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STRESA TOURISM: BEST OF STRESA

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A TRIP TO STRESA ON LAKE MAGGIORE: SOMETHING TO KNOW

written by Dave Mitchell

Ostuni città bianca

Lake Maggiore is a one of the tour destination that any tourist would like to visit without a shadow of doubt owing to not only its size but to its spectacular view and uniqueness. 

Lake Maggiore is placed the second largest Italian lake around the Lombardy region as well as the largest lake of the canton of Ticino in Switzerland. 

Lake Maggiore which is known as Lago Maggiore in Italian has a mild cool climate during both summer and winter producing Mediterranean vegetation with beautiful gardens growing rare and striking plants. Among the most famous gardens of Lake Maggiore includes Isola Bella, Isola Madre, villa Taranto and Stresa.

Stresa is a town and a tourist resort located at the shores of Lake Maggiore with a relatively low number of inhabitants at the northern part of Italy. Positioned on the shores of borromean gulf, the town overlooks the unique Isola Bella

A look on Stresa today one could fail to believe it’s the once tiny fishing village occupying a narrow strip of land accessed only through a dusty roman road as recorded for the first time in 998 AD. Stresa owes its name from this narrow strip of land from its ancient name Strixia which means a strip land.

Stresa slowly developed and by the 14th century it would hold weekly markets owing to it’s growth and had been granted the title of "Borgo" which means a village. A division of the town was marked by River Cree by the 15th century with both sides being under the leadership of two different families i.e. the Visconti family to the right while the Borromean family o the left. It is interesting that up to date there are annual friendly matches between these two families.

Stresa’s real growth was however evident with the opening of the Simplon Pass in the 19th century which facilitated the arrival of tourist and merchants more easily. The island consequently became a map for the rich and famous housing renown guest including Rockefeller, Hemingway, Clack Gable, princess Margret and Charlie Chaplin. 
The Duchess of Genoa together with her daughter, Margherita had become summer residents after buying the villa Bolongaro in Stresa. The rapid growth and increase in the number of tourist visits saw the development of more facilities aimed at attracting more tourist.

How to Arrive
Stresa is strategically positioned and by ferry, train or taxi boat one can easily explore the place. You can board the regular ferries around the Borromean bay to the Pallanza, Baveno, Villa Taranto, Intra and the Borromean Islands. Additionally you can get the special Rover Tickets which allows one to hop on and off the ferries all day and provide an excellent value for your money especially when you intend to trip around the island in a day. These come with other discounted entrance tickets to the Isola Madre and Isola Bella.

The other means of transport that you could use include taxi boats offered by various co-operatives and companies with their services extending from Stresa, Carciano and around the Borromean bay. 

There is a railway line on the Milan-Domodossola making a day trip from Stresa into Milan very easy by train. The tickets can be bought from Trenitalia official agents or the Tomassucci Viaggi in Stresa where fluent English is as well used.

One could use air especially when travelling between Stresa and any other airport e.g. Bergamo. A private airport would be very convenient with a driver meeting you at the terminal and driving you straight to your hotel of choice. You can have tomassucci viaggi pre-book the airport transfer for you together with their trusted team of drivers specializing in minibus and personal taxi services. Local taxis are readily available at the ferry station and at the railway station and you could as well have your hotel reception call you a taxi should you need one.

A TRIP TO STRESA ON LAKE MAGGIORE: PLACES TO VISIT AND BORROMEAN ISLANDS

written by Dave Mitchell

Ostuni città bianca

Places to visit in Stresa 

Stresa is an excellent found to discover Lake Maggiore and its surrounding vicinity. 

Visiting this place gives you the chance to visit and explore more spectacular scenaries including the annual festivals and concerts. 

Major attractions include: 
Villa Taranto gardens - these are gardens that have a magnificent collection of flowers and plants all over the world in an English style plot. 

The Umbrella Museum - this is located in Gignese near Stresa and contains a wonderful collection of umbrellas and parasols including a detailed history of the many families from the Gignese are who build them. 

Stresa-Mottarone Cable Car - this takes you on a twenty minutes panoramic ride to Mount Mottarone giving you a chance to visit Alpine Gardens upon stoppage in the mid-way and by climbing the summit one gets a full 360° view of the Alps and over seven lakes. 

Villa Pallavicino which is a 19th century villa is surrounded by landscaped parkland containing beautiful flowers, plants and trees with a small zoo.  

In addition to the sites of attraction, there are a lot more activities you could do while in Stresa. There are numerous events you can enjoy during your retreat or visit including attending the Stresa festival, Jazz Ascona, Stresa jazz club concerts, the sound of America Honour Band amongst other local festivals. 

Taking walks is one of the best ways to discover the hidden treasures of Stresa and Lake Maggiore or even beyond. There are a good number of towns around Lake Maggiore including Ascona , Baveno, Pallanza and Cannobio which are worth a visit. 

You could indulge into other special interest in Stresa including religious tours, sports while finding out more about family activities. There are guided excursions which will facilitate your exploration around Lake Maggiore or visits to the last supper in Milan. 

Isole Borromee 
Also known as Borromean Islands, they include three small islands and two islets located at the western arm of Lake Maggiore between Stresa and Verbania. Though covering a total of an estimated 50 acres, their picturesque setting is a major tourist attraction. 

Deriving their name from the Borromeo family the islands are: 

Isola Bella - this is a natural treasure made even better through human intervention and provides its visitors unparalleled view of Lake Maggiore. Dominated by its sumptuous baroque palace together with luxuriant Italian-style garden makes the island stands out as one of the tourist favorite destination. The gardens are stretched out on ten terraces and open to its visitors including the splendidly furnished rooms and magnificent salons embroidered with priceless artworks. You can reach the island via boat services or motor launch from Verbania, Baveno, Arona and Stresa. 

Isola Madre - this is the largest island of the three borromean islands and is occupied by a number of architectural structures and its famously known for its gardens. The island has a magical atmosphere with immense garden of exotic and rare trees where pheasants and peacocks wander. Isola madre leaves its visitors with a memory of well manicured lawns, competently tended trees and flowers with skillfully laid out interiors. From Stresa or Baveno one can get to this island by train or by car 

Isola dei Pescatori is the third island among the Borromean Island inhabited all year round though unlike the other two it no longer belongs to the Borromeo family. It’s commonly known for its traditional fishing practice. 

Provinces

Districts

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The town of Stresa, with an elevation of 200 m (700 ft), is in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola (VB). The Patron saint is Ambrose. Stresa has Brisino, Carciano, Levo, Binda, Passera, Someraro, Vedasco, Magognino, Stropino, Alpino, Mottarone, Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori. as wards and the demonym of natives is "Stresiani".

In Stresa there are 60 accomodation.

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