never regret what made you smile."
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These words by Mark Twain remind us to live life to the full, every day.
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We wish you a happy World Smile Day!
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📸 @shaun_brennan

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