Isola Bella

Isola Bella is a place of splendor thanks to the recurrent blooming and the priceless architectural treasures that blends into a wonderful microcosm. Since when it was transformed from barren rock to a blooming garden, the island appears as a galleon floating on the blue waters of the Lago Maggiore as his founder, Vitaliano VI Borromeo, meant for her.

Visiting this place allows you to live a normal day of a long-gone era. Here, the baroque boldly blends with the green architectures of the garden, creating a sight for sore eyes. Isola Bella’s palazzo is like a baroque chest of wonders floating on the water. You will walk though beautifully furnished halls that afford incredible views of the lake and witness many renowned artists’ exclusive paintings, precious furniture, marbles, neo-classical stuccos, shining armors and Flemish tapestries made of silk and gold.

The garden is a heaven where you can see statues and architectural decors set amidst the perfect green geometry of botanical treasures. Many trusted and capable gardeners trim, fertilize and experiment, preserving this place of wonders from the passage of time. A two-hundred-years-old camphor tree welcomes you at the garden’s entrance. Crossing the gate, you will experience the breath-taking panorama of the Amphitheater in the middle of the island. This Italian garden with a baroque taste spreads on parterres and terraces placed at different heights and sprinkled with statues, obelisks, ageless stone stairs and balustrades. This results in an impressive view, displaying the power and magnificence of the noble house.

It took four hundred years and the work of a hundred men (qualified architects, engineers, stucco workers, painters and cabinet-makers) to transform Isola Bella from a barren rock in the middle of the lake to a place of delight. Until 1630, Isola Bella was but a cliff inhabited by fishmongers, with a couple of churches and vegetable gardens sprinkled here and there. The Borromeo family, owner of Isola Madre since 1501, took an interest in the Isola Bella since the first twenty years of the century. The interest resulted into Giulio Cesare III and Carlo III starting the ambitious project for the palazzo we can see today. The project was then pursued, expanded and revised by Vitaliano VI, who is considered the official settler of Isola Bella.

The work were restless even after him, and continued for all the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries until 1948, when Vitaliano IX Borromeo built the Salone Nuovo, the northern façade and the great docks.

Isola Bella will be open every day from 24th March to 22nd October 2017.
Opening times
Every day from 9:00 AM to 17:30 PM (last entrance).
The island is provided with a bookshop where you can buy exclusive books and guides, postcards, prints and quality souvenirs.

A comfortable and panoramic cafeteria is available to provide visitors with something refreshing.

Offered Services :
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General characteristics

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  • Days : Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu,Fri,Sat,Sun
  • Timetables : 9-17:30 (ultimo ingresso)
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Isola Bella

Region : Piedmont

Province : VB

City : Stresa

Address : Palazzo Borromeo Isola Bella

C.A.P. : 28838

Visit Website

Telephone: 0039 0323 30556

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“For however fanciful and fantastic the Isola Bella may be, and is, it still is beautiful.”
(C. Dickens, 1844)

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