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
  • ISOLA BELLA
  • Delfino
  • The rebirth of a “Little ancient world”

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.

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 Teatro Massimo is the most important monument in the garden of Isola Bella. Statues, obelisks and fountains are perfectly integrated together with the vegetation of the ten scenic terraces, at the top of which rises the statue of the Unicorn, the heraldic symbol of the Borromeo family.

All around the Theatre is a glorious display of rare flowers and plants: the centuries-old camphor tree, Gunnera manicata, known as the giant rhubarb – the leaves of which can reach two metres in diameter -, the perfumed sweet Osmanthus, the extremely rare Halesia diptera with its flowers that seem like snowflakes, the star anise and the Mexican pine.

During its blossoming period the Parterre of Azaleas is enchanting, and the Garden of Love is a joy for the eyes, composed of boxwood hedges creating green embroidery that is visible from the height of the terraces. Camellias, espaliers of roses in May, oleanders in June and citrus trees and panicled hydrangeas at the height of summer all enliven the Italian-style garden of Isola Bella, where white peacocks roam freely.

Since 2002 the gardens of Isola Bella, together with those of Isola Madre, have belonged to the prestigious circuit of the British Royal Horticultural Society.

 

The Italian-style baroque garden, Isola Bella
Giardino Barocco Isola Bella
The Italian-style baroque garden
Serra Elisa Isola Bella

Useful info

Useful info

Season 2023

The opening of the 2023 season is scheduled from 16 March to 5 November 2023.

Isola Bella is open:

From 16th March to 30th September 2023
Daily from 10:00 a.m. to 05:30 p.m., last entrance. Palace closes at 06:00 p.m., gardens close at 06:30 p.m.

From 1st October to 29th October 2023
Daily from 10:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m., last entry. Palace closes at 05:30 p.m., gardens close at 06:00 p.m.

From 30th October to 5th November 2023
Daily from 10:00 a.m. to 04:30 p.m., last entry. Palace closes at 05:00 p.m., gardens close at 05:30 p.m.

The opening and closing time of museums and gardens are subject to changes for extraordinary events.

Tickets

Adults Single Youngs Single Adults Group Youngs Group Baby
Isola Bella (Palace and gardens) € 20 € 11 € 18 € 10 -
Isola Bella + Isola Madre € 30 € 16 € 27 € 15 -
Isola Bella + Isola Madre + Rocca di Angera € 35 € 21 € 33 € 19 -
Isola Bella + Parco Pallavicino € 27 € 16 € 24 € 14 -
Isola Bella + Isola Madre + Parco Pallavicino € 35 € 21 € 33 € 19 -
Download the pdf table with all prices
Adults Single
Youngs Single
Adults Group
Youngs Group
Baby
Isola Bella (Palace and gardens)
€ 20
€ 11
€ 18
€ 10
-
Isola Bella + Isola Madre
€ 30
€ 16
€ 27
€ 15
-
Isola Bella + Isola Madre + Rocca di Angera
€ 35
€ 21
€ 33
€ 19
-
Isola Bella + Parco Pallavicino
€ 27
€ 16
€ 24
€ 14
-
Isola Bella + Isola Madre + Parco Pallavicino
€ 35
€ 21
€ 33
€ 19
-

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.

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.

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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Oggi è la giornata internazionale dell'educazione: Terre Borromeo propone un programma di visite didattiche nei suoi siti culturali e naturalistici a scuole di ogni ordine e grado.
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Today is International Education Day: Terre Borromeo offers a program of educational visits to its cultural and naturalistic sites for schools of all levels.
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Summer throwback! Can you spot where we are in this photo? 🌷
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