As we entered the enchanted gardens of Isola Bella I felt like I had walked into a fairy tale and I was the fair maiden. My eyes grew wide like a child when they set upon the majestic beauty of a pure white peacock. They were like elegant brides trailing their long delicate feathers in their wake. I had never known of these pure white birds and was transfixed by their beauty and grace. I snapped away taking photos and fell in love with their calls to each other from across the grounds.
The gardens were filled with flowers and shrubs of every shape and colour and I loved the pools of lotus in brilliant yellows, pinks and whites. The Borromeo family symbol is the unicorn and as you passed the various statues you were left with the feeling that a real unicorn could be casually grazing in the grass just beyond the next shrub.
We explored inside the family Villa and unlike the stuffiness of France’s Versailles, every room had a fresh breeze from the lake and it carried a welcoming atmosphere with its summery coolness and décor. I could imagine friendly chatter in the parlour and young men and women courting in the corridors. There was a feeling of gaiety that echoed laughter throughout the vast halls.
If I had more time I would have grabbed a favourite book and settled myself under a shady tree to pass the rest of the afternoon. With any luck I may have even spotted that unicorn…perhaps on my next visit.