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.

A TREASURE CHEST ON LAGO MAGGIORE
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Terre Borromeo

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

Who we are

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Hours

  • Isola Bella

  • Isola Madre

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  • PARCO PALLAVICINO

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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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#Berthier130
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Nella Galleria Berthier di Palazzo Borromeo c’è anche un “Giovine scapigliato”.
È proprio così che questo ritratto di Daniele Crespi viene citato negli antichi documenti di casa Borromeo.
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L’artista, tra i massimi esponenti della pittura seicentesca lombarda, ritrae un giovane raffinato con una bellezza elegante, quasi femminea, mosso da una capigliatura fluente.
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Nelle Storie vi lasciamo le nostre pillole d’arte.
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Daniele Crespi
Ritratto di giovane scapigliato
1625-1630
Galleria Berthier, Palazzo Borromeo
Isola Bella
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#Berthier130
🖼
In the Galleria Berthier of Palazzo Borromeo there is a "Young Scapigliato".
This is exactly how the portrait of Daniele Crespi is mentioned in the ancient documents of the Borromeo house.
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The artist, one of the greatest exponents of Lombard 17th-century painting, portrays a refined young man with an elegant, almost feminine beauty, framed by flowing hair.
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You can find a teaser in our stories.
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Daniele Crespi
Portrait of a Young Scapigliato
1625-1630
Galleria Berthier, Palazzo Borromeo
Isola Bella

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #palazzoborromeo #isolabella #artlovers #galleriaberthier #artgallery #baroque #baroccoitaliano #painting #viaggioinitalia
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Sono pronto!
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Oggi anche le Isole Borromee riaprono al pubblico!
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È un po’ come il primo giorno di scuola: tutto sa di nuovo ed emoziona. 
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Abbiamo lavorato durante questi mesi per prenderci cura di ogni angolo, per farvi vivere anche quest'anno esperienze indimenticabili in tutta sicurezza. 
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Nel mese di maggio, lsola Bella e Isola Madre saranno aperte soltanto nei weekend, dalle ore 10.00 alle ore 17.30 (ultimo ingresso). I Palazzi chiudono alle ore 18.00, i Giardini alle ore 18.30. 
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Vi ricordiamo che la prenotazione online è obbligatoria. Link in bio. 
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Leggete la nostra guida IG con le meraviglie da non perdere!
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 I'm ready!
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Today even the Isole Borromee [Borromean Islands] reopen to the public!
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It’s a bit like the first day of school: everything is new and exciting.
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We have worked hard over the months to take care of every corner, to make sure you have unforgettable experiences in complete safety this year.
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In May, Isola Bella and Isola Madre will be only open on weekends, from 10.00am to 5.30pm (final admission). Palaces close at 6.00pm, the Gardens at 6.30pm.
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We remind you that online booking is mandatory. Link in bio.
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Read our IG guide about wonders not to be missed!

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #isolabella #isolamadre #palazzoborromeo #newopening #openingday
Finalmente si riparte!
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È una gioia sentire il rumore delle barche che tornano a navigare nelle acque del lago Maggiore verso le Isole Borromee.
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Dopo Parco Pallavicino e la Rocca di Angera, sabato 1° maggio riapriranno anche l’Isola Bella e l’Isola Madre.
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Vi ricordiamo che nel mese di maggio giardini e palazzi saranno aperti soltanto nel weekend. La prenotazione online è obbligatoria. Link in bio.
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Vi aspettiamo per una nuova stagione da vivere insieme!
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Let’s finally start again!
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It is a joy to hear the noise of boats returning to sail in the waters of Lake Maggiore towards the Isole Borromee [Borromean Islands].
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After Parco Pallavicino and the Rocca di Angera opened their doors, on Saturday, May 1st, Isola Bella and Isola Madre will also reopen.
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We remind you that gardens and palaces will only be open on weekends during May. Online booking is mandatory. Link in bio.
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We are waiting for you for a new season to be experienced together!

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #isolabella #isolamadre #newseason #opening
#Berthier130
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Come si riconosce una gentildonna del ‘500? 
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Nella Galleria Berthier un pittore sconosciuto dell’Italia settentrionale ritrae una figura femminile seduta su una dantesca, dietro a un tavolino con un calamaio, un foglio di musica e un libricino nella mano destra. 
C’è anche un gatto, seduto alla finestra aperta sul paesaggio.
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Dall’abito lussuoso agli oggetti ritratti, ogni elemento sottolinea la nobiltà della donna.
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Quali sono gli altri elementi distintivi di questa rappresentazione? 
Scopritelo nelle stories.
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Pittore dell’Italia Settentrionale 
Ritratto di gentildonna con gatto
Ultimo quarto del XVI secolo
Galleria Berthier, Palazzo Borromeo
Isola Bella
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#Berthier130
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How does one recognize a gentle woman from the '500? 
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In the Berthier Gallery, an unknown painter from northern Italy portrays a female figure sitting on a Dantesque, behind a small table with an inkwell, a sheet of music and a booklet in her right hand. 
There is also a cat sitting at the open window, overlooking the landscape.
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From the luxurious dress to the objects portrayed, each element emphasizes the nobility of the woman.
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What are the other distinctive elements of this piece? 
Find out in our stories.
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Painter of Northern Italy 
Portrait of a gentlewoman with cat
Last quarter of the 16th century
Berthier Gallery, Palazzo Borromeo
Isola Bella

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #palazzoborromeo #isolabella #artlovers #galleriaberthier #artgallery #baroque #baroccoitaliano #painting #viaggioinitalia
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Lunedì 26 aprile la Rocca di Angera riaprirà le sue porte!
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ll giardino medievale è già in fiore tra erbe officinali e il profumo di lavanda.
Visitando le magnifiche sale storiche del castello non perdetevi la vista sul Lago Maggiore, con una pausa rilassante all'aperto sulla terrazza della Caffetteria. 
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Da qui è ancora più intensa la sensazione di tornare a vivere la bellezza dei nostri territori, che possiamo portare con noi con un pensiero scelto tra le proposte del Bookshop. 
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Modalità di ingresso per la stagione 2021: vi consigliamo dal lunedì al venerdì la prenotazione online che diventa obbligatoria per accedere al sabato e alla domenica. Link in bio.
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Vi aspettiamo!
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On Monday 26th April the Rocca di Angera will reopen its doors!
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The medieval garden is already in bloom with medicinal herbs and the scent of lavender.
When visiting the magnificent historic rooms of the castle, do not miss the view of Lake Maggiore, with a relaxing break outdoors on the terrace of the Cafeteria.
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From here the feeling of returning to experience the beauty of our territories is even more intense. We can cherish this feeling with a souvenir, choosing among the proposals of our Bookshop.
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Entry mode for the 2021 season: we recommend Monday to Friday online booking, which will become mandatory to gain access for Saturdays and Sundays. Links in bio.
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We are waiting for you!

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #roccadiangera #openingday #newseason
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A volte riusciamo a vedere meglio ciò che abbiamo davanti semplicemente cambiando prospettiva.
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Da questa immagine aerea, la Rocca di Angera non perde la sua imponenza e riesce a svelarci i suoi equilibri e la sua armonia.
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Notate dettagli che non avreste immaginato?
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📸@stefanopezzano71
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Sometimes we can better appreciate what we have in front of us by simply changing perspective.
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From this aerial image, the Rocca di Angera maintains its grandeur while revealing balance and harmony.
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Do you notice details you wouldn’t have imagined?

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #roccadiangera #artlovers #architettura #prospettiva #perspective #architecture