Borromeo Palace
Borromeo Palace
4.5
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A 17th-century palace featuring an Italian Baroque style.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles106 reviews
Excellent
70
Very good
28
Average
4
Poor
2
Terrible
2

betteskid
Boston, MA1,327 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
We loved our visit to this palace on an island in Lake Maggiore. The island (which is almost totally covered by the palace and its grounds) is easily accessible by boat from Stresa. The inside of the palace is amazing, with elaborate decorations that seem more stunning with each room. The gardens are equally amazing. Unfortunately it was raining on the day we visited but we were still able to explore these. I recommend visiting when you are in Stresa.
Written August 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Weegie55
Falkirk, UK14 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Family
A trip round all 3 Borromean islands is a highlight of any holiday on Lake Maggiore and is well worth a day's effort - we took 6 hours to cover them. We used the 'belle epoche' town of Stresa as our base. Two of the islands, Isola de Madre and Isola Bella, have grand palaces with beautiful and shady gardens, while the third, Isola di Pescatori acts as the refuelling break for the round trip, with numerous restaurants. (There are cafes on the other 2 islands too, contrary to the info in Lonely Planet guide book). The only downside of our wonderful day was the scramble to get off each island on the cramped private ferry boats we'd unwittingly booked, so we'd recommend using the official lake steamer company, which provides vessels with plenty of space, if you'd rather not mix it with the pensioner groups!
Written June 22, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dreytuch
Chicago, IL352 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Family
This was one of the most beautiful spots that I have ever visited. My family and I were staying at Villa d'Este in Lake Como. We rented a car for a day trip to Stresa, and what an amazing journey. The Italian Alps are magnificent, and the town of Stresa well worth the visit. The highlight of the trip was the short ferry ride to the Palace. It was absolutely ethereal and unreal. The magnificent rooms were only matched by the incredible views from the gardens and the sassy peacocks roaming the grounds. Beware of the private boat captains who grab you on shore to tell you that they are the ferry. NO! They get you on their boat, take you to the first of 3 islands in the lake, and then tell you a ridiculous fee to take you BACK to the mainland. A deal CAN be had with them, but negotiate in advance for a family group. If you are just a couple of people, no reason not to take the leisurely and beautiful ferry trip. Great restaurants on the island and reasonably priced souvenir stands. Great, fun ceramic chicken pottery in Stresa.
Written December 19, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennifer Allen
London, UK7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
For all the marketing build-up of this magnificent palace I would like to warn fellow travellers ! The gardens are not accessible separately , and are included in the price of the entrance . The gardens can not be accessed without having to traipse through the many many rooms of the palace , which takes about 45 minutes . These rooms do contain some marvellous objets and paintings and furniture , but are in my opinion very OTT and ostentatiously pompous . Few of the paintings are of very great importance in the highest levels of art appreciation , and there are endless portraits of sitters whose names mean little or nothing to the average traveller . There are just far too many of them , and the phrase 'Less is More' springs to mind during the whole tour . Notable furniture includes very marvellous cabinets inlaid with piètra dura panels , or finely painted reverse glass technique, amongst other fine treatments . Descending to the lower level there is a huge undercroft of shell encrusted grotto-like rooms . These are interminable , and dreary , with an eerie and unpleasant atmosphere . But we were fascinated and hugely impressed by the Flemish Tapestries on display in the final room before the exit - the series incorporates huge scenes of animal and plant life - at that period in time the exotic animals were a real novelty ! These tapestries are miracles of workmanship , and make the whole rather disappointing experience worth while !!
There are huge steps to scale , up and down , throughout the palace , and one has no alternative but to follow the route set out by the management . There seems to be no escape route except at the end of the tour , and for many people of a certain age and fitness ( my husband and I for example !) you end up SO exhausted , that the visit to the gardens , which is what we really wanted to see , becomes too tiring even to contemplate , (the tiered gardens are also approached by huge flights of stone steps , with no handrails ,as far as we could determine ,to assist one ). So be warned , all you people ! Lovely if flights huge steps do not deter you , but not really advisable if you have even fairly minor mobility problems . In writing this review I guess I'm in a minority - there seem to be many many 5* reviews . Even our tour manager did not realise how stressful the lack of exits , the inaccessibility of the gardens , and the upping and downing on countless flights of stone steps . It needs re-organising in to two areas - garden access , and palace access , with the appropriate charges , then you could take your choice as desired .
Written June 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheJayGirl
Zurich, Switzerland58 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
Being European we are spoiled with beautiful culture and historic castles in particular, so the bar was set relatively high when venturing out on the lake Maggiore to visit the most majestic castle on one of the 3 islands. It was a fantastic experience and I particularly enjoyed the detailed decorations in the lower part of the castle, making me feel like I was visiting the underwater kingdom of Neptune
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

littlerae0fsunshine
Maitland, Australia283 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Friends
You have to pay 16 Euro pp for the palace & gardens - even if you only want to see the gardens! And you can see the gardens anywhere from shore or even from the cable car! Place is also full of tacky gift stalls which degrades the whole place. If you want to see chandeliers made from Merano glass - go into the foyers of any of the big waterfront hotels. They are huge & just gorgeous!
Written June 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David R
Lugano, Switzerland61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Friends
This island is a huge castle with a small village on the side.
You'll find everything the nobles may have had:
- botanical garden and more,
- amazing view,
- arts: paintings, statues, tapestry, furnitures...........),
- archeology,
-...
Written October 23, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charlene A
Redondo Beach, CA84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
I am not a huge fan of touring palaces as it seems you won't remember them anyway. This palace was an exception for me. I really enjoyed seeing all the elaborately decorated rooms and learning the history of the palace. The grotto level is quite unique and worth seeing.
The gardens are beautiful and it's a treat to see the white peacocks wandering about. Lots of beautiful views all around the island.
If you don't like art and history, then you may not enjoy it as much as I did. It is a fair amount of walking to do this tour.
Written October 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MSU14
Toronto, Canada55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
If you're in the Lake Maggiore area, this is worth a stop. We visited here as an excursion on our Trafalgar Best of Italy bus tour and we had a lovely tour here one morning before it got busy. I was there with my husband and our three kids (15, 13, 10). Our guided tour lasted about an hour through many of the rooms in the palace and compared to other lavish palaces and castles i've visited in the world, it was very impressive. It was interesting to learn about the Borromeo family and their history/role in Italian history. The gardens were especially beautiful and we had nice weather for stunning views of the lake.
Written August 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David C
Tiverton, UK2,407 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Palace is impressive but the exhibits are not well curated. If nothing else there's too many of them in too small a space. Not sure the entry fee was justified.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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