Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stresa on a Shoestring

Well......almost. Stresa has never really been known as a budget destination, but with a few tips from us you'll find that you can still experience Stresa to the full without going over budget.

(11/02/13 Updated prices for 2013)

Two Full Days Out for €42
This has to be one of the best offers available for sightseeing from Stresa. For €42 (€21 children 4-12 years) you can travel on the Lake Maggiore Express round trip one day and then you have unlimited use of the lake ferries on the second day.

This is a saving of at least €3.90 if you were to use your day on the ferries to visit the Borromean Islands.

This ticket must be used on two consecutive days and is available from our travel office.

The Lake Maggiore Express (photo courtesy of SSIF)
One Day Borromean Islands Entrance Ticket
If you choose to visit both Isola Madre and Isola Bella on the same day make sure you buy a special one day entrance ticket for €18.00.

This is a saving of €6.00 (separate entrance tickets cost a total of €24.00)

The ticket must be used to visit both islands on the same day and is available from our travel office.

Don't forget if you are a member of the RHS you can enter the Borromean Islands for free!

The Borromean Palace, Isola Madre
The Borromean Islands Super Saver Ferry Ticket
We've discovered a way to save on the price of a Rover Ticket and are proud to introduce our Borromean Islands Super Saver Ticket which saves you money around the Borromean Bay. Use our special ticket by travelling to your furthest destination first and working your way back to Stresa, stopping off where you like en route. Download the details here.

This is a saving of at least €3.00 on a standard Rover Ticket (over 65's receive an even greater discount Monday to Friday)

Island hopping with the Super Saver Ferry Ticket
Walking is free and you can enjoy a leisurely 2km stroll along the lakefront promenade and gardens with spectacular views that cost you nothing! Download our town trail and take wander around Stresa centre or if you like rambling try the chestnut walk both ways to Belgirate.

View from Lakefront Promenade
Dining out on a Budget 
Let's start with the first meal of the day: breakfast. If you don't have breakfast included at your hotel, join the locals at a nearby bar. Italians tend to stand at the bar for their espresso (also known as just caffè) or cappuccino and brioche (croissant) but why not take a seat to enjoy yours with a spot of people watching? Daniel's Bar and La Verbanella offer breakfast with a lake view, whilst the likes of Caffè Torino and Bar Embassy are convenient for the centre of town.

For lunch why not take a picnic? At the Carrefour supermarket right in the centre of town you can stock up on picnic goodies and cold drinks. They cannot make sandwiches for you but at Salumeria Bianchetti next to the town hall Stefano and his parents will make you up a super sandwich with freshly sliced ham, salami, cheese - whatever takes your fancy. New for 2013, there is also a sandwich shop called Cicinnin on the road up between the Hotel Milan Speranza and Au Lac. You buy sandwiches by the 10cm length (known as a Cicinnin). Fillings change daily and are always something a bit different. Vegetarian option and drinks also available!

Pizza and a Beer
Pizza is the obvious budget choice for dinner and they range between €6-€8. Try the house wine which is usually very drinkable and great value for money. If you don't fancy pizza then order just a primo (first course of pasta or risotto) and for dessert you can pop to a gelateria and sample one of the many amazing flavours of ice cream on offer. Our favourite is L'Angolo del Gelato in Piazza Cadorna (and now also near the town hall) - it's real artisan gelato. Luca is in gelato heaven with their tiramisu and marrons glacés flavours!

Where to Stay
With last minute offers and late deals on the many online booking engines, finding a hotel room to suit your budget shouldn't prove too difficult. You can often find great deals at the big four stars along the lakefront. However, for some hotels that continually offer reasonable rates you can try the Hotel Elena in Piazza Cadorna or Hotel Italie Suisse which also has lake views. For self catering my friends and family always enjoy Casa Riale in Piazza Cadorna. A full list of hotels, residences and B&B accommodation can be downloaded here.

Let us know if you come across any tips for budget travel in Stresa and if you have any questions about any of the above sightseeing offers then drop us a line!

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