Located on the Piedmont side of Lake Maggiore,the town of Stresa, originally called Strixia was founded more than a thousand of years ago, but back then the place was only inhabited by a tiny group of fishermen and their families; things started to change only when the powerful Visconti family seized the town and ruled it for several years.
But the Visconti family suffered a reversal of fortune and had to give up Stresa to another noble family of the area: the Borromeos.
Actually the fortunes of the town got a boost when it became a great favourite with Europe’s aristocrats and artists; from Stendhal and Lord Byron to Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway who wrote about the place in one of his novels.
In Stresa there’s a lot to see; from the Church of Sant’Ambrogio to the old ducal villa built in 1770 and the famous Palzzo dei Congressi.
And if you love mountain trekking you can climb one of the paths leading to the village of Mattarone.
Along the way you will have the unique opportunity to visit the Aplinia garden located at 800 metres above the sea and from which you can get an breathtaking view of the nearby valleys.
Stresa can also be reached by train from Milan.