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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🍂
"Come varia il colore
delle stagioni,
così gli umori e i pensieri degli uomini.
Tutto nel mondo è mutevole tempo.
Ed ecco, è già pallido,
sepolcrale autunno,
quando pur ieri imperava
la rigogliosa quasi eterna estate."
(Vincenzo Cardarelli)
✨
C’è qualcosa della natura, nei mesi più silenziosi, che ha sempre ispirato poeti, scrittori e artisti. Questa forse è la ragione che li ha portati anche sull'Isola Bella e sull'Isola Madre. 
🧡
Vi viene in mente qualche nome famoso?
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🍂
"As the color of
the seasons varies,
so do the moods and thoughts of men.
Everything in the world changes with time.
And behold, the already pale,
sepulchral autumn,
When yesterday the luxurious,
almost eternal summer ruled."
(Vincenzo Cardarelli)
✨
There is something about nature, in the quietest months, that has always inspired poets, writers and artists. Maybe that's the reason that brought them to Isola Bella and Isola Madre. 
🧡
Does any of those famous names come to your mind?

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa #italiantour #autunno #autumn
Essere bambini è un diritto!
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Il 20 novembre si celebra la Giornata internazionale dei diritti dell’infanzia e dell’adolescenza in cui si riconosce anche il diritto dei bambini e delle bambine all’educazione.
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Terre Borromeo si impegna a proporre esperienze formative alle classi delle scuole dell’infanzia, primarie e secondarie per far esplorare anche ai più giovani i tesori del Lago Maggiore.
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Torneremo a imparare insieme divertendoci.
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Being a child is a right!
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November 20th is International Day for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, which also recognises the educational rights of boys and girls.
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Terre Borromeo is committed to offering educational experiences to the classes of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools to encourage even the youngest minds to explore the treasures of Lake Maggiore.
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We will return to learning together while having fun.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa
💙
“Un baffo per la prevenzione” è il nome della campagna di sensibilizzazione verso i tumori maschili che per tutto il mese di novembre accompagnerà le iniziative del movimento Movember.
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Se fosse partita nel 1600, siamo sicuri che anche Vitaliano VI Borromeo avrebbe partecipato a questa importante iniziativa per la nostra salute.
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💙
"A mustache for prevention" is the name of the campaign to raise awareness of male cancers and throughout November it will accompany the initiatives of the Movember movement.
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If it had existed in 1600, we are sure that Vitaliano VI Borromeo would also have participated in this important initiative for our health.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa #movember
Le mura della Rocca di Arona sono ciò che resta di una storia lunga più di 1000 anni.
.
Gestita dal Comune di Arona, è però una proprietà della famiglia Borromeo che negli ultimi anni ha finanziato i lavori che consentiranno di completare il restauro conservativo e il consolidamento strutturale della prima cinta muraria.
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Un bellissimo parco da visitare nel weekend.
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The walls of the Rocca di Arona are what remain of over 1000 years of history.
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Managed by the Municipality of Arona, it is actually a property of the Borromeo family which in recent years has financed the works to complete the conservative restoration and structural consolidation of the first walls.
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A beautiful park to visit on the weekend. 
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@vanessagaluppo 

#terreborromeo #stresa #borromeoexperience #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #roccadiarona
💓
“Ovunque ci sia un essere umano, vi è la possibilità per una gentilezza.” (Seneca).
✨
Il 13 novembre si festeggia la Giornata Mondiale della Gentilezza, nata in Giappone nel 1998 grazie al Japan Small Kindness Movement.
Anche Terre Borromeo ricorda l'importanza dei piccoli gesti e dell'attenzione verso i nostri cari.
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💓
"Wherever there is a human being, there is a possibility for kindness." (Seneca).
✨
November 13th celebrates World Day of Kindness, founded in Japan in 1998 thanks to the Japan Small Kindness Movement.
Terre Borromeo recalls the importance of small gestures and attention to our beloved.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa #WorldKindenssDay #MakeKindnessTheNorm
Regalare cultura è come regalare un viaggio.
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I libri ci accompagnano alla scoperta di mondi nuovi attraverso storie di luoghi e persone.
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Terre Borromeo continua a raccontarsi anche nelle proposte editoriali che trovate sullo shop online. Link in bio.
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A gift of culture is a gift of adventure.
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Books accompany us as we discover new worlds through stories of places and people.
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Terre Borromeo continues to tell its story in the editorial proposals that you can find in our online shop. Link in bio.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa