Isola Bella is one of the three Borromean islands situated in Lake Maggiore. The island remained a barren rock until in 1630, when Carlo III Borromeo began planned construction of a palace and casino. Work was halted around the middle of the century due to an outbreak of the plague, and only resumed under his sons, who changed the original plans to the palace and gardens that still stand today.
Easily reached by regular ferry service from Stresa, Laverno and Pallanza, the Palace is filled with a variety of exclusive paintings, ornate furniture and exquisite marble, with highlights including the unique cobblestone shell grottos on the lower ground floor. The gardens are set over 10 terraces and include an Italian and English garden, and perhaps most strikingly, the Teatro Massimo; an open-air theatre built with a variety of statues including a unicorn, the Borromeo family symbol, at the highest point.
Recommended on these multi centres
Lake Maggiore and Lake Como
8 Day suggested multi centre from £1,179 per person
See two of Europe’s most spectacular lakes in this breathtaking lake escape.
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