Borromeo Palace has been preserved in all
its opulent glory for visitors to explore. Its grand rooms
variously feature gilded and ornate plasterwork, crystal
chandeliers and original furnishings, paintings and other artworks.
Of particular note are the music room, in which a collection of
valuable instruments is displayed, the Neoclassical-styled ballroom
and the Tapestry Hall which is hung with exquisite Flemish
tapestries dating from the sixteenth century. Beneath the lower
floors of the house, several of the island's natural grottos have
been painstakingly decorated with sea shells and pebbles and were
designed to provide a cool refuge from the heat of summer.
Isola Bella's vast formal gardens are
set over a series of terraces which descend to the island's shore.
White peacocks stroll freely over immaculately-tended lawns, whilst
elsewhere the gardens contain beds of exotic plants and colourful
flowers and groves of mature trees each area divided by neat
hedges. The gardens are dotted with beautiful ornamental sculptures
and statues and also feature an amphitheatre decorated with reliefs
and carvings depicting the Borromeo family and its achievements. On
lower terraces visitors will discover the
romantic Giardino dell'Amore ('Garden of Love')
and a picturesque lily pond.