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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Grottoes Of The Palazzo Borromeo


One place that I plan to revisit during my upcoming trip to Stresa is Isola Bella. The island is the most popular of the three Borromean islands, and the number one tourist destination for visitors here. I need to see it again, as there was simply too much for me to absorb in one visit, and so I plan to write in depth about all of the Borromean islands while there, fresh in my mind.


Nel frattempo, in the meantime, I’ll leave you with a little teaser, some photos from the previous time I was there, of the grottoes in the Borromeo Palazzo on Isola Bella. The strange series of six rooms, the idea of Vitaliano the Sixth, were planned in 1685 with the help of the architect Filippo Cagnulo, but they weren’t completed until almost 100 years later.



The ground-level rooms served the same purpose then as they do now. They provide a cool and cavern-like refuge from the heat during the summer, and they are a connecting passageway between the palace proper and the gardens behind. Every inch of space, even the ceilings and archways, are completely covered. Note the cement shell motif used as decoration above the doorway as well as on the ceiling and walls.

Who is the sleeping lady in the photo at the top of this post? More about her, and all of Isola Bella, when I return there very soon.


Isola Bella Web site: www.borromeoturismo.it



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