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Destinations / Ski, Lakes & Mountains / Lake Maggiore (Italy) / Stresa

Stresa holidays are so very typically Italian - naturally chic and stylish! Fashionably draped on the shore of Lake Maggiore, it is almost impossible to imagine that Stresa was once a teeny weeny fishing hamlet. Around the second half of the 19th century, noblemen from Milan obviously saw the potential though and started building palatial villas, so the rich and famous came to Stresa. The rest, as they say, is history.

Such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and Rockefeller all touched down here and were entranced by the natural beauty and unsullied landscapes. The shores of Lake Maggiore became their playground.

A great aura of romanticism envelops Stresa and the woodland walks, glittering lake views, exotic gardens, local markets and pretty churches all add to a particular ambience that is, quite simply, unforgettable. Imagine balmy summer evenings with open-air concerts on the lake-front whilst pleasure boats drift carelessly by...... These days, Stresa is an important centre of culture with many festivals throughout the year.

Stresa overlooks the pretty island of Isola Bella and the regular ferry service brings the lovely gardens there or fresh fish dinners of Isola Pescatori within easy access.

Holidays in Stresa are to experience traditional Italian piazzas with pavement cafes for excellent people watching opportunities, daytime trips on the lake, garden walks and indulging in some seriously good local food. The town is full of narrow streets lined with trendy shops, cafes and trattorias, so even strolling around the town is a complete delight.

There are no direct flights from Ireland to Stresa but Aer Lingus operates daily flights to Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa, both of which are about an hour's drive away. We have a good selection of accommodation in the resort.


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