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Italy in Photos

Photos of Italy taken on Walks in the Cities Towns & Villages of Italia

Borromean Islands

Welcome to Italy in Photos, where we invite you to embark on a journey through the amazing Borromean Islands in Lake Maggiore: – The Borromean Islands are a group of five islands located in Lake Maggiore, northern Italy. Three of the islands can be reached by passenger ships, and they are open to the public for exploration. The islands are named after the Borromeo family, who still own two of them today.

Isola Bella – located in Lake Maggiore, northern Italy. It is situated in the Borromean Gulf, 400 meters from the lakeside town of Stresa. The island is divided between the Palace, its Italianate garden, and a small fishing village. The island is famous for its magnificent Baroque palace and terraced gardens that slope to the lake. The palace is adorned with art and sculptures, and the garden is filled with exotic plants and flowers. The palace was built by Carlo III of the influential House of Borromeo in 1632, dedicated to his wife, Isabella D’Adda, from whom the island takes its name. The works were interrupted around mid-century when the Duchy of Milan was struck by a devastating outbreak of the plague. Construction resumed when the island passed to Carlo’s sons, Cardinal Giberto III (1615–1672) and Vitaliano VI (1620–1690). The villa was turned into a place of sumptuous parties and theatrical events for the nobility of Europe. The island attracts many tourists every year. It is accessible by ferry from Stresa, Laveno, Pallanza, and Intra. The island also hosts an annual Stresa music festival.

Isola Madre – is the largest of the Borromean Islands located in Lake Maggiore, northern Italy. It is situated in the Borromean Gulf, between the towns of Stresa and Verbania. The island is 220 meters wide and 330 meters long and is occupied by a number of buildings and architectural structures. The island is famous for its botanical garden that features a wide variety of plants from around the world, including rare species such as the Himalayan blue poppy. The garden was transformed into a romantic garden in the 19th century, according to the taste of the time. The gardens progressed significantly thanks to architect Filippo Cagnola, who immortalized staircases, pergolas, and vases with great precision. The greenhouses were built in 1826, and the family chapel was built starting from 1858 by architect Defendente Vannini. The island attracts many tourists every year. It is accessible by ferry from Stresa, Laveno, Pallanza, and Intra. The gardens of Isola Madre, along with those of Isola Bella, have been part of the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society since 2002.

Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island) – is the smallest of the Borromean Islands located in Lake Maggiore, northern Italy. It is situated in the Borromean Gulf, between the towns of Stresa and Verbania. The island is about 375 meters long by 100 meters wide and is occupied by a number of buildings and architectural structures. The island is famous for its picturesque fishing village, which has narrow lanes with characteristic two-story houses, with long balconies traditionally used for drying fish. The island’s inhabitants earn their living mainly by fishing and tourism. Its unmistakable skyline is punctuated by the pointed spire of the Church of San Vittore, which rises above the red roofs of the houses. Its shore is always occupied by the little boats of its fifty residents. The island has several restaurants that serve fresh seafood dishes. Local restaurants provide a ready market for fish caught by local fishermen. The island also has boutiques selling craft products and holiday homes. The church of San Vittore (Victor the Moor) retains traces of an ancient chapel that was probably constructed for the monks of Scozzòla (an abbey of San Donato di Sesto Calende founded by Liutardo, bishop of Pavia, in the mid-ninth century). You can reach the island by public service boat or private launch from the boat stations of Stresa, Arona, Verbania, and Baveno.

The other two islands are Isola di San Giovanni and Rocca di Malghera. They are not open to the public, but you can see them from the boat or from the shore. Isola di San Giovanni is where the composer Arturo Toscanini lived for several years in the 1930s. Rocca di Malghera is a small rock with the ruins of two medieval fortifications.

overcast clouds 19° C 17° C | 21° C 1.91 m/s 74 % 1004 hPa

Isola Bella

Isola Madre

Isola Pescatori