Lombardy and the Lakes Sights

Isola Bella (Beautiful Island)

  • Island

Published 06/07/2016

Fodor's Review

The most famous of the three Isole Borromee (Borromean Islands), and the first that you'll visit, is named after Isabella, whose husband, Carlo III Borromeo (1538–84), built the palace and terraced gardens for her as a wedding present. Before Count Carlo began his project, the island was rocky and almost devoid of vegetation; the soil for the garden had to be transported from the mainland. Wander up the 10 terraces of the gardens, where peacocks roam among the scented shrubs, statues, and fountains, for a splendid view of the lake. Visit the palazzo to see the rooms where famous guests—including Napoléon and Mussolini—stayed in 18th-century splendor. Those three interlocked rings on walls and even streets represent the powerful Borromeo, Visconti, and Sforza families.

Sight Information

Address:

Isola Bella, Piedmont, Italy

Phone:

0323-30556

Sight Details:

  • Garden, palazzo, and painting gallery €16
  • Closed late Oct.–late Mar.

Published 06/07/2016

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