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A living ornament in the garden

by Anne

The last time I visited stunning Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore, I was startled by eerie cries echoing around the magnificent gardens. I couldn’t believe anyone could be mournful in such an utterly beautiful place. As I turned a corner admiring the view out across the lake, the noise became more insistent. I looked around and following me, just a few paces behind me, was a large white peacock with its tail in full display mode. I had never seen a white peacock. In fact, I didn’t even know they existed. This peacock was not alone but part of a group of peafowl that roam the manicured lawns and gardens of these famous boat shaped gardens that tumble down a series of terraces to the water.

In medieval times, peacocks were a delicacy and frequently displayed on platters at banquets. It was reported that the meat was not very tender, but I have no intention of checking this out.

I fully expect the beautiful white peacocks will be on parade again at Isola Bella when our group goes there in September as part of the I Giardini dei Laghi (The Gardens of the Lakes) tour. Those joining our tour will find them an enchanting addition to one of the great gardens of the world.

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