Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Magical Isla Borromeo

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.


brattcat said...

These truly are magical...such rich colors and textures. I have to admit, you had me hooked on that first image of the white peacock.

Filip Demuinck said...

Looks like a nice trip.

Jack said...

Ah, yes, I remember Isola Bella. The Italian lakes are magical.

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

Magnificent photos, each one as spectacular as the last.
I do like that white peacock and the way you captured his tail fanning. This is the first time I've seen a white peacock, I didn't know there were any. Thank you.

Traveling Hawk said...

Very nice pics, as always. I love the first two. The white peacock is magnificent!

Jackrabbi said...

thanks for these pictures. i was there as a kid with my dad in 1975. i remember those white peacocks and those other colorful birds well.

geo said...

Having a sturdy boat you can manage to crossed and see the beauty of the island of Borromeo. Such a wonderful island. Happy boating.
Boat Hire Sydney

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