The Borromeo Islands are located in Lake Maggiore, north of Milan. They have been owned by the Borromeo family since the 1500's and they are the site of spectacular villas on two of the the three islands. This is one of the white peacocks that stroll the gardens on Isola Bella.
This colorful bird is one of the inhabitants of the gardens in the villa on Isola Madre.
Two of the islands, Isola Bella and Isola Madre, have large villas that date to the 1600's. Isola Bella has very ornate gardens, a portion of which you see in this photo. The third island, Isola Pescatori, is a fishing village with about 200 residents, a few small hotels, and charming lakeside restaurants.
The formal gardens of the villa on Isola Bella have elaborate statuary. The islands are a short distance from the town of Stressa, and there are boats for hire to shuttle tourists among the islands.
The gardens have a wide variety of flowers. Even though the lakes are at the southern edge of the Alps, the climate supports more temperate varieties of plants.
This is part of the terraced gardens of the villa on Isola Bella. We did a one day side trip to the Borromeo Islands during our week in Bellagio on nearby Lake Como. Unfortunately, the day on which we had made the arrangements for our group of 13 to have a driver and to tour the islands with a local guide was a rainy day, as you can imagine how this garden terrace would burst with color on a sunny day. But if it did not rain, the gardens would not be so lush.