Top things to do

Top Choice Ristorante in Stresa

Ristorante Il Vicoletto

One of the most popular restaurants in Stresa, Il Vicoletto has a delectable regional menu including lake trout, wild asparagus, and traditional risotto with radicchio and Taleggio (cheese). The dining room is modes…
Gardens in Stresa

Giardino Botanico Alpinia

More than 1000 alpine and subalpine species flourish in this 4 hectare botanical garden set part-way up Monte Mottarone. It was founded in 1934 and profiles trees and shrubs from as far away as China and Japan again…
Trattoria in Stresa

La Botte

Regional dishes are at the heart of this tiny trattoria’s business, so expect grilled lake fish, boar fillets and plenty of polenta (the version with sauteed mushrooms is superb). The decor is old-style osteria (cas…
Piedmontese in Stresa


The name gives a huge clue as to the focus of this refined dining room. Regional delights include gnocchi with gorgonzola and hazelnuts, and baked perch with black venere rice. The Lake Menu (€39) features carp, tro…
Cocktail Bar in Stresa

Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées

Following his WWI stint on the Italian front, Ernest Hemingway checked in here to nurse his battle scars, and to write A Farewell to Arms. The passionate antiwar novel featured this sumptuous hotel. You might baulk …
Italian in Stresa

Osteria degli Amici

You may need to queue here, but it’s worth it to dine under vines on one of Stresa’s prettiest terraces in the centre of town, just off pedestrianised Via Mazzini. If it’s a little cool for sitting outside, the airy…
Italian in Stresa

Il Clandestino

An elegant, corner dining room with parquet floors, creamy white linen, soft music and a largely seafood menu, Il Clandestino is worth searching out. Some dishes have a Sicilian touch, with Sicilian prawns a recurri…
Trattoria in Stresa

Taverna del Pappagallo

It's not fancy and doesn't take itself too seriously but this welcoming backstreet trattoria is where you'll find Stresa's families tucking into tasty regional dishes, ranging from pizzas cooked in an old wood-fired…
Music in Stresa

Stresa Festival

A prestigious festival that dates back more than half a century, with classical concerts, as well as midsummer jazz performances.
Zoo in Stresa

Parco della Villa Pallavicino

Barely 1km southeast of central Stresa along the SS33 main road, exotic birds and animals roam relatively freely in the woods and meadows of this child-friendly 20 hectare park. Some 40 species of wildlife, includin…