Isola Madre Borromeo on the shores of Lake Maggiore
THEMother island it is a precious jewel set in the waters of the Lake Maggiore. Known throughout the world for its very refined botanical collections, is the largest of the islands of Verbano and emerges from the surface of the water with an exuberant profile, traced by the luxuriant vegetation that extends over most of its surface and from the squared mass of the building, built on the southern shore and on the highest point of the island.
In a secluded position with respect toBeautiful island andIsola dei Pescatori, was probably the first among the islands to be inhabited. The luxuriant nature of the garden is flanked by the ancient palace, inside which are preserved prestigious furnishings of Casa Borromeo, and the family chapel with its beautiful façade decorated with terracotta panels.
The events ofMother island they are linked to those of the Borromeo family from the 1502 when the first works of transformation of the island began in place of delights and private residence for want of Lancillotto Borromeo; in 1542 the island had already begun to take on the appearance of a garden and about forty years later, Renato I Borromeo, began the transformation of the building by entrusting its management to Pellegrino Tibaldi, a prominent figure of contemporary Lombard culture and a trusted architect of San Carlo.
At the end of the 1700s the island looked substantially like today and began to be considered a place of peace and rest thanks to the mild climate and the luxuriant nature. The greenhouses (1826) and the family chapel (from 1858) were later built, erected on the eastern side of the large square, to which it gave its name. The name "Mother" still in use today, is for some a tribute to the historical supremacy of the island in the Verbano basin, for others in memory of the benevolent disposition of Count Renato's mother, Margherita Trivulzio.
Porcelain and livery, family paintings, tapestries and four-poster beds decorated with sumptuous brocades make up a fascinating fresco of courtly life that will not fail to amaze you. The palace ofMother island in fact, open to the public in the 1978, it is set up with precious furnishings coming from various mansions of the Borromeo family that give back a suggestive itinerary through environments that reflect the lifestyle of the XVI and XVII century. Of particular beauty the Venetian living room with walls decorated with trompe l'oeil reminiscent of those of a flowered gazebo.
Do not miss the section dedicated to the puppets of the puppets of Borromeo house, whose performances, essentially intended for entertainment and leisure, involved from the mid-seventeenth century onwards, family members, friends and the same servants. Finally, from the large windows on the main floor, I overlook the gulf Borromeo with l 'beautiful island andFishermen's island It is so harmonious that the eye in front of such beauty lingers. In 1500 the island was redeemed by the Curia of Novara and just two years later began the transformation work that brought the largest of the islands of the Borromeo Gulf to become first an orchard, then an olive grove and finally a citrus grove. Today that ofMother island it is a unique botanical garden for the rare and original plant essences from all over the world preserved here. This English park offers shaded avenues where you can stroll and splendid telescopes towards the lake where you can admire the view; amidst the green slopes, the botanist is offered a broad subject of study and the tourist continuous and exuberant blooms resulting from the work of skilled hands.
Services at the Madre Borromeo island
Opening season: Isola Madre It is open every day from the 24 March to the 22 October 2017.
Every day from 9.00 to 17.30 (last entry).
Inside you can find a bookshop where you can buy books and guides, postcards, prints and souvenirs.
A comfortable and panoramic café is available along the tour route.
Phone: 0323 30556