Stresa - Lago Maggiore

Stresa, a picturesque lakeside town nestled in the beauty of nature. 

Stresa is one of the most visited destinations in Italy, thanks to the spectacular union between historical buildings and a gorgeous landscape.

Stresa is a famous lakeside town in Piedmont, precisely in the district of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. This town, which counts almost 5,000 residents, is located on the Western Coast of the Borromean Gulf. This territory is by Lake Major, and allows for a great view of the Alps, in a scenario offering breathtaking landscapes. 

Stresa is named after the morphological features of the area where it extends. Its name originates from the Teutonic term “Strich,” which indicates an extended strip of land. 

What to see?

Walking along the lakefront, tourists can admire wonderful historical buildings and luxury hotels. A nineteenth-century mansion, Villa Pallavicino is undoubtedly a place of interest, located just a few kilometers far from the Borromean Islands. 

Designed by statist Ruggero Borghi, the Villa, which develops on three levels,  features a large English-style Garden. Since 1954, Pallavicino marquises decided to turn this immense garden into a wildlife museum, which is still today accessible to visitors. 

The Zoo Park extends over an area of about 20 hectares, which welcomes a famous botanical garden, various secular trees, and over forty species of animals between mammals and volatiles. Villa Pallavicino’s flora and fauna make of the Zoo Park a special one, loved by young and old.  

In the Old Town of Stresa, one can admire the neoclassical-style Church of Sant’ Ambrogio, where some seventeenth-century artworks are present. On the right of the Church, one finds the famous Villa Ducale, build towards the end of the 18th century following that same neoclassical style. Still in the Old Town, one can visit the Palace of Congress, which hosts “Le Settimane Musicali di Stresa- Stresa’s Music Weeks.”

Borromean Islands, among historical palaces and botanical gardens

Within the territory of Stresa, one can find three of the four Borromean Islands,  worth discovering because of both their amazing landscape and architecture. 

Among such beauties, one finds Palazzo Borromeo, the residence of the Borromeo family on the Isola Bella. It consists of a well-preserved noble palace, where one can admire a large number of historical artifacts, as the collection of the family paintings, with works by Raffaello, Correggio e Tiziano. Inside of Palazzo Borromeo, one finds the breathtaking  Baroque-style Borromean Gardens, where several varieties of flowers and trees are present.  

The biggest of the Borromean Islands is the Isola Madre, where you can visit a marvelous historical palace and a botanical garden. 

Cultural events

The Settimane Musicali di Stresa is a cultural event born in 1961 as an initiative of a Venetian nobleman, Italo Trentinaglia, who wanted to launch an annual event making of Stresa the seat of an international classical music festival. Since its first launch, artists from all over the globe perform in Stresa. 

After its first launch at Palazzo dei Congressi, the event has expanded to other historical venues, allowing Stresa to showcase its breathtaking architecture while hosting classical music concerts.  Since 1999, the Festival has turned into “Settimane Musicali di Stresa e del Lago MaggioreStresa and Lake Major’s Music Weeks.”

Stresa also hosts different literary events, among which the “Premio di Stresa di Narrativa- Stresa’s Literary Award for Best Fiction,” for works written in Italian, and published in Italy and Italian Switzerland.  

From the Lake to the Mountain via Cablecar 

Stresa is also famous for its mountain region, which includes Mottarone, a beautiful and renowned ski resort located 1,491 meters above the sea level. One can reach Mottarone via a cable car, which is split into two sections. 

Besides the presence of a ski center, where one can practice winter sports, one can enjoy the view of Lake Major, Alpinia Botanical Garden, and the heights of Mount Rosa, directly from Mottarone. 

Youngsters and families love Mottarone. Here, they enjoy the thrill of winter sports and the beauty of breathtaking landscapes.