Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Borromeo Island - The Land of the White Peacocks

On our first free weekend, a group of us went to Lake Maggiore and toured all the way up to Lucarno, Switzerland, but I’m focused more on Lake Maggiore and, more specifically, the Borromeo Island inside Lake Maggiore. Our travel agent forgot to give us a discount, so instead she gave us free travel to the island and it was well worth it. On the island there is a gigantic Borromeo palace and our tour guide said it was one of the most beautiful and ornate palaces in all of Italy and after seeing so many of them while on this study abroad program, I would definitely say he was right. Everything in the palace was extremely detailed and intricate from the floor to the ceiling to the plates that were used for serving to the door handles. They also had high-vaulted ceiling which added to the immenseness of the palace and the master bedroom was amazing because the second the person sleeping wakes up, they get a perfect view of Lake Maggiore. Then we toured downstairs and that was the most ornate section of the palace because the rooms were cave-like and was completely made of small stones, so they must have used hundreds of thousands of stones in order to finish construction for those rooms. They generally used those rooms during the hotter part of the year as the stones were cool to the touch and there was a nice breeze flowing through each room. Now, the best part of the entire island was the terraced, Italian-styled garden that contained 10 layers total. We saw an ample amount of flowers and trees that decorated the garden and there was an enormous fountain that drew your gaze when you first entered the garden. Once walking up the first staircase, the garden opens up and has a symmetrical portion that held white peacocks, which I thought was awesome because I had never seen anything like that before in my life and they came within a couple of inches of you. To the left of here, was a small pond that held many ducks and water lilies. Climbing up the stairs adjacent to the fountain, we reached a small stone clearing and was the highest point of the island. From here, we overlooked a symmetrical garden with a fountain centerpiece and could see how the various terraces affected the look of the garden and had an extraordinary view of the entire lake that left me speechless. If anyone travels in this area, I definitely recommend trying to visit this island as it is well worth it.

Stay classy Castiglion,

Quinten Plumer

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