Lands of art, lands of culture, lands of taste but also lands of adventure. In the middle of Lake Maggiore, looking towards the west in that arm that bathes the three main tourist places in the area – Stresa, Pallanza and Bavento – an enchanted place practically unique in the world rises: it is the archipelago of the Borromean islands.
Isol Boromei, they say in local dialect! The complex of lands that emerges from the waters has an area of just 18 hectares and has a few dozen inhabitants for most of the year, but has always been a popular destination for many visitors. Especially in the summer!
Three islands, an island and a rock, once belonging to the powerful feudal lords of the area originating from San Miniano; which, after having received them so unique from the past, retain intact characteristics: the Madre island, for the large fauna of oriental birds, the Isola Bella, for the garden with multicolored blooms, the Isola dei Pescatori, for the characteristic houses multi-storey with long balconies used to dry fish. And then there is the small island of San Giovanni, where for thirty years the great conductor Arturo Toscanini moved his residence. Finally, the Malghera rock, the favorite refuge of the lake gulls, which is also called the islet of lovers, for its small and romantic beach.
All the islands can be reached with the lake navigation boats. The ferries leave every thirty minutes to discover what appears to the eyes of most as true paradises: like the one that, on the island of Madre, has a splendid garden of exotic flowers, ancient pergolas of wisteria and, together, the largest specimen of Europe cypress tree of Kashmir. Equally heavenly is the Italian garden of the Isola Bella, where you can also enter the ancient Baroque palace with the curious mosaic caves.
And what about the food offer with lake fish dishes but also Piedmontese meats or wines from one of the most renowned areas in Italy?
The Borromean islands are also lands that host sumptuous homes. Here the Lombard nobility, the Borromeo but also the Visconti, wrote their history. Here, even today, you live in an aura of great charm.
Enjoy a stay at Villa Regina. Here magic and romance are ready to welcome you in a unique Victorian-style setting between furnishings, furniture and paintings of great value and a truly breathtaking view.
Ferdinando Arborio, Duke of Sartirana and Marquis of Breme, gave it to his future bride, Princess Luisa Dal Pozzo of Cisterna, before choosing her as a residence for their stays on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
You can enjoy the entire structure, including the large halls on the main floor, including the Cristina di Belgioioso room or the Library room, all communicating with each other through huge doors that will take you to the beautiful terrace with a unique view of Lake Maggiore. At your disposal the three exclusive suites Camelia, Rododentro and Azalea. The last ones are large, bright, welcoming, with a sitting area in the room and equipped with every comfort as well as luxurious private marble bathrooms.
The other rooms overlook the Lombard shore and look at the private pier from which you can reach the Borromean Islands and the monastery of Santa Caterina del Sasso in just a few minutes. Furnished with care and attention to detail, they present the typical colors of the lake: the green of the surrounding mountains, the yellow and red of the flowers that can be found, between majestic conifers and suggestive waterfalls, in the centuries-old park where they live together, in an explosion of colors, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, magnolias and camellias. Immersed in the greenery of the park, the large swimming pool also stands out, which represents the ideal setting for the celebration of an unforgettable outdoor civil ceremony, suggestive aperitifs or relaxing after dinner.