SEARCH THIS BLOG

Loading...

2014 DATES ARE ONLINE

2014 DATES ARE ONLINE
CLICK HERE!

STRESA MAP

Malpensa / Stresa Bus

Malpensa / Stresa Bus
- Summer Schedule -

1-BDRM, SLEEP 4 CLICK HERE!

1-BDRM, SLEEP 4 CLICK HERE!
LA LOMBARDA SHORT LET APARTMENTS WEEKLY RENTALS
Saturday, April 19, 2014

Shopping: Easter Eggs


Buona Pasqua to all our readers, from Stresa Sights



Sunday is Pasqua, Easter. The spring festival, in one of its many forms -- Easter, Pasqua, Pesach, etc. --, is one of the most universally celebrated holidays.  Here in Italy, every supermarket, every Autogrille, every Tabacchi shop is selling the traditional Italian Easter treats -- large hollow chocolate eggs that have a small surprise gift inside. Kinder is a well-known brand, and you can see that the gifts inside are little toys of famous characters from children's films and stories. 

Bunnies and Colomba at Carrefour in Stresa

There are also many brands and shapes of chocolate bunnies, and of course, the traditional Colomba, the spongy cake shaped like a dove, symbolic of Easter. But you know... Chocolate bunnies are as common as, well, bunnies. And I'm not really a fan of spongy cake. So what would I want to give or receive on Pasqua in Stresa? 
(   Continued   ...   )

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Walk: The Donkeys Of Collegio Rosmini

Group shot! The Rosmini donkeys.

Are you the sort who stops to pet every dog you pass while walking along the Lungolago? Do you throw crumbs to the swans and ducks in Lago Maggiore? Then you will also enjoy visiting this somewhat hidden corner of Stresa and saying hello to the three donkeys who abide there. 


These guys have a pretty big responsibility: keeping the sloping fields of grass and wild flowers in front of the Collegio Rosmini neatly trimmed. And they work hard at it... I never see them lazy or taking a day off. 
(   Continued  ....   )

Monday, April 7, 2014

Food: La Casera Cheese Shop

La Casera is located in Piazza Ranzoni, Verbania, under the arch in the blue wall.

For those of you who won't be able to reach Luigi Guffanti cheese shop and cantina in Arona, that I wrote about in the previous post, here's one you can reach easily from Stresa and where you can have a really fun cheese, meat, and wine lunch. La Casera is located in Verbania, right in the main piazza, and it can be reached quite easily with the VCO public bus or with the ferries.

Here's the door. You would never know what waits beyond, so go inside.


Looking in the door this is what you see. Where's lunch, you're wondering. But don't worry, you're in the right place. Walk through the shop, taking in sights and smells, whetting your appetite as you go.

(   Continued ...   )

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Food: Another Day ... Another Cheese Tasting ...


Another day .. another cheese tasting ... (yawnnnn). 

Just kidding of course! This was a great one! We accompanied the owners of La Lombarda to Luigi Guffanti Cheese Producers, in nearby Arona, for a cheese tasting event open to restaurants, shops, and other distributors of their products. On an unassuming street, in a nondescript building, distinguishable today only by the large balloon inflated outside to draw attention to the event, a large group of people were gathered inside for a tour of the cheese cantina, to be followed by a buffet tasting.

Here are some of the highlights:


You would never know that underground, below this parking terrace, is a gigantic cantina filled with thousands of cheeses. This is the entrance to Luigi Guffanti. Inside those doors there is a retail shop to the right, and the rest is offices and business space. Following through to a stone staircase, we descended into the cheese cantina.

Luigi Guffanti, Formaggi per Tradizione da 1876, is what their business cards say. I'm not sure how many generations into the family the man below is, but he is the current patriach and current Luigi of this proud family dynasty. It was he who proudly showed us around the cantina. Read on; there's a lot of interesting information here:

(   Continued ...   )

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Let The 2014 Season Begin! Borromee Islands Reopen Today

The Borromeo islands, Villa Taranto, Rocca Angera and Parco Pallavicino are now all open again. The 2014 season has officially begun! And as you can see from the following photographs, everything else in Stresa is opening too:


(   Continued  ...   )

Monday, March 17, 2014

Transportation: While You're Waiting At Milano Centrale


Many people write to me here with questions and concerns about trains. So many connections, to Stresa from the airport, back, from Stresa to other destinations, etc. Milano is the hub; so travelers often find themselves here waiting for a train connection. First, as I tell everyone, train travel here is easy, efficient, reliable, safe, and actually very nice.  So don't have any fears about it.

Here's a handy travel tip that may make train travel even nicer for you. While going through Milano Centrale station this past weekend on our way to Firenze, we had about 45 minutes to wait for our train. We noticed above us a snack bar with an all-glass facade overlooking the tracks. As you can see in the photo above, it's a pretty cool spot to have a caffe while you wait. 
(   Continued ...   )

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Event: Carnivale 2014




Hear ye, hear ye! Carneval week has arrived again! The annual procession of King Falcett took place on a warm and sunny day, and after the Falcett procession to Piazza Marconi the entire entourage continued on to Piazza Cadorna as always for the costume judging. After a proclamation from the King and Queen, the contestants each had a chance to display their costumes. There were categories for single costumes, pairs, and groups. Below are the first and second place winners this year:
(   Continued ...   )

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wine: Travaglini Gattinara



Last evening at Ristorante La Lombarda we drank this wine: Travaglini Gattinara DOCG. The wine, made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, is grown and bottled by the Travaglini family on their property in Gattinara, in Piemonte, only about 40 minutes from Stresa by car. The winery was established by Clemente Travaglini in the 1920s and has been passed down generation to generation. It's an excellent wine, but what I want to tell you about is the bottle, which is unique among wine bottles.
(   Continued ...   )

Monday, February 24, 2014

Seen In Stresa: Signs Of Spring!




Spring arrives much earlier in Stresa than I am accustomed to when living near New York. It's the middle of February after all, and we are in the foothills of the Alps. The mountains are still heavily covered with snow. And yet, there are early signs of spring everywhere. Yesterday in Verbania I saw camellia trees with a few blooms open, and up in Someraro, high above the lake, these yellow vines are already bursting with little flowers. It's rather nice to see.
(   Continued ... )

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Art History: Cupid And Psyche On Isola Bella

For la festa di San Valentino this year, I would like to share with you the beautiful Story of Psyche series of paintings by the French painter Maurice Denis.  You'll see why in just a minute. The paintings were commissioned by a wealthy Russian industrialist and art patron, Ivan Moronov, and painted by Denis during 1908 and 1909. When completed, Denis personally brought the paintings to Moronov's Moscow home.

Denis had visited Italy in the 1890s, and the travels greatly influenced him, and his art. When Moronov commissioned Denis for the paintings, it was Denis who suggested the story of Psyche and Cupid, because of its "idyllic and mysterious character," he said.

In five of the paintings, Denis used Isola Bella as the setting of the story. And that's why I want to share them with you this Valentine's Day. Here are the paintings, with their titles, and their very familiar Stresa locations:

 Cupid is Struck by the Beauty of Psyche. I do believe that is the view of Lago Maggiore from Isola Bella, with the town and mountain of Laveno seen in the back right, and Pallanza Verbania in the back left.
(   Continued ...   )

LEARN ITALIAN IN STRESA!

LEARN ITALIAN IN STRESA!
Click! Visit! Sign Up!

PLANNING A TRIP TO STRESA?

PLANNING A TRIP TO STRESA?
Your Holiday Starts Here! Click Here for Important Planning Links.

BORROMEO ISLAND WEBCAM

BORROMEO ISLAND WEBCAM
Click the photo to see it live

UPCOMING EVENTS


Events are provided by STRESA 2.0

VACATIONS AND WORKSHOPS

VACATIONS AND WORKSHOPS
Before or after Stresa, plan more of your trip to Italy with Villa Vita!

CURRENCY CONVERTER

CURRENCY CONVERTER
Click here for a fast and easy currency converter.

STRESA SIGHTS by DANA KAPLAN

STRESA SIGHTS by DANA KAPLAN

THANKS DREAM OF ITALY!

THANKS DREAM OF ITALY!
Click to Dream of Italy Newsletter
Check out my notes on Italian Notebook about a warm winter drink, the shell grotto on Isola Bella, and about the gardens at Villa Taranto. And if you don't already receive Italian Notebook, sign up immediately to receive this wonderful daily dose of Italy.