Just offshore of Stresa lie the Borromean Islands, the largest of which is Isola Bella. The island was owned by Count Carlo 111 (1586 – 1652) and he transformed the rocky islet into a Baroque palace and gardens. He then renamed the island after his wife, Isabella D’Adda.
Although work began on the island in 1632 the finishing touches to the palace were only completed in 1959. The interior is filled with furniture, sculptures and fine art whilst the ceilings are covered in frescoes.
The main attraction though is the gardens. The ten interconnecting tiers are meant to resemble the decks of a ship and feature a wide range of fragrant flowers and shrubs.
Throughout the garden there are marble statues and white peacocks strut through the grounds. The terraces are crowned with a four tiered folly that is studded with shells and topped by cherubs, gods and a heraldic unicorn. It is a perfect example of a 17th century Baroque Italian garden.
More images are in the album below.
Nearby is the Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island) which is my next destination.
The view towards Fishermen’s Island.