We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Can we retire to Stresa??”
Review of Stresa

Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
MarKer55
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 helpful votes
“Can we retire to Stresa??”
Reviewed May 22, 2010

Stresa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore. One hour from Milan. A charming town which gives access to the three islands in the Lake. The scenery is idealic - lovely town, lake and snow capped mountains (at least while we were there).

We visited at the end of March when most hotels were just opening. It was lovely and not too cold but not all attractions were open. Unfortunately we missed out on the 'Maggiore Express' which was only operating Thurs- Sun prior to full tourist season (8 May). The Maggiore Express runs from Domodossola (about 30 mins by train from Stresa) to the lake where you then pick up a ferry for the return to Stresa.

The three islands and their buildings were fabulous and we saw white peacocks for the first time.

There is an excellent website for Stresa which gives all the information you need for your stay including suggested sighteeing itineraries to suit your stay.

We were totally charmed by the town and its surrounds and would have liked to spend more time when the attractions were open. This area is extremely busy during the summer but during April or May would be ideal.

Helpful?
4 Thank MarKer55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
6 helpful votes
“Stresa - a great lake town destination to visit Lake Maggiore and many places”
Reviewed April 18, 2010

We have now vacationed on the 3 Italian lakes, Como, Garda and lastly Stresa on Lake Maggiore, Italy. They are all quite different but all beautiful. I cannot name a favourite but do think Stresa on Lake Maggiore was the best town for ease of getting to many little villages, and the 3 islands as well as a surprising number of other places too. All travel done in a quite relaxed way by train, boat or ferry. The Santa Caterina Hermitage was well worth the extra effort. A very unusual but beautiful place.
We went by the Domodossolo express to Locarno in Switzerland and whilst the train trip up was worthwhile for photo opportunities Locarno itself was underwhelming. A few days later we ended up in Brig Switzerland and I think it might be of more interest than Locarno.
The old Bormioli castle and Palazzo on the islands accessed by boat were breathtakingly beautiful with the most extravagant gardens which even people not otherwise into gardens could appreciate. The birdlife was lovely, just wandering around amongst visitors.
I particularly loved the Rocca Bormioli, beautiful in itself but the Doll Museum must be unsurpassed. I have visited many doll museums but the arrangement of the dolls in the various rooms of the fascinating old fort was double value for money. The views from the 2 top floors were worth the climb and the photographic opportunities from these quite open areas was wonderful. This was a very serene place.
We stayed at Hotel La Palma in Stresa and it was an excellent hotel with beautiful views from the lake front balcony room we had. I cannot fault the hotel. Rooms spacious and exceptionally clean and luxurious, all hotel staff pleasant and helpful and I think it had the very best breakfast on offer I have even seen in any hotel we have stayed at and that in a huge breakfast room. This hotel has the only pool out on the lake front across from the hotel. Stresa itself is a particularly beautiful town with very good shops and restaurants but also it has the most beautiful public areas running along the lake front. These public gardens and the extravagant floral plantings of all the lake front hotels put Stresa in a different league to Como and Garda. It is so endlessly picturesque and colourful and a total delight to the senses.

Helpful?
4 Thank Italytrippers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 helpful votes
“Scenery is amazing”
Reviewed November 1, 2009

Stresa is a friendly small town in a beautiful location. Beware visiting late October as many hotels and restaurants, the ferries all close for winter. However my 80+ mother and I had a wonderful time. We took the cable car to Mottarone stopping off at the Alpino gardens, not many flowers but the view and peace were amazing. We went on up taking the chair lift to the very top, the guys running the lift couldn't have been more helpful. Had to change plans for our boat ride but still most enjoyable. We both felt at ease walking along the promenade back to our hotel at night. I booked Alibus to get from Malpensa airport to Stresa but our plane was 3 hours late so we missed it, on phoning them to transfer to the next bus I was told I couldn't transfer my booking so ended up taxi to Gallarate station and Tranitalia to Stresa. Train excellent. Returned same way but caught the bus from outside Gallarate station to Malpensa airport. very cheap!

Helpful?
1 Thank Jane F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
32 helpful votes
“taste of Lake Maggiore”
Reviewed September 25, 2009

we found a leaflet in our hotel and decided to go for a little bit of local traditons. We did a fantastic wine tasting (everything was explained as we tasted Piemonte wines, red and white) with a few snacks of local meats and cheeses. very nice, not expensive and with a lake view that was to die for.
We returned to this place 2 days later for a cooking lessons.
i mean i like italian food but cooking isn't my thing. However it was brilliant. local dishes, we made our own, we tried them all (there were other 9 or 10 people there) and got to keep a copy of the recipies.
We enjoyed it a lot and was great value, at least for us.
The place is up in a little village with view of the lake and the islands.
They picked us up from our hotel and brought us back when it was over.
really an experience

Helpful?
1 Thank scotsman2Glasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wiltshire
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
8 helpful votes
“My trip to stresa,staying at hotel flora.”
Reviewed August 31, 2008

My sister and i have just returned from a weeks stay in stresa staying at the hotel flora the hotel is a good 25min walk from the main area of stresa and the ferry point which we didnt realise the hotel is by the road which we knew but didnt realise how close and it was very noisy pretty much all night long also very close to the railway!our room was small but then they often are in italy we had a balcony which gave us no view whatsoever unless you like close contact with trees!Hotel was clean and tidy and the staff polite the food however wasnt good we were half board but ate out for the last three nights as we couldnt face eating there the food we had eaten wasnt fresh and you were served one course almost straight after the other very dissapointed with the food,also the rep came to see us and said that we hadnt paid a bill not having any idea what this was for she rang the hotel and we owed for the bottled water we had with our meal i have never paid for a drink with food whilst staying half board we had to pay the rep at the airport!overall we were dissapointed with the hotel and wouldnt go there again or reccomend it.Stresa is nice we were hoping for some shopping but there wasnt much to be had,we sampled plenty of ice cream and in the main square there is some nice places to eat and very reasonably priced.Ferries are regular but complicated check before you go that you can get back again.Worth a trip is an excursion to Zermatt quite a trip and expensive at 70euros plus extra for the cable car very pretty place so i would reccomend it also definately worth a trip is luino market all day wednesday you will need all day as its huge lots of jewellery and bags,clothing.If you choose to go to locarno dont go on a sunday as shops are shut,wouldnt reccomend arona,intra or ascona as there isnt much at these places,verona is a very long transfer at over 3hrs on our return to fly from verona airport we had over 2hrs but spent all that and more checking in and security was nothing short of chaos so much so the plain was waiting for us!Overall an ok holiday wouldnt return there plenty to do in terms of islands and buildings,churches but if your heading for shopping its not that great the markets are great though.

Helpful?
1 Thank munckinWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to Stresa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos