Isola Bella is the second largest island of the Borromee and is almost completely occupied by Palazzo Borromeo and its wonderful gardens.
A splendid perfectly preserved noble residence that still today preserves numerous objects of art and precious artifacts, such as paintings, tapestries and antique and valuable furniture.
What really impresses, leaving those who visit without words is the famous park: an Italian garden composed of ten superimposed terraced pyramids, embellished with statues, fountains, rare shrubs, exotic plants and flowers with delicate fragrances such as magnolia and the camellias.
The upper part of the gardens, nicknamed "amphitheater" for the representations that were held here, is surmounted by the unicorn, emblem of the Borromeo family.
In 1632 Carlo III Borromeo decided to have a building built for his wife Isabella d’Adda and he chose a bare island in front of Stresa, in the Gulf of Verbano where the Toce river flows.Towards the middle of the seventeenth century the works were interrupted due to the plague developed in the duchy of Milan, but were then resumed with renewed vigor by the sons of Charles III: Cardinal Giberto III (1615-1672) and especially Vitaliano VI (1620-1690 ).The latter had the merit of entrusting the completion of the works to the famous Roman architect Carlo Fontana.
The inauguration of the gardens is instead of 1671, with Charles IV a lover of the arts and a man of letters himself.
Isola Bella is open every year from the end of March to the end of October, for more precise information, visit the Borromean Islands website.