Borromean Islands

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Borromean Islands

Isola Bella - View
Isola dei Pescatori - ViewIsola Bella - GardenIsola Bella -  Palace

The Borromean Islands are three small islands located on the western side of Lake Maggiore.

At the beginning of the 16th century the aristocratic Borromeo Family bought the islands and hired the most famous architects and gardeners to restyle them.   

Isola Bella and Isola Madre were embellished with sumptuous palaces and gardens; while the Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island) remain untouched and the old fishing community could carry on with its traditional way of life.

Isola Bella is the most visited location of the entire Lake Maggiore. The marvellous Baroque Palace built during the 17th century is the main attraction of the island. The Borromeo Family wanted to show off their wealth and position when they commissioned its construction. Today is still possible to admire this very well preserved building and its stunning gardens. The first floor of the palace is where the most important and decorated rooms are located: step back in the past and enjoy the splendid Neoclassical Ballroom, Medals Room or the Tapestry Hall with its unique collection of Flemish tapestry! The island has a spectacular surprise for its visitors: under the palace are located six natural grottos; each grottos was lovely decorated with shells and contrasting stones!

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Isola Madre is mostly known for its magnificent English style gardens. Its uninhabited palace is still furnished with stunning 16th to 19th furnitures and art pieces; today it houses a museum. There are plants from all over the world collected by the Borromeo Family over the centuries.

Isola dei Pescatori is the most picturesque of the archipelago. Today is still inhabited by the descendent of the fishermen left there by the Borromeo. Its narrow street and perfectly preserved buildings seem untouched by the time. The islanders live on tourism: there are many typical shops and mouth-watering restaurants!