Isola Bella, Borromean Islands

Tiered garden

The jewels of Lake Maggiore are the Isole Borromee, or Borromean Isands. There are four islands and three are open to visitors. They can be accessed via ferry from one of the lakeside towns such as Stresa or Baveno.

Overlooking the garden’s lower level

In the 17th century, Count Vitaliano Borromeo constructed this baroque palace on what was an unimpressive hunk of rock inhabited by a few fishing families.

The palazzo

The palazzo and island was designed to resemble a vessel, with the villa at the prow and the ten-tier Italian baroque garden with its overlapping, ornate terraces is at the rear.

The garden spills down to the lake.

The island has 16 year-round residents. In summer, the family who currently owns the villa takes occupancy on the second and third floors. The ground floor and first floor remains open for visitors.

Garden view

White peacocks stroll around the gardens.

These beautiful white peacocks wandered the grounds.

The island takes its name from Carlo III’s wife, Isabella.

View from the lake

Open daily 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. April – mid-October

, , , , ,