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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Isola Madre Botanical Garden

Experience the grandeur of this island paradise halfway between Baveno and Pallanza, where exotic flowerbeds provide a home for peacocks, parrots and pheasants.

The Isola Madre Botanical Garden is Madre Island’s own slice of Eden. Dating back to the 16th century, the botanical garden is one of Italy’s oldest. Today it showcases a remarkable collection of rare and exotic plants in the grounds of a centuries-old palazzo. Explore the English-style terraced garden, which is spread across the island’s 7.8-hectare (19.8-acre) area.

Isola Madre was first landscaped by Earl Lancillotto Borromeo, who built a grand palace in 1590 on the former grounds of a church dedicated to St. Victor. The earl established an olive grove before transforming parts of the estate into botanical displays. The garden was updated over the centuries and is now laid out in a distinctive English style. 

Wander around the garden’s terraces, admiring Isola Madre’s horticultural highlights. Subtropical species thrive in this climate, so you might see some of the island’s exotic flowers in bloom. Be alert to spot the lilac-colored flowers of the garden’s wisteria vines, which blossom spring through early summer.

Year-round highlights include the garden’s jubaeae spectabilis palm, which is more than a century old, and the 200-year-old Kashmir cypress tree. Follow the winding trails to arrive at viewpoints that showcase the surrounding lakeshores. Admire the unfolding views of Baveno and Isola Superiore to the west and Pallanza to the northeast. You might come across some of the island’s resident birds, which include Chinese pheasants, showy peacocks and brightly colored parrots.

Don’t miss a visit to the garden’s exquisite 16th-century palace. Enter the palazzo to see its authentic period furnishings and grand halls, including the Sala delle Bambole (Hall of Dolls) and the Sala delle Stagioni (Hall of Seasons).

Isola Madre is easy to reach by private and public boat services departing from Stresa, Arona, Pallanza and Baveno. Consider renting an English audio guide. The price of admission includes access to the botanical gardens and the palazzo. The island is open to visitors daily between March and October.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 2,658 Properties near Isola Madre Botanical Garden
Hotel La Palma £111
Hotel La Palma

Hotel La Palma

Corso Umberto I, 33, Stresa, VB
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    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.

    Grand Hotel Bristol £114
    Grand Hotel Bristol

    Grand Hotel Bristol

    C.so Umberto I, 73, Stresa, VB
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      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.

      Villa e Palazzo Aminta Hotel Beauty and SPA £247
      Villa e Palazzo Aminta Hotel Beauty and SPA

      Villa e Palazzo Aminta Hotel Beauty and SPA

      Via Sempione Nord 123, Stresa, VB
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        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.

        Hotel Belvedere £80
        Hotel Belvedere

        Hotel Belvedere

        Via di Mezzo, Isola dei Pescatori, Stresa, VB
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          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.

          Borromeo's Dream Home "posta"
          Borromeo's Dream Home "posta"

          Borromeo's Dream Home "posta"

          Lungo Lago Vittorio Emanuele, Stresa, Piedmont
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            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.

            Borromeo's Dream Home "villa"
            Borromeo's Dream Home "villa"

            Borromeo's Dream Home "villa"

            Lungo Lago Vittorio Emanuele, Stresa, Piedmont
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              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.

              Hotel Romagna
              Hotel Romagna

              Hotel Romagna

              Via Nazionale del Sempione 21, Baveno, VB
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Baveno, this beach hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Villa Henfrey-Branca, Baveno Ferry Terminal and Church of Saints Gervase and Protaso. Carciano Ferry Terminal and Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car are also within 1 mile (2 km). Baveno Station is 18 minutes by foot and Stresa Station is 29 minutes.

                Hotel Astoria
                Hotel Astoria

                Hotel Astoria

                Corso Umberto I, 31, Stresa, VB
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  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.