Location & Surroundings
Stresa, a delightful little town, on the shore of Lake Maggiore, in front of the Borromeo Islands, is situated in the perfect setting between the water and the hills of Mount Mottarone. Renowned all over the world, it's a very prestigious site for high class tourism and business trips. An authentic jewel with a high standard cultural level. It's the center for meetings and events, sports competitions, and world known artistic expositions. In the past, Stresa has been on of the favourite retreat the British royal and Elisabeth of Sassonia, artists and philosophers also Dickens, Flaubert and Fogazzaro decanted this pretty town in their writing.
Isola BellaIsola Bella [15 minutes by boat from the hotel and from Stresa], it's is the prettiest of the three islands and is a short boat trip away from Stresa. Count Vitaliano Borromeo started building the monumental baroque palace in 1670, visited by thousands of tourists daily. Inestimable works of art are preserved in the Borromeo residence. The terraced gardens, which made Isola Bella famous, are rich in all varieties of rare plants and flowers and are a peerless example of an Italian garden of that time. On the island there are many bars, restaurants and shops selling handcraft products and souvenirs.
Isola MadreIsola Madre [15 minutes by boat from the hotel and from Stresa], it's the largest and the most picturesque of the Borromeo Islands. Famous for international marvelous gardens of rare plants and exotic flowers, rich of azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. The palace is extremely interesting with its period furnishing and collection of uniforms, dolls and porcelains. The exhibition of Teatrini delle Marionette (Puppet theatres) from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is exceptional, the only existing Palace Theatre which has come down to us intact through the centuries. The marvelous back-cloths are the work of Alessandro Sanquirico (1777-1849), stage-designer at the Teatro alla Scala of Milan, and Carlo Fontana, stage-designer at the Teatro Regio of Turin.
Isola Pescatori (Isola Superiore)Isola Pescatori [15 minutes by boat from the hotel and from Stresa], it's a fascinating fisherman island that owes its name to the activity of its inhabitants. The charm of this island, unchanged over the centuries, is due to the simplicity and rustic innocence of its houses. Excellent restaurants offer the opportunity of tasting some of the best fish dishes.
Villa Pallavicino botanical gardensThe Villa Pallavicino botanical gardens [3 minutes by car from the Hotel] are well-known for the variety of its centuries-old trees, the beauty of its flowers and its gardens, the sweeping view over Lake Maggiore and the surrounding mountains and for many species of exotic animals. The park extends over about 16 hectares and is open to the public.
Alpinia botanical gardensThe Alpinia botanical gardens [10 minutes by car from Stresa] can be found on the hillside of Stresa. There is a natural balcony that extends for about 40.000 square meters. The gardens offer an incredible view of Lake Maggiore, over the Borromeo Islands and the surrounding Alps.
The peculiarity of the Alpinia gardens is thousands of different species that come from the alpine and sub-alpine plain of the Alps.
Isola Orta San GiulioOrta San Giulio island is located about 400 m from the shore. Most of its surface is covered by the Seminary, built in 1844 on the ruins of the ancient castle tower.
St. Julius' Basilica is worth a visit. It is open every day from 09.30 a.m. (11.00 a.m. on Mondays) to 12.15 and from 02.00 p.m. to 05.45 p.m. (06.45 in summer time).
Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso
The hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is located in the municipality of Leggiuno. The hermitage, a monastic complex dating back to the 13th century, clings to a rock sheer to one of the deepest points of Verbano. Art and history are perfectly mingled in this charming natural scenario, similar to a balcony overlooking the Borromee islands.
Rocca Borromeo of Angera
The Castle of Angera is considered one of the most important of the Verbano area and is located on a hill above the small city of Angera. It was built in the medieval period and its typical 13th - 14th century defensive features can still be admired. The Justice room is also worth a visit. This large room is characterised by an important series of frescoes devoted to the signs of the zodiac. The Museum of dolls and the archaeological museum, with finds coming from the area of Angera and dating back to the period from the Mesolithic to the Roman time, both located in the castle, can be visited from March to October.