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The largest island on the lake

Originally called Isola di San Vittore, with its 8 hectares it is the largest island on Lake Maggiore. It emerged in the Ice Age. Traces of small dwellings, a church and some plants used for oil production as early as the late 8th century were found. Today it is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and its park is home to a huge variety of plants and birds from all over the world.

The Garden

According to Gustave Flaubert, Isola Madre is ‘the most voluptuous place in the world‘. This definition is surely due to the marvellous Botanical Garden that dominates the island. Created at the end of the 19th century, this garden is a unique jewel with rare beauty. The plant essences that populate it, the marvellous blossoms, the groves of magnolias, the beautiful parterre of camellias and rhododendrons and the pools of water lilies make the journey a unique and indescribable emotion.

This real life painting is completed by the terrace of proteas, a typical South African flower that has found an ideal environment thanks to the mild and sunny climate typical of Lake Maggiore.

The Palace

In the enchanting Palazzo Borromeo, you can rediscover an entirely private and intimate dimension of the Borromeo family. The beautiful building with its succession of loggias, rooms, tapestries, furniture and paintings, recount the life of the Borromeo family in an elegant and sober style.

One of the main rooms is undoubtedly the Venetian drawing room, the sunniest spot in the Palace. Entering this room is like entering a pergola supported by columns intertwined with plants and flowers.

Another important attraction is the Marionette Theatre. The family used to entertain their guests with sets, props and small domestic shows. Today many relics of this curious family tradition are on display.

For information on the cost of admission to the palace visit:

“The most voluptuous place in the world”. – Gustave Flaubert

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