16 Dec 2013 Italian holidays in Stresa, the pearl of Lake Maggiore
From the mid-19th century, when the first British tourists arrived, to the early 20th century, Stresa has been adding to the elegant appearance that still distinguishes it nowadays, with its Liberty hotels and villas, notably Villa Pallavicino and Villa Vignolo.
Today Stresa is a much sought-after holiday destination and an important venue for cultural events such as the “Stresa and Lake Maggiore Musical Weeks”, set up in 1961 by Italo Trentinaglia de Daverio, a noble Venetian lawyer, whose father was a composer, a musical event organizer, the theater director of La Scala in Milan and La Fenice in Venice. The Trentinaglia family owned a villa in Stresa where used to gather together musicians and writers, and where Italo Trentinaglia had first the idea of setting up a musical event.
Along the enchanting lake shores, surrounded by trees, historic residences and luxurious Liberty style hotels, you find Piazza Marconi with its pier and the Parish Church of S. Ambrogio, rebuilt in the neo-classical style in 1790. Villa Ducale can be seen behind the Piazza. But Stresa’s most beautiful asset remains its splendid views over the lake. The panorama stretches from the Lombard bank, with Cerro, Laveno and the Rocca di Calde’, to the Piedmont bank with Punta della Castagnola, Pallanza and – on the left – Mt. Rosso and the Ossola mountains.
Within easy reach from Stresa, thanks to an excellent ferry service, the archipelago of the Borromean Islands is an unmissable destination for lovers of beauty.