Giardino Botanico Alpinia


More than 1000 alpine and subalpine species flourish in this 4-hectare botanical garden set partway up Monte Mottarone. It was founded in 1934 and profiles trees and shrubs from as far away as China and Japan against a backdrop of fine lake views. If the Stresa–Mottarone cable car is operating, the easiest access is via the Alpino midstation. Otherwise, the gardens are a 10km drive from Stresa; check whether the bus is running from the tourist office (single €3, 30 minutes).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Stresa attractions

1. Museo dell’Ombrello e del Parasole

1.45 MILES

Those driving to Mottarone or Orta San Giulio (for Lake Orta) from Stresa could stop in Gignese (8km from Stresa) for the intriguing Museo dell’Ombrello e…

2. Palazzo Borromeo

1.59 MILES

Presiding over 10 tiers of spectacular terraced gardens roamed by peacocks, this baroque palace is arguably Lake Maggiore's finest building. Wandering the…

3. Isole Borromeo

1.62 MILES

The Borromean Gulf forms Lake Maggiore's most beautiful corner, sheltering the Borromean Islands and their spectacular, privately owned palaces. Closest…

4. Chiesa di San Vittore

1.63 MILES

This tiny church on equally tiny Isola Superiore generally gets more tourists than congregation, except on 14 August when its saintly figurine – the…

5. Lungolago di Stresa

1.72 MILES

For the best passeggiata (afternoon stroll) on Lake Maggiore head for Stresa, where a 2km-long lakeside promenade meanders through florid gardens and past…

6. Monte Mottarone

2.18 MILES

The cable-car trip up Monte Mottarone (1492m) from the northwestern end of Stresa offers pretty views over Lake Maggiore, including Isola Bella and Isola…

7. Parco della Villa Pallavicino

2.34 MILES

An easy 1km walk southeast of central Stresa along the SS33 main road, the Pallavicino is a 19th-century neoclassical villa set in banked lakeside grounds…

8. Isola Madre

2.75 MILES

The closest of the three islands to Verbania, Isola Madre is entirely taken up by the Palazzo Madre and the lovely gardens that surround it. The 16th- to…