This small island in Lake Maggiore has been owned (together with several other nearby small islands) by the Borromeo family for 500 years. Virtually the entirety of Isola Madre is a botanical garden.
The most impressive tree on this island is a Kashmir cypress (Cupressus cashmeriana). It was planted from seed in 1862, and grew to be an immense tree-the symbol of this garden. The tree was uprooted in a tornado in 2006 (photo below of the tree below showing it lying on its side after the tornado), but the Borromeo family used extraordinary efforts to save it - a helicopter and cables to right the tree, special chemicals to limit the perspiration of water from the leaves, and constant watering for several years. The tree is still cabled, as you can see from the photo below.
The island has a beautiful palm garden with over 10 species of palm, including Chilean wine palms, Butia capitata, and others that were beyond my palm abilities :) Coming from San Francisco, where ginkgos often don’t thrive, it was nice to see that one of the biggest specimen trees on the island was a giant Ginkgo biloba.