Isola Madre, Borromean Islands

Ferry dock

Isola Madre is the largest of the Borromean Islands.

Bamboo lines the pathways

Palazzo Madre was constructed in the 16th – 18th centuries on the former site of a church and cemetery, both of which were relocated to Isola Bella. The villa is full of 17th century paintings, puppets, marionettes, dolls, puppet scenery and porcelain.

View from the ferry

Amazingly, the English-style botanical garden is even more elaborate than the Italian baroque garden on Isola Bella. It was built on citrus orchards. The scala dei morti, or Staircase Of the Dead, honors the previous cemetery.

My favorite part! Whimsical dog sculptures line the scala dei morti.

Exotic birds roam the island

A colorful peacock

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

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