Only submissions deemed to be urgent shall be considered at the Mid-Year Meeting
The deadline for receipt of submissions was 8 March 2012
The famous town of Stresa (Italy, 5000 inhabitants, 200 m above sea level) enjoys a splendid location on Lake Maggiore in the Gulf of Borromeo, where it overlooks the eponymous islands, the main attraction in the region. Its beautiful countryside, architectural gems and mild climate combine to make Stresa one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy. The Borromean Islands, with their stunning palaces and ornamental gardens, are an unmissable destination for aesthetes. Luxury villas and opulent Art Nouveau hotels line the elegant lakeside, which is ideal for a tranquil stroll. Since the late 19th century Stresa has been renowned for its sophisticated atmosphere and genteel visitors, and today still enjoys an impressive roster of cultural, musical and meeting events.
"Que dire du lac Majeur, des îles Borromées, du lac de Côme, sinon plaindre ceux qui n'en sont pas fous?"
"For however fanciful and fantastic the Isola Bella may be, and is, it still is beautiful."
(C. Dickens, 1844)
"I'm up here at Stresa a little resort on Lake Maggiore one of the most beautiful of the Italian Lakes."
(E. Hemingway 1929)
Stresa first appears on historical documents just before the end of the first millennium, when it was a small community of fishermen and peasants. During the Middle Ages, the town was a fiefdom of the lords of Castello and Visconti, but it was the Borromeo family-part of the Milanese aristocracy-who subsequently ruled the region and added the magnificent buildings that have made Stresa famous. In 1441, the Borromeos obtained part of the territory and by 1653 the entire district was reunited under their rule. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, the Borromeos commissioned palaces to be built on the islands of Bella and Madre. Stresa passed into Austrian hands in 1719, before coming under the rule of the House of Savoy in 1748. The town began to achieve its renown as a tourist destination at the beginning of the 19th century, when glamorous villas such as the Villa Pallavicino and Villa Vignolo were built. In 1906 the opening of the Simplon Tunnel heralded the start of widespread international travel. Trains on the London-Paris-Milan line began to call at Stresa station, and travellers and writers from all over Europe came to sing the praises of Stresa and Lake Maggiore, spreading their fame far and wide and enticing an ever larger number of people to visit. Every year, Stresa now welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists from across the globe.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is Milan Malpensa. From the airport you can reach Stresa by car, by bus, by train.
Taxis are available from the airport or can be pre-arranged upon request at time of booking (via the Regina Palace Hotel). There is a bus from the airport which goes to Galarate railway station where you can get a train to Stresa (Milan-Domodossola line).
The Airport Shuttle Service "Alibus" from Malpensa to Stresa starts from 5 April 2012
Tickets may be reserved online but must be paid for in cash directly to the bus driver.
Click HERE for the link to the online Alibus Shuttle Service Advance Booking Form.
If you prefer renting a car, from the airport drive to highway A8 and then follow directions "by car" below.
Milano Linate National Airport Km 110 [75 min driving], Milano Malpensa International Airport Km 45 [50 min driving], Turin Airport Km 150 [ 2 hours driving].
Most of the frequent trains on the Milan-Domodossola line stop in Stresa. Furthermore daily trains from/to Milan, Turin, Venice and, through the Simplon Pass to/from Bruxelles, Geneva and Basel are direct to/from the Railway Station of Stresa, which is situated in the center of the town.
It takes about 50 minutes (Intercity) and 80 minutes (local trains) to reach the Central Station of Milan.
From Sempione Pass Switzerland, we suggest to go forward when SS 33 becomes Highway A26 and exit at Baveno-Stresa. From San Bernardino-Bellinzona-Locarno Switzerland just follow the main road keeping the lake always on your left hand side until you reach Stresa (SS 34 until Verbania, then SS 33 direction Milan).
If you come from Milan, get A8 in direction of the lakes (Laghi - Sesto Calende), go on to A26 direction Gravellona Toce. On highway A26 you may exit at Arona and then follow SS 33 up to Stresa for about 18 Km keeping the lake on scenic road on your right hand side. You may also go forward on A26 and exit at Carpugnino (forbidden to buses) where you'll find a narrow road going down to Stresa (5 Km) with a wonderful panoramic view. Otherwise you can continue going till the exit Baveno-Stresa where the road will immediately reach the lakeside: you'll need to drive back to Stresa for about 5 Km with the lake on your left hand side.
Main driving distances and times: Firenze Km 390/[4 hours driving]/Milano Km 80 [50 min driving]/Roma Km 650 [7 hours driving]/Torino Km 135 [90 min driving]/Venezia Km 350 [4 hours driving]/Verbania Km 15 [10 min driving]/Locarno Switzerland Km 45 [50 min driving
Access to Milan from Stresa by train:
There are 21 trains a day from the two stations in Milan which stop at Stresa (1h-1h30m, 5-14¬). From Milan's Porta Garibaldi station, take one of the 10 regional trains heading for Domodossola (1h30m, 5¬). From Milan's Centrale station, take one of the 6 regional trains heading for Domodossola (1h10m, 5¬) or one of the 5 international trains heading for Geneva/Basle** (55m, 14¬).
2 buses a day got to Stresa from Lampugnano underground station, Milan (1h15m).
Places to See
A visit to Stresa is the ideal way to blend relaxation and culture in an enchanting setting that evokes the atmosphere of the belle époque. From Stresa it is easy to reach the three Borromean Islands, which are steeped in artistic, historical and botanical appeal. On the islands of Bella and Madre there are sumptuous palaces and rare plant gardens where peacocks, parrots and pheasants roam wild against an exotic backdrop reminiscent of faraway lands. In contrast, the Isola dei Pescatori is famous for the charming simplicity of its old fishing village, which is considered one of the most picturesque spots on Lake Maggiore. As well as being a fine example of a mid-nineteenth century palace, Villa Pallavicino boasts a zoo in its huge, 50-acre park; here, among the ancient trees and flower-lined avenues, live more than 40 different species of mammals and birds. In Stresa itself, the elegant and attractive waterfront offers unforgettable views of the Gulf of Borromeo. Walks along the shore offer the perfect opportunity to take in both the Art Nouveau hotels on the shore and the three Borromean Islands. The view is equally superb from the summit of Mount Mottarone (1491m), which dominates Stresa and offers a unique panoramic outlook. Mottarone is known as the 'Mountain of the Two Lakes' thanks to its strategic position between Lake Maggiore and the equally beautiful Lake Orta. The cable car to the top of Mottarone also stops off at Alpino, where the Alpinia botanical gardens offer a terrace with sweeping views of Lake Maggiore.