once called "Strix", the name derived from Lombard language, which means "Land Strip" and now is considered "The pearl of the lake," is surely one of the most elegant and refined city of Lake Maggiore.
As a pioneer, Stresa began to open up to tourism thanks to the construction of the Simplon tunnel, built by Napoleon to connect the city of Milano with the areas beyond the Alps, the construction of railways and steamboats that facilitated communication with Switzerland. At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Stresa was frequented by aristocratic families who spent the holidays and long periods for rest, enchanted by the natural beauty and picturesque landscapes. When you look at Stresa from the lake, affect surely the stately manors surrounded by magnificent gardens.
Viuzza nella centro storico di Stresa, Lago Maggiore
The mix of styles, from neo-classical to baroque to art nouveau fascinated by the grandeur and wealth that surrounds them, vivid memories of the Belle Époque period, when Stresa was busy during holiday by the nobility and stars of international finance.

There were many artists and writers who praised the beauty of Stresa and this part of lake Maggiore. Among Dostoevsky, Thomas Mann, Hemingway, D'Annunzio, we remember Stendhal who captivated by the beauty of the landscape, the great peace and worldliness wrote "La certosa di Parma" (The Charterhouse of Parma).

“If you have a heart and a shirt, sell your shirt and go to see the shores of Lake Maggiore” wrote Stendhal.

From the geographical point of view, Stresa belongs to the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola and is divided into four parts. The coastline, with the historic heart of Stresa and the fraction of Carciano. The islands with Isola Madre, Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori. The hills in a series of fractions including Levo, Binda, Campino, Passera, and Vedasco Brisino and The mountain, known for the famous ski resort of Mottarone, for the many pastures and the Alpine Botanical Garden, which is accessed via a cable car.

Lungolago di Stresa, vista alla isola Bella, Lago MaggioreStresa is famous for its beautiful promenade leading to the Lido and its many gardens that in spring are filled with azaleas and rhododendrons.
Preferred destination for many tourists is the Park of Villa Pallavicini, an English garden with a stunning view of the lake, famous for the extraordinary variety of plants and animals in the wild.
The pride of the town of Stresa is definitely Villa Ducale built around 1770 by the family Bolongaro.
From 1850 to 1855 became the home of the philosopher Antonio Rosmini, one of the greatest italian minds of the 800, where were hosted the major personalities of the Italian Risorgimento. Since 1966, the Villa is home to the International Study Centre Rosminians and boasts a large library of rare editions and a collection of relics of the life and works of the philosopher.

From Stresa, in a few minutes by boat, you can reach the
Borromean Islands.
For the sweet tooth, are definitely not to miss “Le Margheritine”, the typical sweets of Stresa, invented in 1857 by pastry chef Piero Antonio Bolongaro as a tribute to Princess Margherita of Savoy, future first queen of Italy, while he was on holiday in the Villa Ducale in Stresa. For lovers of classical music are held every year between late August and mid- September the Musical Weeks of Stresa and Lake Maggiore. Among the places affected stands the impressive Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, where every year, the prologue to the Festival, will perform the Bach Cello Suites. Locations of the concerts are also the Auditorium "The Factory" in Villadossola, the Visconti Castle of Vogogna, the Rocca Borromeo of Angera, Villa Ponti in Arona, Villa San Remigio and the Church Madonna di Campagna in Verbania, the Old Church of Belgirate the Basilica of Orta San Giulio