On Stresa lakefront heading towards Belgirate, there are 18 hectares of parkland, a paradise where flowers and animals live in harmony.
Villa Pallavicino was originally built as a private residence in 1855 when the area was purchased by the statesman and academic Ruggero Bonghi. It then passed into the hands of the Duke of Vallombrosa and, in 1862, was acquired by the Pallavicino noble family of Genoa, who enlarged the estate, transforming it into a 19th-century villa in neoclassical style. In 1956, the Pallavicino family decided to transform their wonderful garden into a wildlife museum and open it to the public.
The park is home to over 50 species of mammals and birds, as well as several wild animals rescued by the forest rangers that would not survive if they were released into the wild.
When the management passed to the Borromeo family in 2017, many of the animals were already here, such as zebras, kangaroos, coati, Sarus cranes, and flamingos. Some were added later, such as alpacas, Orobica goats, the Bellavista mule, donkeys, ferrets, and Polverara hens.
There is also The Farm, an environment designed to experience contact with free-roaming animals, especially enjoyable for the younger visitors, wanting to stroke and touch the animals.
The flora is also very rich, especially in trees: centuries-old chestnuts and giant liriodendrons, among the oldest in Italy, as well as red beeches, larches, maples, ginko bilobas, sequoias, and magnolias. But the cedar of Lebanon stands out among them all, dominating Lake Maggiore in front of the private villa, which is not open to the public.