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Copyright Enrico Massetti 2014
Published by Enrico Massetti
All Rights Reserved
second edition - 2018
The Borromean Islands
You don't need a car to escape from the business, the traffic, the congestion, the fog in wintertime and the afa, the humid heat, in summer, of the city to a beautiful world of lakes, mountains, castles and good food: just take the train and, sometimes, the boat as recommended in the following itinerary.
This trip is especially recommended during spring or autumn when you can leave the fog and cold of Milan and reach the sunny lakefront views in the mild climate of the Lake Maggiore.
This itinerary covers the Piedmont side of Lake Maggiore, it starts and ends in Stresa.
You can quickly reach Stresa from Milan in about a one-hour train ride, on the Sempione (Simplon) line. On the Trenitalia site enter from Milano (All Stations) as there are trains that leave from two different stations: Milano Porta Garibaldi and Milano Centrale. The two stations are two stops away from each other on the green line of the metro, should you need to go from one to the other it will take you about fifteen minutes to do so. It is not possible to purchase the tickets on the Trenord site, you need to use the website of Trenitalia or the TRENITALIA APP that can be downloaded into you smartphone.
It lists all the trains if you access the Italian page “Principali Soluzioni” (Main solutions). I recommend that you buy online the tickets for the Regional trains on this site.
The cost of a second-class one-way ticket from Milano to Stresa is euro 8.60 for the Regional, and up from euro 9.90 for the Eurocity.
There are two trains every hour from Milano to Stresa. It takes between 56 minutes and 1 hour 30 for the ride depending on the train. The best solution are the “Regionali Veloci” they take 1 hour 8 minutes and cost euro 8.60.
The Navigazione Laghi website has all the information on scheduled runs:"Timetable." Check for the most updated info that varies with the seasons. Be careful, during the spring/summer season the system does not provide answers for the winter season and vice versa.
Stresa with The Borromean Islands
To the tourist, who for the first time arrives in Stresa, a breathless sight is offered. There is a view of the lakefront, delineated with lines of palm trees, with flourishing gardens and facades of grand hotels.
Then, turning to look at the lake, enchanted, as if emerging from the same waters the spectacular Borromean Islands (Isola Bella, Isola Madre, and Isola dei Pescatori). The splendor of these visions makes one understand why Stresa was built here to host international tourism meetings. Stresa, already during the middle half of the 19th century was the most elegant place to stay, the most visited by the international upper middle class.
The waters of Lake Maggiore wash up on the banks of Piedmont and Lombardy in Italy. A wealth of natural beauty awaits you: mellowed lakeside villas, dozens of lush gardens, sparkling waters, and panoramic views. A veil of mist seems to hover at times, especially in early spring and late autumn.
Stresa has skyrocketed from a simple village into a first-class international resort. Its vantage location on the lake is almost unparalleled, and its accommodations level is superior to that of other Maggiore resorts in Italy. Sporting attractions and an international Festival of Musical Weeks (beginning in July), start in April and stay hopping all summer, before quieting down at the end of October.
Practical info on Stresa
TheTourist Information Point, http://stresaturismo.it/, is located in Piazza Marconi 16, to the right of the ticket window at the boat dock. They have free maps and boat schedules.
It's open daily from March through October 10:00 - 12:30 AM and 3:00 - 6:30 PM. From November through February Monday-Friday 10:00 - 12:30 AM and 3:00 - 6:30 PM, Saturday 10:00 - 12:30 AM, closed on Sunday. Phone +39 0323 31 308.
Should you need to go to an Internet Access Point, there is for you Newdata Internet Point