The Arese Borromeo Palace was commissioned in the middle of the 17th century by Giulio Arese and completed by Bartholomew III and his successors.
It should be seen in the context of a more complex urban project which served to give maximum prominence to the stately home in the hamlet of Cesano. The late baroque palace is still in harmony with its landscape context, with its facade overlooking the scenic exedra and with the “Genoese” loggia, the most distinguishing element of the building. Facing it is the Italian garden with parterre beds hedged with formally trimmed box to emphasize the central perspective and the composition of the architectural and landscape ensemble.
The present state of the garden, covering an area of 9 hectares, is the result of accurate restorations over the last decades by the Public Authority which owns it. The baroque architectural details have been preserved, including the sandstone sculptures of mythological or allegorical subjects, the Aviary and the Faun Temple with its ice-house beneath, and the decorative features of the Nymphaeum, created in the northern wing of the building as a place of contemplation, still the main linking element with the surrounding landscape. At the end of the perspective view, emphasised by an avenue of hornbeams, is the exedra with its scenic stepped fountain, originally fed by the Borromeo Stream which chanelled the water in Valsorda as far as the water games in the garden. Beyond the formal layout, one finally reaches the“oval lake”. In this area of romantic landscape the visitor can continue the itinerary to visit the English garden, where more than a thousand trees have been planted, including many ancient specimens.