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  Lake Maggiore >  Places >  Borromean Islands lake Maggiore vacation - hotels, camping, apartments, holiday house, agritourism, ville

Borromean Islands

The Borromean Islands comprise three islands, a small islet and the so-called Malghera, just an uninhabited rock.

Until 1632 the Isola Bella (beautiful island) was a rocky cliff occupied by a tiny fishermen village: in that year, Carlo III Borromeo began the construction of a huge building dedicated to his wife, who became a sumptuous villa, a place of luxurious parties and theatrical performances for the European nobility.

The Isola dei Pescatori (island of fishermen) is the only island of the Borromean Islands to be permanently inhabited: it hosts, in fact, a small town, with the typical houses with several floors, with a square, narrow streets, a beautiful promenade and the main street where you can walk (the cars are not allowed on the island) and enjoy the beauty of the place.

Historical sources indicate that in the mid-ninth century, on the Isola Madre (mother island) there was the church and a cemetery, there were also cultivated fields with olive trees, and in the sixteenth century they were also introduced citrus. In the same century begins the construction of a first core of an aristocratic residence, which is then extended in Renaissance style. From about 1823-25 the island's orchards are converted to English romantic garden, which is still considered among the best examples of this art in Italy.

The Isolino di San Giovanni (isolino means islet) derives its name from a chapel with a font dedicated to San Giovanni Battista which stood on it. The island is famous because for 25 years it was the residence of the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini, at the Palazzo Borromeo. The palace and the island today are private and not open to visitors.



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