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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stresa, d'Incanto

The Spell of Stresa, Stresa d'Incanto. It's difficult to find an adjective, one adjective, that can describe this landscape of lakes, mountains, and islands. An adjective that, on its own, would be sufficient to categorize this city of Stresa, also known as the Pearl of Lago Maggiore. Perhaps incantevole, meaning spellbinding, magical, enchanting, perhaps it comes close.

Stresa d'Incanto, with images by Verbanese photographer Claudio Fogli, and written by Gisela Motta, of Stresa, is the latest book in a series by Alberti publishers entitled Verbano Illustrated. Twenty four years after the debut of the series, and with this, the twenty-sixth installation, finally a book that is devoted only to Stresa, its villages, and its islands. Recognizing the international nature and appeal of this location, the text of the book has been translated into four languages, Italian, English, French, and German, but the photographs, instead, they speak only one language, the language of the landscape.

Beginning from the lake, at its center, the islands, the book then moves the reader on a journey to the shoreline, exalting in the lavish architecture of the hotels, then rising again, to the Villa Pallavicino, with its gardens and small zoo, then rising again to the wonders of the Giardino Botanico Alpinia.

And at the summit, the flowering fullness of the summer makes way to the immaculate whiteness of the snows atop Mt. Mottarone in the winter, which contrast so beautifully with the blues of the lake below. In between the lake and the summit, there are numerous references to the villages, the monuments, and the many mentions of the philosopher Rosmini and the nobility that are such a part of Stresa's history.



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