Isola Bella

Isola Bella

Isola Bella is one of the Borromeo islands located in the beautiful Lake Maggiore. It lies in the south of the Gulf of Verbania in the Piedmont region. At the edge of region Lombardy, and overlooking the town of Stresa.

This small piece of land belongs to the so-called Borromean Islands archipelago, along with the islands of Isola Madre (Mother Island) and Isola dei Pescatori (island of fishermen).


Before the Earl Carlo Borromeo bought this island it was a barren piece of land. In 1630 gave the Earl assignment to the Milanese architect Giovanni Angelo Crivelli to build the palace with garden, in the place which at that time was no more than a bare rock inhabited by fishermen. The island was named after his wife "Isabella" D'Adda, later the name would be shortened to "Bella". Isola Bella was an island with terraced gardens, grottos, fountains, statues and white peacocks. Together with the Palazzo Borromeo everything was designed in the Baroque style of the sixteenth century.

The luxuriously furnished rooms have been preserved with furniture and a beautiful collection of precious Flemish tapestries. The palace is a series of rooms with furniture of the past centuries, compiled by Mussolini and Napoleon.

On the first floor is the large ballroom used for the reception and representation. Then we find the Hall of Columns in neoclassical style, the Board of Directors of the music takes its name from the exhibit valuable musical instruments and the Board of Directors of the medals, which retains medals gilded wood represent the most important event in the life of St. Charles Borromeo. On this floor we find a Gallery of Tapestries.

A collection of valuable Flemish tapestries designed and made during the sixteenth century. The vaulted ceiling of this room is decorated with pink windows of gold on a white background. Very special and valuable are the artificial caves, which are accessible via a spiral staircase from the eighteenth century, marked with marine motifs.


This palace also has a beautiful garden where you can enjoy and which was proclaimed in 2007 and is considered the "most beautiful park in Italy." This garden park consists of ten overlapping terraces, (it reaches a height of nearly 40 meters), and looks like a step pyramid. The terraces are decorated with various fountains, statues and water features that provide an interesting contrast of green and blue. Isola Bella has a rich history, especially in relation to the Borromeo family and later Napoleon's residence, and everything on which it distinguishes itself from other historic sites.

This island is open to the public for several months a year. The island has undergone many changes since the mid-seventeenth century. The creation in the form of an imaginary ship, than the city would be the bow and the garden, the deck at the stern, then it is the formation of a remarkable picture of a boat easy. It is a perfect place to wander for a day and to be far away from the daily grind. You can reach it by boat from Lake Maggiore Navigation through Stesa or through Baveno. The facade is formed by a portico with four arches. The tower on the left, facing the lake, bears a clock dating back to 1300. The belfry is open with a lancet window. In the veranda are well-preserved remains of frescoes attributed to one of the sons of Bernardino Luini. The current church is made up of five aisle. Four aisle are representations of shrines that match performances elsewhere. In the fifth aisle is a show dedicated to the Sanctuary of the Holy Besozzi.