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A day in Stresa, Italy

Posted on: 7.29.2013

If I could spend one summer day in Stresa, I’d want it to go something like this:
Just in case you were wondering where Stresa is! (hint: "A" marks the spot.)


I’d wake up in Hotel Lido la Perla Nera - a small, family run hotel situated right next to the water of the Borromean Gulf.  For breakfast, I’d take a walk to the town where I’d pick up something light. (I don’t usually eat very robust breakfasts.) Something like this little “biscuit” (or, ahem, cookie) shop would probably be perfect. Cookies for breakfast is a legit option in fantasy-travel land. :) 

From there, I’d take a cable car to the Mottarone plateau in the mountains above Stresa to take in the beautiful view of the Borromean Gulf of Lake Maggiore. I’d take this advice and rent a bike for the descent back to town. Apparently, once I return the bike, I’d be able to take another lakefront stroll with fascinating views of villas and “mini-palaces.” Doesn’t that sound amazing!? 
Mottarone Plateau (via)

Knowing myself, I’d probably enjoy some afternoon down-time at the hotel and perhaps have a cup of coffee - or maybe I’d brave some straight espresso. It is Italy, after all, and it’s possible that straight espresso doesn’t pack as much of a punch in a foreign land (ha!). 

With a recharged sense of adventure, I’d choose to spend the afternoon at Isola Bella: a small island known for the Borromean palace and gardens which is just a short ferry ride away from Stresa. 

A brief history of Isola Bella - The island was purchased in 1632 by Carlo III of the House of Borromeo. Carlo III dedicated the island and palace construction to his wife, Isabella D’Adda. Originally, the Milanese Angelo Crivelli was responsible for designing the building and gardens but construction was halted until Carlo’s sons brought the vision to fruition with the guidance of architect Carlo Fontana. The palace and grounds weren’t fully completed until 1959! 

I’d take a tour of the palace which includes the Sala di Musica (the music room) with its own unique history from WWII! I’d also love to wander around the gardens and soak up all the green! 

In the evening, I’d take advantage of the famous Stresa (music) Festival! I’d hope to spend the evening in an outdoor concert with a glass of wine. (You thought I was going to forget about the wine part, huh? Well I didn’t: it’s ITALY. duh.) 

That, my friends, would be my ideal one-day vacation in Stresa, Italy. 

Next stop: Florac, France! 


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