Be charmed by this beautiful lakeside town filled with architecture, history and botany. Venture to offshore islands, appreciate the tranquility and enjoy the views.

Wander along the shoreline of Stresa and be transported to a bygone age. Soak up the belle époque atmosphere and admire the luxury villas and art nouveau mansions. The town is an upscale place, where you can sip wine in outdoor cafés, dine in excellent restaurants or discover some of the region’s most stunning views.

Stresa is located on Lake Maggiore along the Gulf of Borromeo. In this charmingly pretty town a long promenade offers lake views. A maze of cobbled streets forms the old center and breathtaking countryside envelops it all. Begin by wandering through the town and observing local activities. Stop for coffee in little squares such as Piazza Cadorna.

Few people visit Stresa without making the trip to the Borromean Islands. The three islands of Bella, Madre and Isola dei Pescatori are a treasure trove of botanical gardens, palaces and old fishing villages.

Take the cable car up Mount Mottarone, which rises behind Stresa. Stop at the midway point to wander around the stunning Alpinia Botanical Gardens, where over 1,000 alpine and subalpine plant species create a magical garden with a view. Continue to the very top of the mountain to experience one of the region’s most staggering 360-degree vistas. In addition to viewing the Borromean Islands, gaze across the Alps and see seven distinct lakes.

Just over 1 mile (2 kilometers) from Stresa is the 19th-century palace Villa Pallavicino, with a huge park and zoo. Watch zebras, kangaroos and black swans amid lush landscaped gardens. Bring your camera for the wonderful views here too.

Stresa is located 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Milan Malpensa Airport, 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Milan Linate Airport and 80 miles (130 kilometers) from Milan Bergamo Airport. A train line runs directly from Milan to Stresa. Get around the town on foot or hop in a taxi. Alternatively, ferry across the lake to other top sights and towns.

Top Hotels in Stresa

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Regina Palace Hotel
Regina Palace Hotel
4 out of 5
Corso Umberto I, 29, Stresa, VB
CA $176
per night
Nov 21 - Nov 22

Situated in Stresa, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Congressi Palace and Lake Maggiore. Borromeo Plaza is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away. Stresa Station is 7 ...

4.3/5Excellent! (720 reviews)

"As it was raining throughout our stay, we appreciated the hotel indoor amenitites especially the pool."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 24, 2019

Regina Palace Hotel
Hotel La Palma
Hotel La Palma
4 out of 5
Corso Umberto I, 33, Stresa, VB

Situated in Stresa, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Villa La Palazzola and Lake Maggiore. Borromeo Plaza is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) away. Stresa Station ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (522 reviews)

"Fantastic rooms. The most outstanding feature is the rooftop bar. Very nice."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 19, 2019

Hotel La Palma
Villa e Palazzo Aminta Hotel Beauty and SPA
Villa e Palazzo Aminta Hotel Beauty and SPA
5 out of 5
Via Sempione Nord 123, Stresa, VB
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
CA $395
per night
Dec 8 - Dec 9

Located in Stresa, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre and within a 15-minute walk of Lake Maggiore and Borromeo Plaza. Isola Bella Botanical Garden ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (219 reviews)

"We have stayed before and this time on our honeymoon. Staff are brilliant everyone looks after you. You can’t beat the service at this hotel You can walk to town but they have a good shuttle service. They even took us to station trice. Breakfast has such enormous choice and again staff always attentive. ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 3, 2019

Villa e Palazzo Aminta Hotel Beauty and SPA

Popular things to do in Stresa

Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car
Image for Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car

Stresa-Alpino-Mottarone Cable Car

4.5/5(3 reviews)

Soar over the treetops on this awe-inspiring cable car, which shows panoramic views as it rises from the shores of Lake Maggiore to the peak of Mottarone.

Borromeo Palace and Garden
Image for Borromeo Palace and Garden

Borromeo Palace and Garden

Beautifully landscaped Italianate gardens and a sumptuous Baroque palazzo almost entirely encompass the second largest of the Borromean Islands.

Isola Madre Botanical Garden
Image for Isola Madre Botanical Garden

Isola Madre Botanical Garden

Experience the grandeur of this island paradise halfway between Baveno and Pallanza, where exotic flowerbeds provide a home for peacocks, parrots and pheasants.

Top activities in Stresa

Dining experience at a Cesarina's home in Lake Maggiore
Image for Dining experience at a Cesarina's home in Lake Maggiore

Dining experience at a Cesarina's home in Lake Maggiore

CA $99

Immerse yourself in a private dining experience at a Cesarina's home, enjoy an exclusive show cooking and taste authentic recipes treasured in family cookbooks passed down by real Italian Mammas. Feel the warmth of Italian hospitality as you connect with local people.

The art of the Aperitivo with a Cesarina in Lake Maggiore
Image for The art of the Aperitivo with a Cesarina in Lake Maggiore

The art of the Aperitivo with a Cesarina in Lake Maggiore

CA $123

Your day is just winding down, the sun's about to set… It's time for an Aperitivo. This glamorous Italian tradition is loved all over the world, and this is your chance to learn how to prepare it for yourself, the perfect souvenir.

Trekking in the Valley of Mount Rosa from Arona
Image for Trekking in the Valley of Mount Rosa from Arona

Trekking in the Valley of Mount Rosa from Arona

CA $97

This is a ’hanging valley’ due to a typical morphology produced by glacial erosion and also for the views that you can admire. In the large plateau (altitude around 1,660 m), framed by a jagged range of mountains including Tagliaferro (2964 m asl) and the White Horn, (3320 m asl), are six small villages preserving beautiful examples of Walser architecture.

Pasta-making class in Lake Maggiore at a Cesarina's+Tasting
Image for Pasta-making class in Lake Maggiore at a Cesarina's+Tasting

Pasta-making class in Lake Maggiore at a Cesarina's+Tasting

CA $169

Immerse yourself in a private pasta-making class at the Cesarina's home, learn the secrets of the region's most famous pasta dishes and taste the fruit of your labour accompanied by a glass of local wine.

Name your recipe:food tour and Workshop in Lake Maggiore
Image for Name your recipe:food tour and Workshop in Lake Maggiore

Name your recipe:food tour and Workshop in Lake Maggiore

CA $181

If you have always dreamt about going to a local market and traditional food shop in Italy, full of ingredients you'd love to experiment with, this is your chance to visit a market with a local expert, choose your most inspiring ingredients, and create and name your very own two recipes.

Private Market Tour + Cook + Dine at home at Lake Maggiore
Image for Private Market Tour + Cook + Dine at home at Lake Maggiore

Private Market Tour + Cook + Dine at home at Lake Maggiore

CA $251

Tour the vibrant local market and immerse yourself in a private cooking class in a local home with a certified home cook. Learn local recipes and taste everything you've made with wines included. Le Cesarine is Italy's first and finest network of home cooks.