Isole Borromee Isole Borromee
HISTORY

HISTORY VISITS
PALAZZO BORROMEO

Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella came about as a building for the family to holiday, but also as a place to entertain illustrious guests.

The house documents list in detail the comings and goings of crowned heads and princes: Emperor Leopold II of Habsburg-Lorraine in 1791, the King and Queen of Sardinia, Carlo Felice and Maria Cristina, in 1828, Queen Victoria of England in 1879, the king and the queens of Italy and of Belgium, and even Charles and Diana in 1984. There has also been no shortage of visits by the greats of literature: Goethe, Stendhal, Dumas and Hemingway, and artists, Cavalier Pietro Tempesta and Élisabeth Vigéè Le Brun, and even Wagner.

HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO
From top left, Emperor Leopold II of Habsburg-Lorraine, Charles and Diana in 1984. Ernest Hemingway, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The great predilection that the most famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had for the Isole Borromee is well known. Indeed, he established the shores of Lago Maggiore as the land of origin of the protagonist of his book Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, which he wrote following his trip to Italy.

Stendhal, who wrote The Charterhouse of Parma here, loved to repeat: “if you have a heart and a shirt, sell the shirt and go and see the shores of Lago Maggiore”

Ernest Hemingway, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962, struck by the splendour of the Isole Borromee, set the final chapters of his novel “A Farewell to Arms” here.

The protagonist in fact tells of crossing Lago Maggiore heading towards Isola Bella, considered the most enchanting of the Isole Borromee.

HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO
HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO

On the left, "A Farewell to Arms", The Hemingway Library Edition; on the right, the young Hemingway in uniform, 1918

I rowed towards Isola Bella and I approached the walls, where the water suddenly became deep and you could see the wall of rock going obliquely down into the water, and then I climbed up towards the Isle of Fishermen where there were boats pulled dry and men mending nets.

Among the episodes that have left an indelible mark on the rooms of Palazzo Borromeo, the visit by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797 is perhaps one of the most intense historical moments experienced on Isola Bella. It only lasted two days, 17th and 18th August 1797, but it created a genuine upheaval in the calm life of the island.

HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO
From top left clockwise: scene of the Battle of Lodi, surrender of the Austrian troops in Mantua, Napoleon at the Battle of Rivoli and the Battle of Arcole

Returning from his triumphant victory in the Italian campaign, General Bonaparte, on his way back home, wanted to visit the Isole Borromee. He arrived suddenly, without any warning, coming by boat with no less than 60 people in his retinue.

We know every detail of this historic visit because we still have the letters that the administrator of the palazzo sent to Count Gilberto V Borromeo to keep him closely informed of the unusual situation created on Isola Bella.

HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO
HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO

First it was necessary to make ready the alcove (still existing in the room known as Sala di Napoleone) for the general and his wife Josephine Beauharnais, who “was much more polite than the great hero”, to spend the night.

Then a lunch for thirty was hurriedly prepared in the Medal Room, while tables were prepared in the garden for the rest of the party. Because of the north wind, however, they all came into the house to shelter, expecting, the administrator wrote, “to be served there and then”.

The next day Napoleon asked to have lunch in the Apartment of Grottos, to then go to Isola Madre to admire the pheasants. But he could not resist the temptation: he had one of them shot and took it away with him as a souvenir.

In the evening the general and his cumbersome retinue departed again by boat for Laveno and reached Milan the day after.

HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO
HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO

The staff of the house were shocked at the intrusiveness and rudeness of the guests, who left the rooms “dirty and smelly”.

“Nevertheless, we can thank God that the stay was brief, otherwise this house would have become a real soldiers’ barracks”.

Napoleon I did not return to Isola Bella, whereas his wife Josephine, who had become Empress of France, returned in July 1806: for that occasion, a grand lunch was prepared for her arranged on seven tables.

The year later, in 1807, it was the turn of her son Eugène, Viceroy of Italy, in honour of whom the waterworks in the garden were set in motion. On that occasion, however, silver chandeliers and various items of precious fabric from Flanders disappeared from the building.

HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO
Josephine Bonaparte and her son Eugène, Viceroy of Italy

The palazzo conserves traces of these exceptional historical events not only in the alcove room, now known as the Sala di Napoleone, where the original bed where Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine rested is conserved, but also in the picture gallery or alcove, which was later to be known as the Galleria del Generale Berthier, in memory of the latter’s stay on the island following that of Napoleon and his consort. He slept in the alcove annexed to the Gallery for the whole month of August 1797.

HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO
HISTORY VISITS PALAZZO BORROMEO
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Nella piccola Adorazione dei Magi che fu di Giulia Arese, moglie di Renato II Borromeo, la cura che Giulio Cesare Procaccini mette nella regia e nella resa delle figure, concepite come microsculture preziose, ci ricorda che l’artista attorno al 1605, sebbene trentenne, è da poco approdato all’arte della pittura.
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Nato a Bologna, figlio di Ercole Procaccini il Vecchio e fratello di Camillo e Carlo Antonio, tutti rinomati pittori, Giulio Cesare fu l’unico della famiglia a iniziare la carriera artistica come scultore.
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Questa tavola della Galleria Berthier è uno dei migliori esempi delle sue sperimentazioni giovanili, dove la pittura veloce, impetuosa e improvvisa rilegge i maestri di area emiliana, primo fra tutti il Parmigianino.
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Giulio Cesare Procaccini
Adorazione dei Magi
1605 circa
Galleria Berthier, Palazzo Borromeo
Isola Bella
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🖼 #Berthier130
In the little Adoration of the Magi by Giulia Arese, wife of Renato II Borromeo, the care that Giulio Cesare Procaccini puts into directing and rendering figures, conceived as precious microsculptures, reminds us that the artist, in around 1605, although thirty years old, had recently arrived in the art of painting.
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Born in Bologna, son of Ercole Procaccini the Elder and brother of Camillo and Carlo Antonio, all renowned painters, Giulio Cesare was the only one in the family to begin his artistic career as a sculptor.
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This panel from Galleria Berthier is one of the best examples of his early experiments, where fast, impetuous and sudden painting reinterprets the masters of the Emilian area, starting with Parmigianino.
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Giulio Cesare Procaccini
Adoration of the Magi
Around 1605
Galleria Berthier, Palazzo Borromeo
Isola Bella

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #isolabella #palazzoborromeo #artlovers #berthier130 #galleriaberthier #paintings
Dalla magica cornice del Lago Maggiore alla fiabesca atmosfera di uno storico castello, le Isole Borromee e la Rocca di Angera tra le “Meraviglie” di @albertoangelarai1
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Un viaggio alla scoperta di tradizioni secolari, bellezze artistiche e paesaggi mozzafiato che rendono unico il nostro bel Paese.
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Appuntamento martedì 4 gennaio 2022 alle 21:25 su @rai1official per tornare a viaggiare tra le #Meraviglie d'Italia.
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From the magical setting of Lake Maggiore to the fairytale atmosphere of the historic castle, Isole Borromee and Rocca di Angera among Alberto Angela's “Wonders”.
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A journey to discover centuries-old traditions, artistic beauties and breathtaking landscapes.
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Save the date! January 4th at 9.25pm on RaiUno to return to travel among the #Meraviglie of Italy.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #isolabella #isolamadre #roccadiangera #MeraviglieLaPenisolaDeiTesori #AlbertoAngela #Italy #Travel
Pronunciate il nome Viburnum. Quale sensazione vi lascia?
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Se vi sembra risuonare fortemente tra le labbra, come qualcosa dal carattere molto forte, è perché avete intuito la caratteristica dei suoi rami: la tenacia.
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Gli antichi arcieri avevano scelto proprio il legno di Viburnum lantana per realizzare frecce leggere e dalla dirittura molto precisa. I rami del Viburnum opulus, invece, venivano usati come scudisci per cavalli.
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Noi abbiamo scelto il Viburno per dare un tocco di magia ai viali dell’Isola Bella in inverno. Quando sbocciano sembrano batuffoli di neve profumatissima.
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Say the name Viburnum. What feeling does it evoke?
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If it seems to resonate powerfully between your lips, like something with a very strong character, it is because you have embodied the essential characteristic of its branches: tenacity.
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Ancient archers chose the wood of Viburnum lantana to make light arrows with a very precise straightness. The branches of the Viburnum opulus, on the other hand, were used as shields for horses.
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We have chosen the Viburnum to give a touch of magic to the paths of Isola Bella during the winter. When they bloom, they are like balls of fragrant snow.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #isolabella #viburno #viburnum