the tourist, who for the first time arrives in Stresa, is
offered a breathless sight. At the beginning a superb window
of the lake front, delineated with lines of palm trees, with
flourishing gardens and facades of majestic hotels. Then,
turning to look at the lake, enchanted, as if emerged from
the same waters the spectacular Borromean Islands (Isola Bella,
Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori). It is enough the splendour
of these visions to make one understand how Stresa has been
able to become one of the maximum meetings of international
tourism. The town, already at the middle half of the 19th
century was the most elegant place to stay, the most visited
by the international upper middle class.
Others again are the reasons of so much fame and prestige.
Here art and nature are mixed together in a way that one respects
the other, here the hospitality is to boast to generation
and the cultural initiative, that happens in the course of
the year, they are the necessary corollary of it. Symbol of
the vitality of Stresa is the animated Plaza of the wharf,
the vast and tree lined Piazza Marconi.
Here the neo-classic parish of Sant'Ambrogio faces the square.
To the right of the church there is the famous Villa Ducale
of the year 1770, also this is in neo-classic style. The notoriety
derives from it having been the residence of the philosopher
Antonio Rosmini, whom here also entertained Alessandro Manzoni.
Now the villa is an active Centre of "Studi Rosminiani".
Nearby, famous to the international congressmen, one can find
the modern and well equipped Palace of Congresses. Another
destination of notable tourist flow is Villa Pallavicino of
the 19th century. The interest for which is completely naturalistic,
in that the large blooming park is rich in secular trees and
has been transformed in an original zoological garden, where
various species of animals live, including exotic animals
like ostriches and kangaroos. In the outskirts of Stresa,
at Gignese, that offers the panoramic view of the central
basin of Lago Maggiore, one can visit the Alpinia Garden,
rich in mountains and officinal plants, and the curious Umbrella
Museum , that collects parasols and umbrellas of every epoch.
Finally, it serves to remember that to the modern funicular
connects Stresa to the ski slopes of Mottarone, another balcony
on the Verbano.
Between the recurrent manifestations, signalled to a prestigious
level is: the Competition of music for young people "Premio
Franco Verganti", in April; the Cattedra Rosmini, at
the end of August; the Musical Weeks International Festival,
in August and September; the European Philatelist Show, in
the first ten days of September.