17 May Kuwait-Italy travel Isola Bella – Lake Maggiore 2
” …However fanciful and fantastic the Isola Bella may be, and is, it still is beautiful’’ C.Dickens (1844)
Isola Bella is the best known amongst Borromeo Islands, beautiful – and very theatrical.
Italian baroque palace with terraced garden. It was Carlo III Borromeo that in the first half of the 17th century started the work for the alteration of this parched island; work concluded in 1671 by Vitaliano VI.
The big Baroque building is an authentic museum of unique, priceless delights: originalfittings, 16th-19th-centuries paintings and frescoes, silk and gold Flemish tapestry, unrepeatable sculptures, historical arms.
The series of halls included in the building is very attractive, Dance Hall, Throne Room, Arms Hall, Alcove Hall, Napoleonic Hall (named after the illustrious guest who was hosted here several times) to the Music Lounge (which was the seat for the 1935 Stresa Conference among England, France and Italy).
In addition to all that, there are several underground rooms, fitted in such way as to imitate natural grottoes, with tuff walling, decorated with unbelievable stuccoes and mosaics depicting the charm of the underwater world. These rooms are animated with some peculiar and valuable items, like the archaeological finds of the Golasecca culture.
The Italian-style gardens are organized on ten terracing, arranged in way to form a big truncated pyramid. Nymphaeum, exedra, allegoric and mythological statues, obelisks and fountains enrich the gardens which is rich in valuable tree essences like cedars, orange and lemon trees, magnolias, laurels, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons, conifers etc.
The scene is dominated by the statue of the Unicorn (heraldic emblem of the Borromeo family) which has on its sides the statues of Nature and Art together with several stone figures of the ancient mythology.
The charm of the site is furthermore enhanced by white peacocks, which are left free on the velvety lawns.