Isola Madre is the largest island of the Borromean Islands. Surrounded by mountains and bathed by Lake Maggiore, it benefits from a microclimate that takes travelers on a discovery of a lush English-style botanical garden unique in Italy in which rare plants from all over the world, pheasants , white peacocks and parrots. A real invitation to travel to the oldest of the Borromean Islands, hence the origin of its name Ile Mère.

White peacocks roaming free in the garden

A collection gleaned from the four corners of the globe

On this island, landscapers have given way to botanists, nature is in the spotlight. It was at the end of the 19th century that the Jardin d’Acclimatation began to see the light of day with Count Vitaliano IX who planted seeds of species then unknown from travel correspondents and various exchanges with the botanical garden of Florence. In this garden, unique trees (wellingtonias, giant sequoias from America, or Cycas revoluta from China, ginkgo biloba, etc.), and an exceptional collection of plants and flowers (150 species of camellias, handkerchief trees, hibiscus, soap trees, black bamboo, star anise, azaleas, etc.).

L’isola madre

A Kashmir cypress, the largest specimen in Europe

Seeds from the Himalayan region were planted in 1862. Today at a height of 25 meters, this Kashmir cypress (Cupressus cashmeriana) is considered the tallest specimen in Europe. In 2006, a storm uprooted the tree, in order to save it, cables were installed so that it could take root again and so that it could still be admired for many years. If you are traveling around Lake Maggiore, we highly recommend a short visit to Isola Madre Island.

The Kashmir cypress (Cupressus cashmeriana) planted in 1862.

All useful information for preparing your getaway can be found on the Borromean Islands website, click here:

5/5 - (1 vote)
See also  5 Japanese gardens to visit in France!

About the Author

Amazing & Bizarre

Amazing & Bizarre is a gardening blog dedicated to curious gardeners and lovers of rare plants. Find all our natural gardening advice, our culture sheets, our original cooking recipes, our DIY tips and our creative ideas!

View All Articles