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Monday, March 2, 2009

The Stresa Imbarcadero

Today let's pretend we're going to take a boat ride from the main Stresa imbarcadero. We've already taken a look on this blog at the boat schedule (click here to see boat schedule post) and how that works. Now let's actually take a ride, so you'll know what to expect when you're there.

This building is the Stresa imbarcadero, the main boat stop. It's located at Piazza Marconi, in the center of town, at the end of via P. Tomaso. The River Cree that we already spoke about runs directly under here by the way, (you can read about that again here.) The office on the right is an important spot to know. It's the official Stresa Tourist Office. Inside you'll always find someone who speaks English well, and who is willing to help with any request you have. There's also a nice selection of free maps and brochures in various languages. Sometimes there are also free posters available, just ask... On the left is a coffee bar, quite nice for that cappuccino while you're waiting.

Go on inside the building. This building was at one time the Stresa Casino, so take a quick glance around. Are those columns made out of Baveno Granite? Take a look, maybe they are... Okay, go to one of the windows to buy a ticket. As you can see on the official site of the Navigazione Laghi, there are many tickets and combinations available. The ticket sellers should be able to help you sort out what you need. It will depend on the time of year, whether you want a one-way, round-trip, or multiple-trip ticket, many factors.

Walk on through the building towards the lake to wait for your boat. To your left will be this sign, listing which stops will be made by each boat, and at what time. As you can see, you can do quite a bit of traveling and sight-seeing easily in this way.

And don't worry... If you are still unsure which is your boat, or have any questions at all, there will always be a couple of boat employees like these on hand to assist you.

All aboard! That was easy, right? The other imbarcaderi will all look a bit different, but the procedure for you will be much the same. Just always be doubly sure to get on the right boat, and off at the right stop. I once did miss my intended stop and traveled to the next. Boat employees were helpful directing me how to return, but I did need to buy another ticket.

Here again is the link to the Navigazione Laghi main site and the boat schedule: www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng


One more thing to notice here are the boats themselves. The fleet consists of a 1904 steamship, motorboats, hydrofoils, catamarans, speedboats and even a couple of bidirectional ferry-boats. For any boat aficionados out there this should be of interest to you.

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