©Archivio Borromeo – ph. Dario Fusaro
Isola Bella, together with the nearby Isola Madre, has contributed to making Stresa one of the Grand Tour destinations. Even today no tourist can escape the seduction of these places built on the water. The bulk of Palazzo Borromeo, baroque in style, the true “royal palace” of the little village once inhabited by fishermen, dominates the island.
The formal Italian-style baroque Garden on Isola Bella is world-famous, in many places raised on artificial terraces like an elegant ship of stone and flowers sailing through the intense blue of Lake Maggiore. The nucleus of its complex theatrical structure, around the Teatro Massimo, is represented by ten superimposed terraces which form a truncated pyramid, surrounded by parterres on different levels, linked by stairways. The colossal unicorn, obelisks, statues and grottoes, the two water-wheel towers and other architectural elements astonish visitors. So does the planting. Here the soil and the climate of the lake offer an ideal habitat to allow species and varieties to grow on the island. White peacocks saunter amongst the magnificent architectural features recalling ancient Gods, mighty trees such as the camphor, citrus trees, rare for this latitude, and the splendid collections of roses, rhododendrons and camellias. The peacocks symbolise a place redolent of the eternal beauty of a Paradise on earth, or rather on water.
28838 Stresa (VB)