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Get swept up in the 17th-century extravagance of Borromeo Palace and Garden on Isola Bella. At just 1,050 feet (320 meters) long and 590 feet (180 meters) wide, the pocket-sized island is one of the jewels of Lake Maggiore, having been almost completely transformed by leading architects in the 1630s. Take a stroll around the site, which includes a remarkable terraced garden and a palace housing exquisite tapestries, paintings and period furnishings.
Carlo III of the powerful House of Borromeo began transforming the tiny rocky crag in 1632. He constructed a palazzo for his wife, Isabella D’Adda, and renamed the island Isola Bella in her honor. As you approach the immense palazzo, you’ll see its distinctive Lombard Baroque design and mannerist elements. Enter the four-story gray stone palace to enter into the extravagant world of the House of Borromeo.
On the first floor you’ll find the spacious Hall of Honor, which has a grand internal balcony and dome. Wander around the neoclassical ballroom and take note of the treasured musical instruments on display in the music room. In the Medals Room, see gilded wooden medallions that tell the story of St. Charles Borromeo. A highlight of the palace is the Tapestry Room, which displays rare 16th-century Flemish tapestries woven with silk and gold. Continue exploring to find paintings and restored rooms, as well as magnificent crystal chandeliers. Step into the palace’s underground grottoes intriguingly decorated with pebbles, shells and black marble.
As remarkable as the palace’s interior is its landscaped gardens, which are sculpted into 10 Italianate-style terraces in a pyramid shape. Stroll through the gardens to see an outdoor gallery of rare and exotic plants, sculpted obelisks and statues, as well as an amphitheater decorated with ornate stonemasonry. The upper terrace offers sweeping views across the lake, while the lower terrace features a lily pond and artfully crisscrossing box hedges.
Borromeo Palace and Garden is situated on Isola Bella in the Borromean Gulf. It is a short distance offshore from the lakeside village of Stresa. Ferries depart for the island from Stresa, Laveno, Pallanza and Intra. There is an admission fee to visit the island, which includes access to both the palace and garden.
Located in the heart of Stresa, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Villa La Palazzola, Carciano Ferry Terminal, and Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car. Congressi Palace and Villa Ducale are also within 15 minutes. Stresa Station is 11 minutes by foot.
Situated in Stresa, this golf hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Villa La Palazzola, Carciano Ferry Terminal, and Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car. Congressi Palace and Villa Ducale are also within 10 minutes. Stresa Station is 8 minutes by foot.
Located in Stresa, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre and within a 15-minute walk of Carciano Ferry Terminal, Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car and Villa La Palazzola. Isola Madre Botanical Garden and Borromeo Palace and Garden are also within 1 mile (2 km). Stresa Station is 19 minutes by foot and Baveno Station is 28 minutes.
Situated in Stresa, this romantic holiday home is steps away from Isola Bella, Borromeo Plaza and Isola Madre Botanical Garden. Borromeo Palace and Garden and Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car are also within 10 minutes. Stresa Station is 20 minutes by foot.
Located in the heart of Stresa, this golf hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Villa Ducale and Congressi Palace. Stresa Ferry Terminal and Villa La Palazzola are also within 15 minutes. Stresa Station is 6 minutes by foot.
Situated in Stresa, this historic apartment building is steps away from Isola Bella, Isola Madre Botanical Garden and Borromeo Plaza. Borromeo Palace and Garden and Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car are also within 10 minutes. Stresa Station is 20 minutes by foot.
Situated in Stresa, this beach hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Church of San Vittore, Isola Madre Botanical Garden and Borromeo Plaza. Borromeo Palace and Garden and Isola Bella are also within 15 minutes. Baveno Station is 25 minutes by foot and Stresa Station is 29 minutes.
Located in the heart of Stresa, this golf hotel is steps away from Villa Ducale and Stresa Ferry Terminal. Congressi Palace and Villa Pallavicino Park are also within 10 minutes. Stresa Station is 9 minutes by foot.