Isole Borromee Isole Borromee
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  • Love, protection and respect
    that has lasted for six centuries

The history

For around six centuries the history of the Borromeo Family has been interwoven with that of Lago Maggiore.

 

The purchase of the Rocca di Angera in 1449 and of the first area of land on Isola Madre in 1501 marked the beginning of a unique relationship with these locations, which still have a great value today.

1439 - Rocca di Arona 1439 - Rocca di Arona

ROCCA DI ARONA

Acquisition of Rocca

Filippo Maria Visconti transferred the Rocca di Arona, together with the entire Comune, as a fiefdom to Vitaliano I Borromeo. For a good four centuries the fortress remained in the hands of the Borromeo family, and it was even the birthplace of future Cardinal San Carlo Borromeo.

1519 - Castles of Cannero 1519 - Castles of Cannero

CASTELLI DI CANNERO

Lodovico Borromeo and the acquisition of the castles

Lodovico Borromeo expelled the Malpaga family from the castles of Cannero, on the border with Switzerland. In the archive documents we read that on 6 October 1519, the day before the day of Santa Giustina Borromeo, he began the construction of the fortress, called Vitaliana in honour of the founder of the family.
In a very short time the fortification was completed and subsequently, having become useless from the military point of view, it was abandoned in the century that followed. The castles stand on two rocks a short distance from the shore and are currently in the process of restructuring: they will soon be open to the public.

1538 - Saint Carlo Borromeo 1538 - Saint Carlo Borromeo

THE PROTAGONISTS

Born of Saint Carlo Borromeo

In the Rocca di Arona, in the room known as the Room of the Three Lakes, subsequently dedicated to him, San Carlo Borromeo, cardinal and archbishop of Milan, who was to be proclaimed a saint in Rome on 1 November 1610, was born.
Much loved in his diocese for his numerous good works and for the abnegation and the spirit of sacrifice he showed during the plague of 1576-1577, he was an important figure for the history of the Church, of which he was a great reformer and one of the protagonists of the Council of Trento.
There is also a huge statue of him in Arona, the so-called Sancarlone, erected shortly after his death.

1564 - Federico III Borromeo  1564 - Federico III Borromeo

THE PROTAGONISTS

Born of Federico III Borromeo

A Milano nasce Federico III Borromeo, cardinale e arcivescovo di Miliano. Era il cugino San Carlo, a cui era molto legato. Venne citato da Alessandro Manzoni nel romanzo I Promessi Sposi.
L’autore dedicò molte pagine alla sua persona, descrivendolo come presenza pastorale benevola e austera, nobile di natali e di animo.

1620 - Vitaliano VI 1620 - Vitaliano VI

THE PROTAGONISTS

Vitaliano VI

Vitaliano VI Borromeo, considered the creator of the palace and garden of Isola Bella, was born. Very cultured and intelligent, he corresponded with heads of state and worthies from all over Europe. His extensive correspondence, conserved in the Borromeo archive on Isola Bella, contains numerous letters in which he describes the project in minute detail, even drawing the architectural details in the margins of the written texts.

1631-71 - Garden of Isola Bella Borromeo Archive 1631-71 - Garden of Isola Bella Borromeo Archive

ISOLA BELLA

The italian-style garden

The garden of Isola Bella was created, decorated at its highest point by a statue of a unicorn, the symbol of the family. The garden is a perfectly conserved example of Baroque style. It is adorned with numerous statues, obelisks and fountains, which stand on terraces sloping down to the lake. Parterres of flowers are alternated with scenographies of stone that create genuine theatrical sets.
Seen from a distance, its shape is reminiscent of the stern of a galleon ploughing through the waters of Lago Maggiore.

1657 - Carlo IV Borromeo 1657 - Carlo IV Borromeo

THE PROTAGONISTS

Born of Carlo IV Borromeo

Carlo IV was to join his surname with that of his first wife, Giulia Arese. An eclectic character, his second marriage was to be to Camilla Barberini and he would become Viceroy of Naples for the Habsburgs. He acquired the fiefdom of Maccagno on Lago Maggiore.

1797 - Napoleon Bonaparte 1797 - Napoleon Bonaparte

ISOLA BELLA

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte stayed on Isola Bella for two days with a retinue of around sixty people. He was not welcomed in person by Count Borromeo, who was angered because the French army had destroyed the Rocca di Arona, one of his estates. The letters of the administrator of the palace telling the Count of the events speak of dirt, broken furnishings and the great rudeness of the emperor’s entire entourage. Luckily Napoleon found his stay on Isola Bella boring, as he did that on Isola Madre, where he went pheasant hunting. His room in the palace still exists, with the original bed where he slept intact.

1848 - The Five Days of Milan 1848 - The Five Days of Milan

THE PROTAGONISTS

The Five Days of Milan

After the Five Days of Milan the Milanese nobles that had participated in it were fined by Radetzky. Among them was Vitaliano 9 , who had actively participated in the revolt. The price to be paid was very high for the finances of the count and the whole family.

1858 - Chapel of San Vittore 1858 - Chapel of San Vittore

ISOLA MADRE

Chapel of San Vittore

The construction of the Family Chapel on Isola Madre, designed by architect Defendente Vannini, dates back to this year. It is a small church opposite the palace, the façade of which is decorated with terracotta panels.
Some members of the family are buried in the crypt.

1906 - Simplon Tunnel 1906 - Simplon Tunnel

THE PROTAGONISTS

Giberto Borromeo and the Simplon Tunnel

The Simplon railway tunnel was inaugurated. Giberto Borromeo, senator of the Kingdom of Italy, was president of the Italian committee for the Simplon, which was built in just eight years (between 1898 and 1906) between Brig in Switzerland (Canton Vallese) and Iselle, near Domodossola in the current province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, and was to remain the longest railway tunnel in the world – almost 20 kilometres long – until 1982.

1935 - Stresa conference 1935 - Stresa conference

ISOLA BELLA

Stresa conference

The Stresa Conference, which between 11 and 14 April 1935 saw French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval, British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and the Head of the Italian Government Benito Mussolini sit around the table, was held in the rooms of Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella.
The purpose of the agreement was to reaffirm the principles of the Locarno Treaties and to declare that the independence of Austria “would continue to inspire their common policy“.
The three parties declared themselves ready to react to any future attempt by Germany to amend or infringe the Treaty of Versailles.

1948-58 - Completion of Palazzo Borromeo 1948-58 - Completion of Palazzo Borromeo

ISOLA BELLA

Completion of Palazzo Borromeo

As soon as he returned to Italy after the end of the Second World War, Vitaliano X Borromeo decided to complete the work on the Salone, which had been left incomplete, although a number of projects had been prepared in the past years. The decoration was executed following the original designs, but the magnificent dome that loomed over the building in the early projects was never built.

1978 - Opening of Palazzo Borromeo to the public 1978 - Opening of Palazzo Borromeo to the public

ISOLA MADRE

Opening of Palazzo Borromeo to the public

The Palazzo on Isola Madre, which had been abandoned for a long time, was restored and opened to the public. Part of the furnishings are original and part have come from other residences of the Borromeo family. Displayed inside it are objects of everyday life, such as the plates and the liveries of the staff.

Borromeo Archive Borromeo Archive

ISOLA BELLA

Borromeo Archive

The Borromeo Archive on Isola Bella contains almost five million documents, datable from 1300 to 1940. Most of the documentation regarding the history of the territory of the Borromeo fiefdom – which extended around practically the entire lake – is contained here. Notarial registrations, cash books, correspondence by the family members, musical scores and plenty of other materials are all held here at researchers’ disposal.

2008 - Reopening of Galleria Berthier 2008 - Reopening of Galleria Berthier

ISOLA BELLA

Reopening of Galleria Berthier

Prince Giberto VIII and Princess Bona Borromeo reopened the painting gallery of Isola Bella, also known as the Galleria del Berthier, to the public. The gallery is an example of a perfectly conserved 17th-century painting collection. 300 paintings and all the furnishings of this extraordinary wing of the Palazzo, the heart of the family art collections and evidence of the original furnishings of the house, have been restored. Photo Gallery.

ROCCA DI ARONA

Acquisition of Rocca

Filippo Maria Visconti transferred the Rocca di Arona, together with the entire Comune, as a fiefdom to Vitaliano I Borromeo. For a good four centuries the fortress remained in the hands of the Borromeo family, and it was even the birthplace of future Cardinal San Carlo Borromeo.

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Terre Borromeo

A story of love, protection and respect that has lasted for six centuries.

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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. 
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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.
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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).
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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