StresaLake Maggiore in Piedmont, Northern Italy. The Borromean Islands (Isole Borromee) are a group of three small islands, Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori (also called Isola Superiore) and Isola Madre, and two islets in the Borromean Bay and together totalling just 20 ha in area. They are very picturesque, especially the ornate palaces and gardens of Isola Bella and Isola Madre.
By trainTrenord runs regular direct train services from Milan Centrale Station taking around 1 hour.
By busS.A.F. runs the Alibus from both terminals of Malpensa Airport through Stresa, terminating at Verbania, seasonally Apr-Oct. Services are 2–3 hours apart. You must book by 11am the previous day (by 11am Sa for Monday trips). Buy tickets on board, cash only. €12.
By boatNavigazione Laghi provides ferry services around Lake Maggiore, from Arona in the south to Locarno at the northern end in Switzerland. The most frequent services are around the Borromean Bay, between Verbania, Baveno, the Borromean Islands and Stresa; a few of these stop at Carciano, as well as the main dock.
Navigazione Laghi provides ferry services between the main ferry dock, Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Madre, with some services stopping at Carciano also. There are also water taxis that operate from both the main dock and the lido – these are particularly useful after ferry hours, for example, if going or returning from dinner at a restaurant on Isola dei Pescatori or Isola Bella.
Alpine GardenAlpine and subalpine plants in 4 hectares part way up Mount Mottarone. Not the most impressive garden, but has good views. Can be reached by car. Can also be reached by the cable car. The toilet is of the squat type.
Isola BellaConsists of a four-story Lombard Baroque palace and an Italianate garden.
Isola dei Pescatori or Isola SuperioreThe village has charming houses and narrow streets. Its permanent population of 50 people is occupied in fishing and tourism. The Church of San Vittore still has its original apse with a lancet window dating from the 11th century. There are numerous restaurants, specialising in fish dishes. It's not a private island, so there's no entry fees or opening hours.
Isola MadrePalazzo (grand residence) and a botanical garden that is less formal than that of Isola Bella.
address: Via Sempione Sud, 8Gardens and zoological park in 20 hectares. Near the entrance there is a series of archways of cypress trees. Around the park there are magnolias, rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, a great Lebanon cedar, and exotic plants in the greenhouses. Has a cafe. The villa is not open to the public.
address: Via Golf Panorama 2, GigneseExhibits 150 parasols and umbrellas, showing changes from the 19th century to the present. Also shows the history of the umbrella makers of the Gignese area.
address: 8 Lido Square (Piazzale Lido, 8), CarcianoReopened on 13 August 2016 after repairs. A return ride offers fantastic views, and a one-way ride and hike or bike back down to Stresa is even better. Mountain bikes can be rented at the Stresa cable car station if you don't have one.
Carrefouraddress: Via Roma 11Supermarket.
Outdoor marketaddress: Piazza Capucci
phone: +39 0323-31109address: Via Mazzini, 10Wine shop.
La Cambusaphone: +39 0323-31938address: Via Cavour, 27Wine shop.
Tastevin Piazza Cadornaphone: +39 0323-31467Wine shop.
L'Angolo del GelatoAn ice cream bar on the square in the centre of Stresa. It makes great ice cream in many flavours.
- Torino. A great restaurant located on the central square. It makes a great schnitzel with french fries.
phone: +39 0323-30533address: Viale Duchessa di Genova, 13A few steps from the old town centre, beaches, the railway station and Congress Hall.
address: Sempione Nord StLuxury holiday apartment with splendid view of Lake Maggiore and the Borromeo Islands.
phone: +39 0323 32555address: Via Sempione Nord, 45 - 28838 Stresa (VB)Three star hotel with swimming pool, restaurant, near the pier where you can embark on the ferries which take you to the Borremean Islands.
Hotel la Palmaaddress: Corso Umberto I, 33Four star hotel on the lakeside road not far from the railway station and the town centre.
- Friend Post- A rising problem in many Italian cities, shops that sell postcards will also claim to sell stamps, these however are not real stamps rather stickers belonging to a private company named Friend Post. Their service is inferior to the standard Italian Post with many records of cards not being delivered.
- Lake Pirates- Tickets to take ferries to the islands and other destinations on the lake, are to be found INSIDE the ferry terminal. Many unofficial people roam the streets outside this building wearing sailor hats, they try to lure unsuspecting tourists into paying a higher price to take a small lake taxi to the islands (often lying about the ferry being more expensive and making more stops). There is even a small outhouse sized brick building just to the left of the ferry terminal which is manned by people performing this sca