Stresa guided tours with a private local guide
"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it" - George Moore
Guided tours in Stresa and sightseeing. Group tours and private tours.
Isola Bella (Borromeo Palace and islands) and Stresa
Half-day tours of elegant Stresa and the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso ( Saint Catherine)
Full-day guided tours of Stresa and Borromeo Islands
Accompanied by an English - speaking local guide ( a certified professional tourist guide)
STRESA - The name of Stresa is synonymous with Lake Maggiore and this town is often referred to as the pearl of the lake. The high standards achieved by the hotels in Stresa, as well as its glorious lakeside setting in front of Isola Bella, make it an exclusive place frequented also by VIPs. The most prestigious Hotel in Stresa is The Grand Hotel des îles Borromées that was inaugurated in 1863 where many celebrated guests stayed, like, for instance, the American writer Ernest Hemingway.
Nice antique prints and pictures give us the idea of the sophisticated and dreamy atmosphere of Belle Epoque, when European aristocracies used to arrive in Stresa to spend the summer and horse-drawn carriages were waiting at the railway station to accompany them to the Grand Hotel. At that time the fabulous Orient Express train was running and stopping at Stresa.
The name of Stresa is linked to the famous Music Festival (Le Settimane Musicali di Stresa) that has been a tradition in town since 1961. Not far from the lake is an elegant residence, Villa Ducale, that was built in the 18th century by a local family called Bolongaro. Today a part of Villa Ducale houses a Museum dedicated to an important catholic philosopher, the Blessed Antonio Rosmini, who died in the villa in 1855, where he spent the last years of his life. But Villa Ducale is also known to have been the summer home of Duchess of Genoa, Elisabetta di Sassonia, whose young daughter was Princess Margherita who married Umberto I di Savoia and in 1878 became Queen Margherita (the first Queen of Italy). The Villa was bought by Margherita's mother in 1857 so Princess Margherita used to come to Stresa every summer as a child. Stresa was always dear to the Queen and the local shortbread biscuits "Le Margheritine di Stresa" were named in her honour. A fifty minutes' drive from the centre of Stresa is Mount Mottarone. In the past Mount Mottarone was accessed by a rack railway that connected Stresa to the mountain. The railway line was set up in 1911, but in 1970 the scenic train was replaced by a cable car line that is not operating anymore, so nowadays acces to Mottarone is only possible by car. Mount Mottarone that lies between the Borromeo Gulf and lake Orta, is 1497 metres high (4892 feet high) and in a clear day it offers a truly tremendous sight: seven lakes, a wonderful profile of the Alps and the Po plain are visible from the top. Halfway between Stresa and Mottarone are the pretty Alpinia Botanic Gardens that contain a selection of hundreds of alpine species and offer an amazing view over the Borromeo Gulf and its islands.
SUGGESTED HALF-DAY GUIDED TOUR
You can choose to have a guided tour of Stresa in the morning or in the afternoon. We can meet in Stresa for a visit to the town. Then we will take a ferry to cross the lake for a visit to the hermitage of Saint Catherine, built on steep rocks where we'll spend some time visiting the frescoed church and enjoying the views.
This half-day itinerary can be combined with a half-day guided tour of Isola Bella, one of the famous Borromeo islands, including a guided tour of Borromeo palace and gardens
Another possible half-day itinerary is a walking tour in Stresa, followed by a visit to isola Pescatori ( Fishermen's island ) or a visit to isola Bella