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From 18 May Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Rocca di Angera are opening with art exhibitions and blooms

From Monday 18 May the 2020 season of Lago Maggiore definitively gets under way with the reopening of the museum sites of Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Rocca di Angera. After Parco Pallavicino, which resumed welcoming visitors on 4 May, it is now the turn of the other destinations of Terre Borromeo. Among the appointments not to be missed, the art exhbitions “Vitaliano VI. The Invention of Isola Bella” and “Fantastic Utopias” and the blooming of the splendid flowers on Isola Madre.

To respect the safety measures and for fast access, we recommend purchasing your tickets online. And with the Ufirst app the queues at the ticket offices disappear.

For a number of weeks now, the company SAG, which manages the Terre Borromeo sites, has been committed to guaranteeing the maximum safety of personnel and, since 18 May, of visitors, ensuring the best possible visitor experience. Guests are advised to purchase their tickets online at before arrival in order to enter, on a physically distanced basis, but directly, the admission control areas for the museums, avoiding the ticket office. It is possible to organise a complete Borromeo Experience on the website, selecting a number of locations at a discounted price, and to add transportation by motorboat from Stresa.

Furthermore, by downloading Ufirst, a free platform available as an app and on the web, you can book your place virtually at your preferred time; you receive a notification as your turn approaches and at that point it will be possible to go to the museum and enjoy priority access.

Visitors are asked to respect rigorously the regulations issued by the government, such as the obligation to wear a face mask, physical distancing, washing hands frequently (hand sanitising gel dispensers are available along the visiting routes and in the toilets). Visitors can consult a detailed vademecum guide and the opening hours of all the sites.


There are numerous innovations to discover at the various locations of the Terre Borromeo circuit.

400 years from the birth of Vitaliano VI Borromeo and in the year of Piedmontese Baroque, Isola Bella celebrates its “creator” with the exhibition “Vitaliano VI. The Invention of Isola Bella, at Palazzo Borromeo until 1 November 2020. Staged in the grand hall, painted portraits, sculptures, medals e documents bear witness to the main phases of Vitaliano VI’s life, in addition to a number of works never previously exhibited to the public. In the rooms of the museum itinerary you will also be able to identify the furniture and the original paintings that are still to be found today exactly where the Milanese noble wanted them to be.

A passionate collector, Vitaliano VI Borromeo created a genuine Wunderkammer full of stone, marble and alabaster items, paintings of countryside scenes and perspectives, frames decorated with rock crystals, agates and lapis lazuli. The Italian-style garden, designed exactly as it appears today, is also the expression of the Baroque style that Vitaliano VI wanted, distinguished by stone architectures covered in mosaics, statues and fountains that, together with the hedges, created genuine theatres in the greenery.

Yet the innovations on Isola Bella do not end with the cultural aspects. In the ancient fishermen’s village, the Vicolo del Fornello is revisiting some of its designer brand shop windows for a very pleasant shopping experience. In the boutiques you can purchase design objects, jewellery, perfumes and clothing: among the shop displays, jeweller’s Fope (opening from 1 June) and the concepts stores with the brands Herno, Bagutta, Malìparmi, Furlane and Happy Socks. For those who prefer cultural purchases, the bookshop inside Palazzo Borromeo offers books, gift items, souvenirs and typically Piedmontese tasty treats.

Those wishing to spend a few days’ holiday at Lago Maggiore on Isola Bella have the opportunity to spend the night in the romantic Borromeo’s Dream Home apartments (for bookings:, which are meticulously sanitised before each new arrival.

On Isola Madre the blooming flowers, the exotic species, the perfumes and the rare plants create an idyllic atmosphere where time seems to stand still. Beside the fountain of the waterlilies and the Chapel of San Vittore you find the Cafeteria and bookshop, completely renovated. The spaces have been extended with the old greenhouse areas, preserving their style and materials, such as the fully restored baked brick floor. Here too, for the initial phase of opening it is only possible to use the takeaway service.

Moving on now to the Lombard side of Lago Maggiore, the owners of Rocca di Angera are renewing our appointment with art. Within the sphere of the artistic project promoted by Princes Vitaliano and Marina Borromeo, until 27 September 2020 the rooms of the Ala Scaligera will host the third edition of the contemporary art exhibition entitled Fantastic Utopias. The exhibition itinerary, curated by Ilaria Bonacossa in collaboration with Galleria Continua, consists of works and installations by 15 artists of international renown, including Antony Gormley, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Kiki Smith and Ai Weiwei. The exhibition has come about from 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. Among the innovations at the Rocca, visitors can freely access the Cafeteria where it will be possible to purchase the admission ticket to then begin the visiting route for the medieval garden, the Castle and enjoy the charming panorama of the southern end of Lago Maggiore.

In the natural oasis of the Parco Pallavicino, on the lake-front of Stresa, it is possible to walk along the tree-lined avenues and through the flower garden, immersing yourself in the colours of nature. Soon the roses will blossom in all their colour shades, and zinnias, impatiens and begonias are not to be missed in the summer months.
50 species of mammals and birds are the powerful attraction of this location, which also contains a Farm, where fallow deer, goats, llamas, alpacas and sheep roam free.
The games and picnic area remains closed for safety reasons. The cafeteria service is available, but only for takeaways.

The summer season of the Parco del Mottarone, a favorite destination for families with children, sportsmen and women and lovers of outdoor activities, will open on 23 May. Two kilometres from the tollgate of the Strada Privata Borromea you find a concentration of attractions: the Mottarone Adventure Park, the Bar Stazione, and, on the peak, the Rifugio Genziana restaurant and a chiringuito bar which is the point where the ski facilities start in winter.
Inaugurated last year with the aim of showcasing the wooded area, the adventure park has four routes with various levels of difficulty, also suitable for children aged 3 and older. Ideal for spending an exciting day in total safety, thanks to the continuous lifeline system.
All the refreshment points will only be open temporarily with the takeaway service.

For health safety reasons, groups are not admitted and it is not possible to hire the audioguides. For visits to the sites of Isola Bella and Isola Madre, you are advised to download the Isole Borromee App, which enables you to activate the audioguide on your own device

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