Europe · Hotels · Sightseeing

Stresa, Lago Maggiore 

Stresa, a Lake Maggiore town, with a ringside view of sunrise and sundown over the lake, an air of elegance and a feeling of tranquility. A short hours train journey from Milan makes Stresa the perfect destination to meander along the promenade and explore the cobbled streets of the old town; an escape from busy city life.


Island jewels 

The jewels of Lake Maggiore are the Borromean Islands, accessible by taking one of the reasonably priced hop-on/hop-off boats that visit them daily. 

Our first visit was Isola Dei Pescatori, with its delightful cobbled streets, a surprise round every corner. Boasting the most beautiful pizzerias and wine bars to stop for a light refreshment and a bite to eat in the glorious sunshine. Followed by a beautiful walk around the promenade, that encircles the whole island, so peaceful to just sit and watch the waves roll in. 

Our second visit was to Isola Bella, with its grand palace and enchanting gardens. This Italian garden with a baroque taste spreads on parterres and terraces placed at different heights and sprinkled with statues, obelisks, ageless stone stairs and balustrades. This results in an impressive view, displaying the power and magnificence of the noble house. A view of Teatro Massimo, a grand sculpture covered in beautiful flowers and the beauitful gardens with the backdrop of the lake and the Swiss Alps.

The gardens 


The palazzo 

Isola Bella’s palazzo is a house of wonders floating on the water. You will walk though beautifully furnished halls that afford incredible views of the lake and witness many renowned artists’ exclusive paintings, precious furniture, marbles, neo-classical stuccos, shining armors and Flemish tapestries made of silk and gold. 


End with a sundown

Unless you have a private yacht, the finest way to experience the magic of the lake is from the rooftop terrace of Stresa’s Sky Bar, situated at the top of Las Palmas Hotel. A stunning 360 view of the lake and the tips of the Swiss Alps illuminated by the sunset, and the cocktails are yummy too!  A perfect way to end the day ! 


Have you ever visited Stresa, or other areas of Lago Maggiore? I would love to know what you would add to the list ! 

Thanks for reading and feel free to check out my other photos from this trip on my Instagram page ! 

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34 thoughts on “Stresa, Lago Maggiore 

  1. Looks like such a beautiful area! Would love to visit here one day if I’m ever in Europe again! The sundown photos are breathtaking.

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  2. I visited the area briefly on a tour many years ago and I remember Isola Bella and not wanting to leave. I really need to spend more time there, thanks for the suggestions!

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  3. Stresa is a gem. I have been twice. The first time I took the train up to Lacarno, Switzerland and then the boat back. I bought a single ticket for the whole journey and it was less than $20 at the time. The best scenery was on the boat back as we went through the Alps. It was very special. Loved you post. Next time I’ll make it to the islands.

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  4. We’re going to Milan this summer and I’ve now just added this to my itinerary! Love Italy but with the Alps as a backdrop…AMAZING!!

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  5. I have used hop on hop off buses before but had not heard of the boat version. What a fantastic way to visit the islands.

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