Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stresa Travel Notes: Springtime in Stresa

After a beautifully warm day yesterday it really feels like spring is arriving in Stresa. With the Borromean Islands opening this weekend, caf├Ęs and bars putting their tables out in the square and shops opening up again, Stresa is awakening after its winter hibernation.

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Stresa and I thought I'd share my favourite reasons why:

Stresa in Bloom - Isola Madre Camellia
1. Stresa in Bloom
Stresa starts to burst with colour in spring. The hotels gardens are filled with blooms from tulips to pansies and the first geraniums spilling out over the balconies. Along the lakefront promenade and on the Borromean Islands camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons come into flower.

The Weather: sitting outside for an aperitivo! Cin cin!
2. The Weather
I'll admit we can get our fair share of rain in the spring (as we always say: "that's why the countryside is so green!") but when the sun is shining the weather is perfect for sightseeing: not too hot and not too humid. It's my perfect climate! Just warm enough to sit outside at the bar for a coffee ... or a prosecco ... and a spot of people watching.

Snow-Capped Mountains: Isola Pescatori in March
3. Snow-Capped Mountains
In spring the mountains surrounding Lake Maggiore still have their peaks covered in snow and it looks so beautiful. The air is usually clearer in spring, with none of the haze we get from the heat in full summer, so views across the lake are simply stunning.

Tulip Week at Villa Taranto
4. Tulip Week at Villa Taranto
Tulip week at Villa Taranto is like an annual pilgrimage for Luca and I. It is a fantastic place for taking photographs as the tulip beds are great blocks of colour. Over 80,000 bulbs have been planted for this year's event and they are due to flower between 18th-25th April.

5. Foodie and Music Events
Even in the spring there are events to enjoy. This year we're looking forward to the first edition of the event for foodies: Il Giusto con Gusto. The foodie fair will include tastings, demonstrations, dinners with Michelin star chefs and masterclasses in cake decoration. For music lovers there is the 23rd Organ Festival with four concerts held in the parish church.

A Woodland Walk: The Chestnut Route
6. A Woodland Walk
After the winter there's nothing like good walk to blow away the cobwebs! The Chestnut Route is lovely in the spring as you can see trees and plants springing to life all along the walk. The route takes you from Stresa to Belgirate and you can then return by train to Stresa.

Have you visited Stresa in the Spring? What was your favourite thing?

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