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There are two ways to reach the summit from Stresa. It’s an easy enough, 30-minute drive up a private, 9 kilometer (5 ½ mile) winding road. Follow the signs and the switchbacks until you reach the park at the top. The alternative is to take the funivia, the cableway from the
Bring your warm scarf, and your gloves, and an extra layer to wear. Once up at the top you’ll need them. When the wind is strong, it will be quite frigid, but this has advantages as well. With wind the skies can be crystal clear, and when the skies are clear it is possible to have a 360° view of seven surrounding lakes and the Swiss Alps to the north. Monterosa, which is the highest peak in Switzerland, can be seen to the northwest, and if you are really lucky, you may be able to see the golden statue of the Virgin Mary, on top of the Duomo, about 70 kilometers (44 miles) away, in Milan.
After some minutes outside in the mountaintop air you’ll need to warm up. Luckily, there are several restaurants at the summit that serve typical mountain foods and warm drinks. I like Casa della Neve, House of the Snow. And there’s no better way to ward off a chill there than with a glass of fil-de-fir, the classic regional drink. First produced at a small distillery on Monterosa, the drink is served warm in a small glass, like the type you may use for orange juice. The drink looks a bit as if you melted down an orange creamsicle into a glass and then heated it. It’s difficult to explain; better if I use the description written about it when it won the “Spirits of the Year’ gold medal award in 2001: mottarone mottarone mottarone mottarone mottarone
“Vibrant, creamy orange. Nutmeg, orange peel, and farmer's cream nose. Very viscous on the attack with subtle orange blossom and lush brown spice notes. Displays a very pure and distinctive egg nog-like character with an angular grappa-like undertone. Serving hot brings out attractive egg white elements and better integrates the flavors with the thick texture. Unique and utterly captivating.” mttarone mottarone mottarone mottarone mottarone mottarone
I completely agree. So, wrap your cold hands around your glass of fil-de-fer, head over to the fireplace, and relax on the couches for a while. You’ll be almost on the border of
The Stresa market is held every Friday in Piazza Capucci. Open from early morning until 1 pm.
In honor of the occasion, and to honor this mysterious mushroom relative, here are a few truffle facts you may not yet know:
Although historically hogs have been used to sniff out truffles, recently dogs are becoming more popular as truffle hunters. Dogs can be trained to simply find the truffles and not eat them, while the hogs will immediately devour any truffle they can.
Truffles have a strange, symbiotic relationship with the oak, hazel, poplar, and beech trees around Alba. Attempts to cultivate truffles around the world have met with various degrees of success, which accounts for their continued rarity and the exorbitant prices they command.
White Alba truffles are best eaten raw; unlike the French black truffle they do not cook well. The aroma of the white is strong and pungent, and able to fill a room instantly.
Alba is an easy day-trip destination from Stresa. And if you are fortunate enough to go to see the festival, do keep a couple of things in mind. It will be crowded. So much so that getting into restaurants may be difficult. It may be best to bring a picnic lunch along, or to purchase food at one of the market stalls. But by all means buy your piece of truffle, bring it home with you, and then carefully shave your treasure over a bowl of buttered pasta or salad. stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa stresa
Alba is approximately one and one half hours from Stresa by car. The White Truffle Fair runs for six weeks from October through the first weekends in November.
Web site: www.fieradeltartufo.org/en/
Stresa, not being a capital city, was not ranked in this rating. But I feel certain those same findings would apply here as well. And it's nice to see in official words what I've known all along... that this is a special place, of exceptional natural beauty, filled with people who appreciate it and are working to keep it so.
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The wine selections were AIS sponsors many wine events in the area. They offer an opportunity to experience fine wines that many of us wouldn’t have the chance to taste otherwise. However, AIS events are held in Italian. For those who like to attend a wine tasting in English, or who would like to host a private wine tasting, there are many opportunities to do so. I’ll write about some in separate posts. Clicking on wine on the sidebar will show you all of the relevant posts.
AIS sponsors many wine events in the area. They offer an opportunity to experience fine wines that many of us wouldn’t have the chance to taste otherwise. However, AIS events are held in Italian. For those who like to attend a wine tasting in English, or who would like to host a private wine tasting, there are many opportunities to do so. I’ll write about some in separate posts. Clicking on wine on the sidebar will show you all of the relevant posts.
For those interested, SOPEXA's Web site: http://www.sopexa.com/english/partenaire/index.html This one's in English.
Open from 1 April to 31 October, 10.00 – 12.00 and 15.00 to 18.00. Closed Mondays, unless the Monday is a national holiday, in which case the museum is open.
The museum is an easy 20 minute drive from Stresa by car or reachable on public buses.
Web site: http://www.gignese.it/museo/
Foxtown is open everyday from 11.00 – 19.00. Closed on 1 January. Easter, 1 August, Christmas, and Saint Stephen’s.
Foxtown is one hour from Stresa by car, in Mendrisio, Switzerland
Web site: http://www.foxtown.ch/index.php?lingua=en¢ro=mendrisio
What are some good things to do if it rains while you’re here? There are always museums of course but I have a better idea. Do the same activities you would do at home, but remember, it isn’t the same old activity when you’re doing it in another country. It’s an opportunity to observe the cultural differences and to take part a little bit in the day-to-day life here. So how about a movie? If your knowledge of Italian is intermediate or better this is great fun. Choose an action film, less dialogue and more visual cues. Or how about shopping? While just another day at the mall at home sounds pretty boring, don’t discount the fun of shopping in an Italian mall and comparing the stores and fashions. Try on some outfits; see how ‘Italian’ you can look. And if you have access to a kitchen, then stop at a supermarket, buy some local ingredients and a bottle of wine, look up a recipe, and create your own Italian banquet.
I’ll expand on some Rainy Day Activities in future posts; click on the Rainy Day Activities link on the sidebar to see them all. But the point is, a little rain shouldn’t be any deterrent at all to having fun. And chissa, who knows, perhaps a great adventure is waiting you in one of these everyday places.
Events are provided by STRESA 2.0
- Where can I buy foreign newspapers in Stresa?
- Where can I eat breakfast in Stresa?
- Where are the public restrooms in Stresa?
- Is there a laundromat in Stresa?
- Can I rent a wheelchair in Stresa?
- Should I buy train tickets in advance?
- Are there any day tours to Switzerland from Stresa?
- How can I arrange a civil wedding in Stresa?
- How bad are the summer bugs in Stresa?
- Do I Need A Car In Stresa?
- Is there an Internet cafe in Stresa?
- Is there a supermarket in Stresa?
- Is it too isolated staying at an Isola dei Pescatori hotel?
- Will we need a car if we are staying at Isolino Camping Village?
- Are there any ethnic restaurants in Stresa?
- Can I buy tickets in advance for ferry or the cablecar?
- I was wondering if you might know or recall the name of this restaurant in Baveno?
IMPORTANT POSTS AND LINKS
- If You Have Only One Day in Stresa
- Top Ten Things to See in Stresa
- Alibus Shuttle From Malpensa to Stresa
- Driving Directions From Malpensa - With Photos
- Train Service from Malpensa to Stresa and Milano
- Linate Airport to Stresa Directions
- Milan Tram System Map and Transport
- Bus Schedule
- Stresa Boat Imbarcadero
- Stresa to Mottarone Cableway
- Bus, Train, and Taxi From Malpensa Airport
- Boat Schedule - English
- PosteItaliane - Postal service
- Trenitalia Site and Schedule -- English
- Weather Forecast
- Winter Trip to Stresa? Start Planning Here
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