(300 m - 5 min. by boat from the hotel).
This is the loveliest of the three island and is just a few minutes by boat from Stresa. In 1670 Count Vitalino Borromeo commenced construction of the monumental Baroque palace and its gardens, which made Isola Bella famous and are visited by thousands of tourists daily. Inestimable works of art are preserved in the Borromeo residence. The terraced gardens rich in all varieties of rare plants and flowers, are peerless example of an Italian garden of that time. There are many bars, restaurants and shops selling handicraft products and souvenirs on the Island.
(600 mt - 5 min. by boat from the hotel).
Isola dei Pescatori owes its name, which mean "Fishers Island" to the singular activity of its inhabitants. The fascination of this island, unchanged over the centuries, is due to the archaic simplicity and rustic candour of its houses and alley crossing through it. Excellent restaurants offer the opportunity of tasting fish from the Lake.
(800 m - 10 min. by boat from the hotel).
This is the largest and the most picturesque of the Borromeo islands. It is distinguished by its marvellous garden of rare plants and exotic flowers, where white peacocks, parrots and pheasants of all types live, creating the appeal of a tropical land. Isola Madre is especially famous for its azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. A visit to the Palace is extremely interesting with its period furnishings and collection of uniforms (liveries), dolls and porcelains. The exhibition of Teatrini delle Marionette (Puppets Theatres), from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is exceptional the only existing Palace Theatre which has come down to us intact across the centuries. The marvellous back-cloths are the work of Alessandro Sanquirico (1777-1849), stage-designer at the Teatro alla Scala of Milan, and Carlo Fontana, a stage-designer at the Teatro Regio in Turin
It wasn’t a botanist but a Scottish officer crazy about flowers who created in 1931 the botanical gardens of Villa Taranto. Neil McEacharn bought it from the marquise of Sant’Elia, and he then decided to create an exemplary English garden on a strip of land that reminded him of Scotland. The officer, born at the end of the eighteen hundreds into a noble wealthy family from Scotland, decided to move to this villa so as to devote himself to his great passions: botany, gardening and travelling.
He was an indefatigable traveller who toured around the world seven times, bringing back from every country new specimens of plants that he skilfully succeeded in growing in his gardens. Neil McEacharn bought neighbouring pieces of land to further extend the garden and to transform it into a 16-hectares park. Here he made great terracing works creating woods, borders, paths, flower-beds, lawns and greenhouses for planting out plants originating from countries all over the world. In one of the greenhouses that house tropical varieties, the Amazonian Victoria Regia is of particular interest; it is a dicotyledonous plant, which leaves can support the weight of a baby. In 1938 McEacharn donated the park to the Italian State, holding it in usufruct until his death in 1964. Today the botanical heritage of the Giardini di Villa Taranto (Gardens of Villa Taranto) includes about 1000 plants that had never been grown in Italy before, and about 20.000 varieties and species of particular interest. From June 2005 also the l’Herbarium Britannicum has been opened to the public.
Opening period 2012: 21st march – 1st november
In Villa Pallavicino Park you will spend an unforgettable day in one of the most charming places of Lake Maggiore: Stresa. The park extends over a 20-hectar area with tree-lined paths, wonderful flower-beds and a botanical garden. You will see more than 40 species of animals and exotic birds (lamas, kangaroos, zebras, flamingos, ecc.) which live wild in a wide natural environment. The restaurant and self-service "Le Scuderie", the "Chalet" bar and many pic-nic areas will be at your disposal. Children can enjoy themselfs in an amusing and equipped playground.
(from the hotel 20 km - 30 min. by car).
The cable cars of Mottarone reach a height of 1,500 m in about 18 minutes from where you can enjoy a superlative view of the Lake and the majestic Alpine chain. Going by car from Stresa and passing through the Mottarone at 1,491 m on the 9 km long asphalted panoramic toll road La Borromea. From this height you can admire meadows, streams, centuries-old woods and exceptional, stirring views: Lake Maggiore, six other lakes on the Po valley and the marvellous circle of the Italian and Swiss Alps with the Mt. Rosa group (4,609 m). The resort is equipped for winter sports.
(from the hotel 9 km - 15 min. by car).
Gignese is the land of the umbrella makers. Ever since the eighteenth century umbrella makers went out into the world from Gignese and environs and still today their descendants produce, sell and repair umbrellas world-wide. The museum estabilished by the umbrella makers has the typical polygonal shape of an umbrella.
(from the hotel 9 km - 15 min. by car).
The imposing construction of the Fortress was started by the Visconti family including the wing of its namesake, in which the admirably frescoed Sala di Giustizia is to be found, and the Castellana Tower, from which a particularly impressive view can be enjoyed. The Rocca became the property of the Borromeo family in 1449 and they converted it into their residence. In 1988 the first italian Museo della Bambola (Doll's Museum) was opened there.
(from the hotel 55 km - 1 hour by car, 15 min. by boat).
The sanctuary is on a precipe overhanging the lake, clinging to the rock which plunges into the water in a landascape of rare charm, where the view encompasses the Piedmont shoreline as far as the Borromeo gulf and the Mottarone peak. The sanctuary was originally votive and was built in the late twelfth century by Alessandro Besozzi from Besozzo, a merchant who retired there to lead the life of a recluse.
(from the hotel 40 km - 15 min. by car).
Orta, God’s water-colour, seems to be painted on a silk background, with its Sacred Mount at the back, its splendid avenue flanked by closed palaces, the silent square with the demure facades behind the foliage of the horse chestnuts, and in front of the island of San Giulio, similar to the lofty Purgatory of Dante, hesitant between water and sky": that is how Piero Chiara, the writer of the lakes, praised the silence of Orta and its lake, a discreet silence around which the local people have woven ancient legends.
(60 km To Locarno - 45 min. by car).
Interesting, easy, varied and unforgettable are the adjectives to describe this circular tour through some of the most beautiful parts of our area. Leaving Stresa by train for Domodossola and continuing from there with the Centovalli railway until Locarno, the return journey to Stresa is then made by boat or hydrofoil. The trip may also be done the opposite way round.
(from the hotel 70 km - 1h by car).
Macugnaga is waiting for you at the foot of the grandiose "Eastern" wall of Mt. Rosa (the highest precipe in Europe), in an extraordinarily beautiful Alpine setting. Signs of the Walsers, the settlers of German origin who founded Macugnaga eight centuries ago, can still be seen today in the characteristic stone and wood buildings, in the language, the delicately embroidered costumes that women still wear. A rich enviromental, cultural and traditional heritage which Macugnaga has preserved and known how to turn to occount with modern tourist services, sporting and spare time facilities.