Palazzo Borromeo
Palazzo Borromeo
4.5
Art GalleriesHistoric SitesArchitectural Buildings
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
In 1670 Count Vitaliano Borromeo decided to turn a rock awash in the middle of the lake into a “place of delights”. It took four centuries to complete this magnificent work that includes Palazzo Borromeo and its scenic gardens. The tour of the house is fascinating: the Throne and Queens rooms, the Napoleon's Room, the Gallery of General Berthier displaying a collection of 130 paintings. On a lower floor, six grottoes covered with pebbles, tufa rock, stucco and marble were designed to afford cool relief from summer heat. World famous, its baroque garden, with the Teatro Massimo at the centre, consists of ten terraces in the shape of a truncated pyramid. Visitors marvel at the sight of the monumental unicorn, the obelisks, the statues, the two towers and other architectural elements, as well as the mighty trees, like the camphor and citrus trees, and the collections of roses, rhododendrons and camellias.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • shirley123905
    Motherwell, United Kingdom29 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Simply stunning!
    We decided to visit just the one island - Isola Bella although you can do all three. This really did work for us as there were no time pressures to get round all the islands. The entrance to the palace and gardens is an additional 20 Euros pp but so worth it. There is so much to see and everything is stunningly beautiful. It was surprising to see the white peacocks and so many of them too. The cafe within the palace grounds is really nice and serves good food at reasonable prices. Definitely worth a visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 29, 2023
  • PB123
    Boca Raton, Florida854 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A “must visit” if in the area
    The Borromeo family has done a spectacular job in organising the Palazzo Borromeo and gardens. It is very well organised, very well maintained and really worth a visit. Most of the 199 rooms are kept for private family use, but that is not obvious because the 30 or so rooms open to the public are very impressive. The gardens are spectacular.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 9, 2023
  • Yas46
    Adliswil, Switzerland967 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing palace and gardens
    We came here 5 years ago and had to come back! We bought a ticket for all 3 islands. You need about 6 hours to see them all properly and as last boat goes around 6pm you need to start well before noon. The palace is sumptuous with so many glamorous rooms and information about the contents. We have been in October and September and the gardens are superb but would love to come back to see it in the Sporing time. Definitely worth a visit and we shall be back.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 19, 2023
  • Paige
    Birmingham, Alabama14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Extremely happy we didn’t miss this gem!!
    OH MY WORD!!! Do not miss the palace or the grounds. We’ve traveled the world and we were shocked that we had never heard of Palazzo Islo Bella! Give yourself three hours to shop, tour, see the palace, and the unreal gardens!!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 17, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,042 reviews
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DUrsoF73
Borgarello, Italy231 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Solo
What a truly magnificent palace! Definitely worth the visit. Tickets for an adult are €17 (see photo attached for the admission fees). There is a oneway system which weaves through all the majestic rooms; one more spectacular than the next.
The gardens are just as impressive and are out of this world, simply exquisite.
Definitely worth the visit as it’s a truly pleasurable day out!
Had an exhilarating close encounter with the most beautiful white peacock ever, vainly displaying her beauty.
Stopped off for a cappuccino and pastry (€6.50 a little overpriced but the view was worth the spend) at the caffettiera in the gardens which was a peaceful moment to appreciate the surrounding beauty.
Easy to get here with “Navigazione Lago Maggiore”. €4 return ticket from Carciano (first dock I found walking from Stresa trainstation along the lake) to Isola Bella.
Definitely worth the visit!
Written June 30, 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.

Wolfe
London, UK45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Couples
We hadn't done a lot of research so ended up getting a ferry to three islands. We went late in the day which meant there were fewer visitors (which was great). We have seen quite a few palaces but this was really unique and worthwhile for the beautiful and ambitious decor and gardens.
Written September 19, 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.

jils87
Zagreb, Croatia138 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Even though it was 35 Celsius, I enjoyed every minute of the visit.
I have seen a lot of castles and palaces around Europe and their gardens, but this place is one of a kind.

When planning a visit, make sure you reserve enough time, including taking a break at the cafeteria and getting some souvenirs from the bookshop (we bought soap made from local ingredients) and reed diffusers with scents of the islands).

I recommend purchasing a combo ticket to save money (and time because it is also used as a skipped line).
We bought ours online, just a couple of hours before the visit, including the ticket for the palace and gardens, park Pallavicino in Stresa, and a hop-on-off boat.
Written June 21, 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.
Thank you so much for your visit and the review Jils. We're so happy you liked it and hope too see you soon!
Written July 13, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gary G
Saint Louis, MO21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
The Borromeo family was obscenely rich and they built a beautiful palace on a lovely island in a beautiful place. I can see why they chose an island location, because to be as wealthy as they became, they must have been able to extract money from their subjects by taxes at a unreasonable rate. I think they also had an unholy alliance with the Catholic church, as Popes gave gifts to this very wealthy family, and a Borromeo became a Pope. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours, maybe? (The Church and the Borromeos). Where this is going is that by being on an island off the shore of the main cities, it would make it harder for someone who wanted to commit murder to easily access the family. I would guess that there were plots to kill the Borromeos that were not highlighted on today's tour. Call me a cynic, but to my view, European royalty became royalty by figuring out how to immorally extract fees from the peasants they governed, and then tried to justify it by ridiculous concepts like the "Divine Right of Kings". Could you imagine any worse form of governance than to be under the rule of an unqualified tyrant who gained their throne as an accident of birth?
Written October 3, 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.

shirley123905
Motherwell, UK29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
We decided to visit just the one island - Isola Bella although you can do all three. This really did work for us as there were no time pressures to get round all the islands. The entrance to the palace and gardens is an additional 20 Euros pp but so worth it. There is so much to see and everything is stunningly beautiful. It was surprising to see the white peacocks and so many of them too. The cafe within the palace grounds is really nice and serves good food at reasonable prices. Definitely worth a visit.
Written June 29, 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.

Jane N
London, UK986 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
The palace was built as a holiday home and for entertaining. Guests included Napoleon Bonaparte, Queen Victoria and Charles and Diana. There is a lot to see and enjoy including 6 grottos made from volcanic rock, marble, pebbles and shells. When you have toured the palace you will come out into beautiful gardens which have white peacocks roaming freely. Go to the top tier of the Teatro Massimo and you will have lovely views of the lake. There is a cafe and a small gift shop and as you make your way out there are some narrow streets with a few shops.
Written April 27, 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.

lotsagoldens
Surprise, AZ905 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
This was part of our Viking tour. All I can say is OMG, it was so over-the-top! Beautifully preserved, there is so much to see in the palace. Don't miss the grottoes. The intent was to make the guests feel like they were underwater, and walking through the cool rooms and hearing the water splash, I would say it worked. Then the gardens! Even if you don't know a rose from a daisy, the assortment of plants here is astonishing. Plus the statuary! So much to take in.
Written September 15, 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.

Yas46
Adliswil, Switzerland967 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
We came here 5 years ago and had to come back! We bought a ticket for all 3 islands. You need about 6 hours to see them all properly and as last boat goes around 6pm you need to start well before noon. The palace is sumptuous with so many glamorous rooms and information about the contents. We have been in October and September and the gardens are superb but would love to come back to see it in the Sporing time. Definitely worth a visit and we shall be back.
Written September 19, 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.

Emma R
London, UK50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
Beautiful palace and gardens. Costs 20e and get the ferry which is only a few euros and cheaper than the private boats.

Go early as busy in the Summer

Lots of amazing artwork, grotto, peacocks and gardens.
Written August 13, 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.

seiraele2li
Cremona, Italy18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2020 • Couples
Acomfortable boat took us from Stresa to Isolabella in 10 min. The visit to the palace was magical. Very suggestive place and full of history! A large door with a view opens onto a fabulous garden, full of holes and magical creatures! The right period I would say April / May when it is not too hot cistus exposure to the sun! To be given absolutely!
Written August 18, 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.

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Palazzo Borromeo - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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