"Stresa - a beautiful town at Lago Maggiore" Top 5 Page for this destination Stresa by ettiewyn

Stresa Travel Guide: 158 reviews and 364 photos

In August 2012 I visited Milan for five days with my mom. It was my very first trip to Italy, and we wanted to do one or two day trips from Milan to see a little more of the region and get another impression. When I told VTer AnnemarieC about this during a VT meeting in London, she recommended Stresa to me. Her description sounded great, and although I did research about more places to visit from Milan, in the end I sticked to Stresa, also because I thought that my mom would enjoy it.

We went to Stresa by train and enjoyed two hours in the town before we set off to the Isole Borromee by boat. Stresa is popular because it is the main gateway to these islands, but it is also a travel destination in its own right. It was particularly famous in the 19th century, when many authors and artists visited here, for example Charles Dickens and Stendhal. In the 20th century, Ernest Hemingway was a frequent visitor. When you walk along the lakefront and enjoy the views of Lago Maggiore and the mountains, it is easy to imagine why these people loved Stresa: It is simply beautiful.

When we arrived in Stresa, we first had a coffee and a tea in a café in the train station, then we walked down and spent the rest of our time strolling along the lake front in the beautiful park before taking the boat to Isola Bella. We did not see much of the town centre, we only had a short glimpse of it when we came back from the islands. I don't think that there are any special attractions there, but it looked nice enough. In addition to this, there is also a funicular going up to nearby Mount Mottarone which must provide spectacular views of Lago Maggiore. We did not do this because time did not allow it, and my mom hates funiculars anyway.

This page is only about Stresa itself, not about the islands - these will be covered on a separate page!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A beautiful location with great views, good tourist infrastructure, easy to reach from Milan
  • Cons:Very crowded in high season
  • In a nutshell:My first visit to the Italian lakes - memories to cherish forever!
  • Last visit to Stresa: Aug 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (6)

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2015 at 2:50 AM

    I have to visit these islands one day.


  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    That converted little church looks like a very interesting house! Sounds like you had a lovely day trip from Milan!

    • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
      Nov 4, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      Thank you for visiting my Stresa page, Malena! Yes, we certainly had a great day out of the city here!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Another beautiful page from your recent visit to Italy. I think our train must have stopped in Stresa for a minute or two, but I don't remember the town, just the scenery from the train window.

    • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
      Sep 7, 2012 at 7:25 AM

      Thank you for visiting this page, Don! Yes, if you went to Milan by train from this direction, it probably has stopped in Stresa! The views from the train are so nice :-)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    This looks like a lovely village :-) I haven't been there yet but was told that I was "made at Lago Maggiore" some 54 years back :-)

    • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
      Sep 2, 2012 at 12:30 AM

      Thank you for visiting this page, Ingrid :-) Haha :-)

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Lovely place!

  • Odiseya's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Thank your for recommendation! That region is very interesting for visit!


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