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  Lake Maggiore >  Places >  Stresa lake Maggiore vacation - hotels, camping, apartments, holiday house, agritourism, ville


Stresa appears in the documents already before the year thousand with the name of Strix (small strip of land) in the fifteenth century was transformed from a fishing village in the fief of the Visconti family and, later, went to the family of Borromeo.

Its touristic reputation is given by the accounts of travelers excellent that, since the nineteenth century, chose Stresa as one of the stops on their Grand Tour in Old Town are to visit the church of Sant'Ambrogio and Villa Ducale, which since 1966 hosts a museum and a rich library with important medical texts. The villa is surrounded by an Italian garden with a monumental cedar of Lebanon dates back to 1860.

Stresa is also the starting point for wonderful excursions to the hinterland: going up the road that leads to the mountain Mottarone there is the garden Alpinia, conceived in the 30s of this century to protect the enchanting panoramic area and form a collection of typical mountain plants. The park now has approximately 700 species of plants, mostly alpine and medicinal. Continuing on we go up to 1491 meters: the Mottarone is a known ski resort and a privileged observatory on the lake, where you can enjoy in the cloudless days of summer and winter, the suggestive view of seven lakes.

The Borromean Islands comprise three islands, a small islet and the so-called Malghera, just an uninhabited rock.

Until 1632 the Isola Bella (beautiful island) was a rocky cliff occupied by a tiny fishermen village: in that year, Carlo III Borromeo began the construction of a huge building dedicated to his wife, who became a sumptuous villa, a place of luxurious parties and theatrical performances for the European nobility.

The Isola dei Pescatori (island of fishermen) is the only island of the Borromean Islands to be permanently inhabited: it hosts, in fact, a small town, with the typical houses with several floors, with a square, narrow streets, a beautiful promenade and the main street where you can walk (the cars are not allowed on the island) and enjoy the beauty of the place.

Historical sources indicate that in the mid-ninth century, on the Isola Madre (mother island) there was the church and a cemetery, there were also cultivated fields with olive trees, and in the sixteenth century they were also introduced citrus. In the same century begins the construction of a first core of an aristocratic residence, which is then extended in Renaissance style. From about 1823-25 the island's orchards are converted to English romantic garden, which is still considered among the best examples of this art in Italy.

The Isolino di San Giovanni (isolino means islet) derives its name from a chapel with a font dedicated to San Giovanni Battista which stood on it. The island is famous because for 25 years it was the residence of the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini, at the Palazzo Borromeo. The palace and the island today are private and not open to visitors.



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