Stresa

Stresa is perched on the scenic shores of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy’s Piedmont Region. Long a favorite retreat for European aristocrats, Stresa is a delightful place for relaxing—no royal pedigree needed. One of the main draws to Stresa, besides the lake, is its proximity to Milan. It’s just 90 kilometers (55 miles) to the northwest of Milan, easy to reach by rail and highway. No matter how you arrive, you’ll be treated to amazing views, welcoming hotels, and delightful experiences just waiting to be enjoyed.

Lake Maggiore & Borromean Islands

Lake Maggiore & Borromean Islands
Lake Maggiore & Borromean Islands

One of Italy’s natural treasures, Lake Maggiore is one of the largest lakes in the country. It stretches from the southern edge of the Alps through the Piedmont Region into Lombardy, gracing both Italy and Switzerland. In both countries, the lake is long and narrow, with a warm climate reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea. The conditions are especially favorable for exotic plants, so the gardens along the shore are especially beautiful. The lake is also a favorite spot for watersports, from mild kayaking and scuba diving to more adventurous water skiing. Every June, the Verbania Vela Festival celebrates Lago Maggiore and its sailing heritage. Stresa serves as the gateway to the lake’s biggest islands, the Borromean Islands. The collection of three islands and two smaller outlying islets are some of the most visited places in all of the region, loved for the gardens and ornate historic homes.The three islands are Isola Bella (Beautiful Island) graced by a beautiful 17th century palace that is open for tours, Isola Madre (Mother's Island) also with a palace and beautiful gardens, and Isola Pescatori (Island of Fishermen) almost completely taken up with a small fishing village.

Lake Orta

Lake Orta
Lake Orta

While Maggiore is the dominate natural feature of Stresa and its neighbors, it’s not the only lake to enjoy. Lake Orta lies to the west of the big lake, has long hosted romantic getaways. French poet Honoré de Balzac even declared it a “grey pearl in a green jewel box.” Today’s visitors enjoy the same views and so much more. Today, the shores of the lake are dotted with nature reserves and cultural sites with no equal. Many craftsmen have set up shops here too, carrying on the old traditions, using pewter, wood, bronze and other ingredients to make both art and useful items. Another one of the favorite things to do is a boat trip to the little island of San Giulio, home to a monastery and an amazing Romanesque church. 

Villas

Stresa, Italy
Stresa, Italy

Many of Stresa’s most attractive addresses overlook the waters of Lake Maggiore. Several of these villas welcome visitors with open arms, proving chic and comfortable places to spend the night and enjoy your vacation. You’ll have the chance to stay in historic accommodations all with easy access to the top things to do in Stresa, both on and off the shores of Lake Maggiore. Some of the villas are privately owned opulent homes, lived in by the rich and famous. These can be seen on just about any boat tour along the shores. 

Stresa Italy Hotels & Lodging

Stresa Italy Hotels & Lodging
Stresa Italy Hotels & Lodging

While you could stay in Milan and visit Stresa for the day, the lakeside community has plenty of places to stay. Along with the villas, Stresa has all types of Italy hotels to enjoy, whether you’re traveling on a tight budget or looking for luxury. Several of the luxury hotels offer lakeside views as well as top perks to ensure guests have everything they need for a fantastic stay. If you’re looking for something different, Stresa also has budget hotels that are lighter on the wallet as well as apartment rentals that include plenty of space to call your own. The prime locations are along the lakefront promenade with views of the Borromean Islands, and one of the loveliest of these is the Regina Palace, a elegant Belle Epoque hotel that was once actually a palace.

 

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