Lake Maggiore: Top 10 Stresa Italy things to do – Stresa is a gorgeous town on Lake Maggiore. It has beautiful gardens, luxury hotels, and a beautiful view of the Borromean Islands.
Stresa can be a good place to relax drinking your cocktail and enjoying the lake view but in Stresa and in nearby, there is also a lot to visit. Let’s see together the Top 5 places you should visit.
Stresa Italy things to do
In Stresa, there are several things you can see and visit. Stresa what to visit:
- Walk along the lake to the cable car
- Visit the Borromean Islands
- Visit the Hermitage of Santa Caterina
- Visit the Mottarone (Mottarone Stresa)
- Visit the Pallavicino Park
- Center of Stresa
- Pallanza lake side
- Botanical Gardens Villa Taranto Verbania
1. Stresa Italy lakefront – Stresa Italy walking tour
In this video, I will take you on a beautiful walk along the lakefront of Stresa Lago Maggiore. We start our tour here, where private motorboats stop in high season to take you to visit the Borromean Islands. The video is in Italian but you can activate the subtitles in your language.
Behind us, we also have the Stresa pier where you can take the boat to visit the islands and other places on Lake Maggiore such as the Hermitage of Santa Caterina, Verbania, and Baveno.
In front of us, we see Isola Bella. Until 1630 Isola Bella was only a rock inhabited by fishermen. Today, it is one of the most beautiful things to visit on Lake Maggiore for the magnificent Borromeo palace and its gardens, which have been included among the most beautiful gardens in the world by sites and specialized magazines.
Just turning our gaze, we also see the mother island. Isola Madre, already owned by the Borromeo family since about 1500, is now worth a visit, especially for its garden. Today, the one on Isola Madre is a unique botanical garden for rare plant essences worldwide that finds an excellent home here on Lake Maggiore thanks to the mild and favorable temperatures. Behind the Isola Madre, along the coast, we can see Verbania and, more precisely, Pallanza and Suna’s areas.
Along with this lakefront stretch, we have the beach, the public parks, the private gardens of the hotels, and the bars that overlook the lake. On the left, we have the luxurious hotels for which Stresa is also famous. Here is the indication for Mottarone. From this road, it is in fact possible to reach the top of Mount Mottarone by car. From Mottarone, you have a magnificent view not only on Lake Maggiore but on a total of 7 lakes! From Mottarone, you can, in fact, see the
- Lago Maggiore
- Lago d’Orta
- Lago di Mergozzo
- Lago di Varese
- Lago di Monate
- Lago di Camabbio
- Lago Biandronno
We have now reached the end of this walk together. From here, it is, however, possible to continue on foot. In fact, after a stretch of sidewalk that runs along the road, you can get to another walk that runs along the lakefront and ends at the square, where it is possible to take the cable car to the Mottarone. This place is one of the most beautiful places to take a picture or take a selfie due to Isola Bella and Pescatori’s proximity.
2. Borromean Islands Lake Maggiore
The islands we can visit from Stresa are 3.
- Isola Bella
- Isola Pescatori
- Isola Madre
In the following video, you can see a beautiful view of the magnificent Borromean Islands Lake Maggiore. It’s a winter morning and the sun still timidly warms Lake Maggiore. In front of us, we have the Pescatori island, then the Madre island, and again behind the magnificent Verbania. On our right, we cannot forget Isola Bella.
You can see something more about the Stresa Islands in the following video:
Isola Pescatori Stresa
Isola Pescatori is a very cute and characteristic little island. On this island, you can relax, have a good lunch and enjoy the beautiful corners of this island. In the following video, we do a beautiful walking tour of the Isola Pescatori Stresa.
Text of the video:
Hi everybody, and welcome to a new adventure! Today we are at Lake Maggiore. We explore the Isola Superiore or Isola Pescatori, which means Fishermen’s Island.
The Isola Pescatori can be easily reached by boat from Stresa, Verbania Pallanza and Baveno. To take the boat, you don’t need to buy the ticket in advance or make a reservation. You can also buy the ticket just before boarding.
Access to Isola Pescatori is free. You do not have to pay any entrance fee apart from a small tax from the municipality of Stresa, already included in the amount paid to take the boat.
When is the best period to visit Isola Pescatori? Naturally, the best time is during the spring and summer, but it is also good to come during the winter.
Why come to Isola Pescatori? Because it is very characteristic and beautiful to visit, especially after a good lunch in one of the good restaurants you can find here. Hours spent on this island are always unique.
After lunch, we take some pictures in one of the most instagrammable places on the island. From here you can see very well the beautiful palace of the nearby Isola Bella or Beautiful Island.
Behind Isola Bella, there is Stresa. Now we see the restaurant and hotel Verbano. Then, on the right, we have the Isola Madre with Verbania behind it.
Let’s now go to the opposite side of Pescatori Island to see Isola Madre and Verbania better. In doing so, we will see some of the very characteristic places of the island.
This side of the island with this view is also beautiful. What do you think? If you prefer this view, you can choose to have lunch in one restaurant on this side of the island.
We are walking along the tree-lined avenue that we saw from the boat! In front of us, we see Baveno!
We are now back to our starting point, but there is also a lot to explore. Let’s now pass through the main street of this narrow island and admire the views that this path also gives us.
Ok! It’s time to relax while waiting for the next boat to arrive.
Isola Pescatori Photo Gallery
Isola Bella or Beautiful Island
Isola Bella is the island of the Borromean Islands closest to Stresa. From the lakefront of Stresa, you can clearly see the gardens on various levels of Isola Bella. Taking the boat from Stresa you can reach Isola Bella in a few minutes.
When you get off on the island you can visit the area where you will find various stalls, shops, bars, and restaurants without paying any entrance fee. However, the most beautiful part is the one inside the Borromeo palace.
By paying for the entrance ticket you can visit both the villa overlooking Lake Maggiore and the gardens. If you are in Stresa it is definitely worth visiting the island and the palace.
Video Beautiful Island
In the following video, you can see the beauty of Isola Bella from the lake.
Beautiful Island photo gallery
Isola Madre, already owned by the Borromeo family since about 1500, is now worth a visit, especially for its garden. Today, the one on Isola Madre is a unique botanical garden for rare plant essences worldwide that finds an excellent home here on Lake Maggiore thanks to the mild and favorable temperatures.
In the Isola Madre, you can also visit the old Villa that was the Borromean residence before the construction of the Beautiful Island Palace.
Isola Madre Photo Gallery
Isola Madre is also the ideal destination for those who are in Verbania Pallanza. In fact, taking the boat from the Pallanza pier you will arrive in a few minutes on this island which is part of the Borromean Islands.
In spring-summer, you can appreciate the beauty of the gardens of Isola Madre already from the boat. The vegetation that covers it is always something beautiful to admire. Access to Isola Madre is only possible with the purchase of the ticket. In fact, when you get off the boat you will immediately find the entrance gate. This is important to know before planning your visit to Isola Madre.
This is in fact a substantial difference compared to other Borromean Islands such as Isola Bella, in which there is the palace and gardens to visit with an entrance ticket but also a free area with stalls, bars, and restaurants.
3. Hermitage of Santa Caterina
A very characteristic place of Lake Maggiore is the Hermitage of Santa Caterina. This Hermitage which seems to be set in the rock is located not far from Laveno and not in Stresa. However, Stresa is an excellent and convenient starting point for taking the boat that takes you directly to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina. To visit the hermitage it is only necessary to pay the cost of the boat because the entrance is usually included in the boat ticket.
The hermitage is very characteristic as it is a building built on the rock in front of the lake. I recommend a visit to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina da Stresa not only because it is interesting to see but also because the boat ride to reach it is really pleasant.
Photo Gallery of the Hermitage of Santa Caterina
There are more reasons why you should visit Mottarone: a beautiful view, good food, a lot of fun and nature. (Mottarone Stresa)
5. Pallavicino Park
The Pallavicino Park is located at the end of Stresa and it is not necessary to take a boat to reach it. The convenience of the Pallavicino Park for those traveling by car is that it has a large parking lot right in front of the entrance.
The Pallavicino park is famous for the variety of animals and plants that you find inside. Some animals are kept in cages, others in enclosures, and others are free. The great variety of animals that you can admire at Pallavicino Park make it an educational place suitable for children. However, even adults can enjoy a nice walk in the park.
Pallavicino Park is a suitable place for young and old. For adults, we have an area with a bar right in front of the beautiful gardens enriched with arches and flowers of all kinds, for the little ones we have play areas. During the high season, a train is usually set up to transport tourists from the Stresa lakefront to the park.
Pallavicino Park Gallery
Video Stresa Italy
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