Parco della Villa Pallavicino


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 that harbour extensive gardens as well as a 40-species zoological park. The villa is closed to the public, but the gardens – a mix of lawns, woodland and extravagant flower arrangements – make for a thoroughly pleasant stroll.

The 'zoo' consists of an interactive 'farm', aviary and various penned animals including llamas, Sardinian donkeys, zebras, flamingos and toucans. It seems to be aimed mainly at kids.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Stresa attractions

1. Lungolago di Stresa

0.74 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…

2. Palazzo Borromeo

1.52 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

1.54 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

1.89 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. Isola Madre

2.16 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…

6. Museo dell’Ombrello e del Parasole

2.29 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…

7. Santa Caterina del Sasso

2.33 MILES

One of northern Italy's most spectacularly sited monasteries, Santa Caterina del Sasso clings to the high rocky face of Lago Maggiore's southeast shore…

8. Giardino Botanico Alpinia

2.34 MILES

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…