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  • 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 garden
  • Ten terraces bursting with a different colour at every flowering time
  • ISOLA BELLA
  • Palazzo Borromeo
  • A treasure chest of Baroque art suspended over the water
  • EXHIBITION | UNTIL 1st NOVEMBER, 2020 | ISOLA BELLA, PALAZZO BORROMEO
  • Vitaliano VI.
    The invention of Isola Bella
  • An exhibition dedicated to its founder

History

History

It took almost four hundred years and the teamwork of hundreds of qualified architects, engineers, plasterers, painters and cabinetmakers, who in succession over the centuries have given rise to the extraordinary transformation of Isola bella from a rock lapped by the waters 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.

What to see

Palazzo Borromeo

What to see

Palazzo Borromeo

A treasure chest of Baroque art suspended over the water

A princely Baroque dwelling that has been continually transformed over the centuries, from the start of the building work in the mid-17th century at the wishes of Vitaliano VI to the creation of the Salone Nuovo [New Room] in the years of the post war period with Vitaliano X.

Sala del Trono
Throne Room

A fascinating itinerary between art and history accompanies you through its over 20 rooms, the most significant of which are the Sala del Trono [Throne Room], the Sala delle Regine [Queens’ Room], the Sala di Napoleone [Napoleon’s Room] -where the French general slept during his stay on the island – and the room with the splendid Flemish silk and gold tapestries. Then there are the truly unique Galleria Berthier and the grottoes.

For history lovers, a fundamental place to visit is the Sala della Musica [Music Room], where the Conference of Stresa was held in April 1935.

 

Marble, stucco, tapestries and paintings
Baroque at its most astonishing

 

The Galleria Berthier

The heart of Palazzo Borromeo, the Galleria Berthier is a mosaic of over 130 paintings including masterpieces, top-level artworks 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.

The Grottoes

Pebbles and fragments of tufa, stucco and marble decorate the six grottoes created at the wishes of Vitaliano VI Borromeo to amaze his guests and protect them from the summer heat. A unique and very striking project that seems to transport you 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 garden

What to see

The Italian-style 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

Hours

The Palace and the Gardens of Isola Bella open every day until November 1st
from 9am to 5.30pm – last entry.
Closures: Palace 6pm | Gardens 6.15pm

 
 

Tickets

We recommend to purchase the tickets online in order to avoid queues at the ticket-office. In addition to entrance, it is possible to buy online transportation by motorboat from Stresa to the Borromean Islands (Isola Bella, Isola Madre, Isola Pescatori).

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.

ISOLA BELLA
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
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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.
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Agli angoli di una delle sale dell'Ala Scaligera q Agli angoli di una delle sale dell'Ala Scaligera quattro grandi specchi si riflettono uno nell'altro, in un gioco di rimandi infinito.
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"Two Less One" e "Two Less One Black" sono il risultato della performance dell’artista che le ha plasmate con un colpo di martello dopo l’altro, Michelangelo Pistoletto. 
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Quando guardiamo dentro uno specchio, cosa vediamo davvero?
Liquidità, fluidità e lo scorrere del tempo sono per l’artista gli elementi predominanti. 
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In questi quadri specchianti vita e arte si mescolano, si contemplano fino a confonderci le idee. Un'opera che ci spinge a cambiare continuamente prospettiva di indagine. 
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"Fantastic Utopias", in mostra alla Rocca di Angera fino al 27 settembre.
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In collaborazione con @galleriacontinua
Main sponsor: @aon_italia
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At the corners of one of the rooms of the Ala Scaligera, four large mirrors are reflected in each other, in a game of infinite references.
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"Two Less One" and "Two Less One Black" are the result of the performance of the artist who shaped them, Michelangelo Pistoletto, with one hammer blow after another.
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When we look into a mirror, what do we really see?
Liquidity, fluidity and the passage of time are the predominant concepts of the artist.
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In these mirror paintings, life and art mix, contemplating each other to the point of confusion. A work that pushes us to continuously rethink our perspective of investigation.
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"Fantastic Utopias", on display at the Rocca di Angera until September 27th.

#artlovers #art #roccadiangera #terreborromeo #stresa #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience
"In un bacio, saprai tutto ciò che è stato taciu "In un bacio, saprai tutto ciò che è stato taciuto."
Pablo Neruda
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L'Isola Bella è spesso complice di baci romantici, una cornice speciale per i vostri momenti indimenticabili.
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Buona Giornata Internazionale del Bacio.
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"In a kiss you will know all that has been kept silent."
Pablo Neruda
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Isola Bella is often the setting of romantic kisses, a special place to experience unforgettable moments.
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Happy International Kissing Day.

#terreborromeo #stresa #isolabella #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #worldkissday #viaggioinitalia
Che cos’è la bellezza? . Un luogo fantastico, u Che cos’è la bellezza?
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Un luogo fantastico, una sensazione intatta, una meravigliosa visione: in qualsiasi forma si presenti, non possiamo fare a meno della bellezza. 
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Così è stato per Vitaliano VI quando immaginava l'invenzione dell’Isola Bella. Ripercorriamo passo dopo passo le idee, i progetti e le testimonianze grazie alla mostra “Vitaliano VI. L’invenzione dell’Isola Bella".
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A Palazzo Borromeo fino al 1° novembre 2020.
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What is beauty?
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An unforgettable place, an incredible sensation, a breathtaking vision: in whatever way we experience it, we cannot live without beauty.
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This is how it was for Vitaliano VI when he imagined the creation of Isola Bella. We retrace his ideas, projects and testimonies step by step in the exhibition “Vitaliano VI: The Invention of the Isola Bella”.
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At Palazzo Borromeo until the 1st of November.

#artlovers #terreborromeo #isolabella #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #baroccopiemonte
✨ Ecco come nasce un mito. . Nella mostra “Vit ✨
Ecco come nasce un mito.
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Nella mostra “Vitaliano VI. L’invenzione dell’Isola Bella” a Palazzo Borromeo si racconta il grandioso progetto di Vitaliano VI, l'inventore di questo luogo magico.
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Quattro sezioni in cui dipinti, disegni, sculture, arredi e medaglie, oggetti solitamente non esposti al pubblico, testimoniano la creazione di un ideale di bellezza senza eguali che ancora oggi desta  la meraviglia negli occhi più curiosi.
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Main sponsor: @aon_italia
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@artribune
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✨
Have you ever wondered how a myth is born?
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In the exhibition “Vitaliano VI: The Invention of the Isola Bella” at Palazzo Borromeo, the story of the creator of this magical place, Vitaliano VI, is told.
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Here you can explore four areas featuring a variety of paintings, drawings, sculptures, furnishings and medals. These objects are not usually on display to the public and they are living proof of an ideal of unparalleled beauty that, even today, has the power to spark wonder in the most curious of eyes.

#artlovers #terreborromeo #isolabella #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #baroccopiemonte
🌵 Quest’anno più che mai ci siamo resi conto 🌵
Quest’anno più che mai ci siamo resi conto di quanto il nostro Paese sia straordinario e di come non serva andare lontano per immergersi nella bellezza di arte e natura.
✨
All’Isola Madre è iniziata la stagione della fioritura delle succulente.
Addossate agli scogli dell’isola, aloe, cactus e fichi d’india hanno trovato qui il loro angolo perfetto, dove fioriscono e incantano con la loro singolare bellezza.
🌵
Dalle barca la visuale è perfetta.
Qui la natura si fa scoprire nella sua straordinaria varietà.
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🌵
This year, more than ever, we found ourselves considering how extraordinary our country is and how you don't need to go far to immerse yourself in the beauty of art and nature.
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The succulents flowering season has come to the Isola Madre.
Leaning on the island's rocks, aloe, cactus and prickly pears have found here their perfect corner, where they bloom and charm with their singular beauty.
🌵
From the boat, the view is perfect.
Here nature reveals its extraordinary variety. 
#terreborromeo #isolamadre #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #natureaddicted
La felicità è da sempre al centro dei desideri d La felicità è da sempre al centro dei desideri dell’uomo.
A volte coincide con la gioia di costruire e di realizzare i propri sogni, con l’avere qualcosa a cui appassionarsi e in cui sperare.
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Vitaliano VI ha realizzato un grandioso progetto e le sue opere ci parlano ancora oggi, dopo quattrocento anni.
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Vi sveliamo la sua storia alla mostra “Vitaliano VI. L’invenzione dell’Isola Bella” a Palazzo Borromeo.
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Main sponsor: @aon_italia
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Happiness has always been at the center of humankind's desires.
Sometimes it corresponds to the joy of building and realizing one's dreams, having something to be passionate about and to hope for.
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Vitaliano VI realized a grandiose project and his works still talk to us today, after four hundred years.
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We reveal his history at the exhibition “Vitaliano VI. The invention of the Isola Bella" at Palazzo Borromeo.

#artlovers #terreborromeo #isolabella #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #baroccopiemonte
🖼 Tra le collezioni di capolavori di Palazzo Bo 🖼 Tra le collezioni di capolavori di Palazzo Borromeo quest'opera ci racconta di un'inconsueta merenda realmente accaduta, proprio oggi nel 1712.
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Carlo IV Borromeo (1657-1734) erede carismatico del fondatore dell’Isola Bella, Vitaliano VI, fu vicerè di Napoli per nomina dell’imperatore Giuseppe I d’Asburgo.
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Nel golfo della città, a bordo della Galera “San Carlo”, ricevette insieme alla sua famiglia ministri e signori del tempo. Per l’occasione venne organizzata una sontuosissima merenda.
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Piatti d’argento con frutta candita, confetti bianchi di nocciole, pistacchi e mandorle, centinaia di cioccolatini, biscotti di ogni genere e piramidi di sorbetti sono stati serviti per questo ricevimento fastoso.
Un momento che andava immortalato su tela, non trovate?

Giovanni Garri (Napoli? - post 1745), Merenda di Carlo IV Borromeo Arese nel golfo di Napoli del 18 Giugno 1712 (dettaglio).
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🖼 
Among the collections of masterpieces of Palazzo Borromeo, this work tells us of some unusual refreshments that were really enjoyed on this very day in 1712.
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Carlo IV Borromeo (1657-1734), the charismatic heir to the founder of Isola Bella, Vitaliano VI, was Viceroy of Naples by appointment of the Emperor Joseph I of Habsburg.
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In the Gulf of the city, aboard the galley San Carlo, he welcomed various ministers and gentlemen with his family. For the occasion, a grandiose refreshment had been organized.
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Silver dishes with candied fruit, white hazelnut candies, pistachios and almonds, hundreds of chocolates, biscuits of all kinds and sorbet pyramids were served for this magnificent receiving. 
A moment that had to be eternalized on canvas, don't you think?
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Giovanni Garri (Naples? – after 1745), Refreshments of Carlo IV Borromeo Arese in the Gulf of Naples on 18 June 1712 (detail).
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#artlovers #terreborromeo #isolabella #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience
✨ Le meraviglie della natura e le opere dell'uom ✨
Le meraviglie della natura e le opere dell'uomo in un dialogo continuo.
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Sale impreziosite da centinaia di opere con cornici dipinte a oro e turchino, busti in marmo, vasi in alabastro, lastre di ardesia decorate a fiori che punteggiano anche le pareti.
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La mostra “Vitaliano VI. L’invenzione dell’Isola Bella” ci porta direttamente dentro Palazzo Borromeo, dove Vitaliano VI, insieme agli architetti Biffi e Cagnola, ha realizzato un esempio irripetibile di Barocco.
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Giocando con il contrasto e la similitudine fra l’interno del palazzo e l’esterno di giardini a terrazze, ci hanno regalato un gioiello tutt’ora unico al mondo.
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Vi aspettiamo a scoprirlo!
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Main sponsor: @aon_italia
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✨
The wonders of nature and the works of man in a continuous dialogue.
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Rooms made precious with hundreds of works painted in gold and deep blue, marble busts, alabaster vases, slate plates decorated with flowers, which also dot the walls.
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The exhibition "Vitaliano VI. The invention of the Isola Bella" brings us directly into the Borromeo Palace, where Vitaliano VI, in collaboration with the architects Biffi and Cagnola, realized an unrepeatable example of the Baroque.
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Playing with contrast and similitudes between the interior of the palace and the exterior made of terraced gardens, they gave us a jewel still unique in the world.
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Come and discover it!

#artlovers #terreborromeo #isolabella #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #baroccopiemonte
🌈 Una leggenda narra che quando l'arcobaleno de 🌈
Una leggenda narra che quando l'arcobaleno della dea Iris dall'Olimpo toccava terra con un messaggio per gli uomini, un fiore di iris spuntava nel terreno.
🌱
Da pochi giorni gli iris hanno cominciato a dipingere il Giardino dei Principi alla Rocca di Angera. 🌈
Uno scenario da non perdere e nuove buone notizie da ricevere!
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Legend has it that when the rainbow of the goddess Iris of Olympus touched the earth with a message for mankind, an iris flower sprouted from the ground.
🌱
A few days ago, irises began to paint the Garden of the Princes at Rocca di Angera.
🌈
Some good news to enjoy and a sight not to be missed!

#terreborromeo #roccadiangera #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #natureaddicted