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- Letter From The Editor -- Open That Bottle Tonight...
- Baveno Pink Granite
- The Grottoes Of The Palazzo Borromeo
- Let's Take A Ski Trip From Stresa
- Museo del Paesaggio -- The Museum of the Landscape...
- The Stresa- Mottarone Cablecar
- Who Is Piemonte's Maschera? Gianduia, That's Who.....
- News Bites -- Little Bits Of News From Stresa
- Baci di Stresa
- Ten 'D' Things To Like About Stresa
- A Very, Very, Very Simple Fahrenheit To Celsius Co...
- Letters From The Editor
- PremiaTerme - Natural Thermal Spa
- The River Cree
- Video Library
- World Nutella Day!
- The Egyptian Museum In Torino
- What to Do Here In Winter
- Letter From The Editor -- Stresa In Winter
- ▼ February (19)
So here’s the plan… Take that favorite bottle. Maybe it’s so old that it isn’t going to be all that drinkable anyway. Not important. Gather a special person, or people. Maybe make an event of it with friends and have everyone bring their own saved bottles. Open them while you reminisce. Laugh, drink, eat. The point of OTBN is that the old memory, and that old bottle of wine, now create a new memory. And even if the wine’s gone a little sour, the evening is still going to be sweet…
Baveno pink granite is indeed quite pink. It’s found in abundance on the eastern side of the
Although there is evidence of its use as early as the 1500s, quarrying in earnest began in the 1800s, and the industry brought hundreds to Lago Maggiore, looking for employment. Many who live here today can claim ancestors who worked those quarries. And therefore Baveno is proud to have this natural resource. So much so that a statue along the lake, built of Baveno pink granite of course, celebrates the scalpellino, the stonecutters, who made it all possible with their hard labors. And so much so that plans are in the works for a museum, scheduled to open next year, dedicated to the precious pink stone and its part in the history of this region.
Pica... meaning hit, and sass... meaning stone.
Where can you see this granite here? The statue of course, as well as the path along the lake in Baveno. And keep your eyes open for it in your surroundings, you’ll start to see pink buildings everywhere. So it’s another thing to look for in your travels, not only here but worldwide. If you see the Baveno pink granite, take comfort that you are close to a little piece of
The walkway along the lakefront in Baveno is paved with Baveno Pink Granite.
If you’re interested in a closer look at the quarry and you have a car, you can reach it in this way: From the A26 motorway, exit for Baveno. From the district called "Tranquilla", in the upper part of the Oltrefiume hamlet, drive up the asphalt road which offers a broad view over the famous quarries.
In addition to the Baveno Pink Granite there are over 60 other types of minerals found at the quarry, some named after Baveno itself, such as Bavenite and Bazzite. The site is geologically important, and studied extensively.
Nel frattempo, in the meantime, I’ll leave you with a little teaser, some photos from the previous time I was there, of the grottoes in the Borromeo Palazzo on Isola Bella. The strange series of six rooms, the idea of Vitaliano the Sixth, were planned in 1685 with the help of the architect Filippo Cagnulo, but they weren’t completed until almost 100 years later.
Who is the sleeping lady in the photo at the top of this post? More about her, and all of Isola Bella, when I return there very soon.
Isola Bella Web site: www.borromeoturismo.it
Mottarone has already been covered, you can read about it here, and then link to it’s own homepage. But if you’d now like to explore some other areas there are many choices available to you. Let’s separate the choices into two categories, ski resorts in the Italian Alps, and ski resorts in the Swiss Alps. In addition, for the purposes of this post, let’s limit the discussion to resorts to the north of Stresa, not those to the west, towards
Andiamo a sciare! Let's go skiing! First let’s talk about resorts in the Italian Alps. All of these locations can be reached taking the motorway for Domodossala. I suggest these particular resorts for their excellent conditions, full services, and because they offer a high quality at a reasonable price. Overall in fact, I find skiing in
Here are three places I like in the Italian Alps near Domodossola, all about 45 minutes from Stresa:
San Domenico: A full-service resort easily reached from
and Lago Maggiore, in the Italian Lepontine Alps. Here's their English Web site: www.sandomenico-ciamporino.it Milan
Domobianca: Only 10 km from Domodossola, offering 17 km of ski trails for all levels from green to double-black. English Web site: www.domobianca.it
Macugnaga: Skiing in sight of magnificent Monte Rosa, in a beautiful Italian mountain village filled with Walser atmosphere. English site with information and links: www.j2ski.com
This is an excellent link to these Italian ski resorts, as well as others. http://www.sullaneve.it/comprensorio-sciistico-valli-dell-ossola.htm Near the bottom of this linked page you’ll find links to San Domenico, Domobianca, Macugnaga and other local resorts. While the site does not have an English version, I found that the Google translator does a pretty decent job. Click on a resort, then copy and paste the URL into Google, search, and then click the Google translate feature on the search results page.
Now, further afield to
Leukerbad: A true year-round vacation resort, with natural thermal hot-springs and every type of winter activity. http://www.leukerbad.ch/en/welcome.cfm
Fiesch-Eggishorn: A large resort with 99 kilometres of piste, ski runs, best suited to the intermediate skier or snowboarder. http://www.eggishorn.ch/jwa/en/news.jsp
These Swiss resorts are doable as a long day trip from Stresa, but should you want to make a longer skiing vacation Domodossola is a good central location in which to stay to visit a variety of these resorts. Another plus... you'll be close to the wonderful PremiaTerme Hyperthermal Spa, when you need to soothe those muscles.
“In nessuna età come la nostra, inquieta e variabile, si è sentita più profondamente la misteriosa affinità che lega l’anima umana al paesaggio”
"In an era like ours, restless and variable, in one is it felt more profoundly the mysterious affinity between the human soul and the landscape."
Web site, English version: www.museodelpaesaggio.it
The Museo del Paesaggio is now housed in three locations along the banks of Lago Maggiore in Verbania:
- Palazzo Viani – Dugnani, Verbania Pallanza, via Ruga, 44;
- Palazzo Biumi – Innocenti, Verbania Pallanza, salita Biumi, 6;
- Casa Ceretti, Verbania Intra, Via Roma, 42. This library houses the collection of the 15,000 books of the museum.
Verbania Pallanza and Verbania Intra are two different boat stations on Lago Maggiore about 2 km apart. It is an easy walk from one station to the other. Verbania can be reached in 15 minutes by car from Stresa, or 30 minutes by boat.
Open Year-Round: 10.00 to 12.00, and 15.30 to 18.30, closed Mondays.
Tel. (+39) 0323 556621
The funivia station is at the Carciano boat station. Walk east for 1 km (0.6 mile) along the lake to arrive there from the center of Stresa. There is also ample parking if you're coming by car. Tickets can be purchased right at the station.
There are two stops on the cableway. The midstation stops at the Giardino Alpinia, the Alpine Gardens. With a round-trip cableway ticket admission to the gardens is included. Here walk through gardens blooming with 500 varieties of alpine plants from April through October, and stop for a moment at the benches which overlook the lake. There is also a cafe near the gardens.
The top station reaches 1,491 m (4,892 ft) atop Mt. Mottarone. The summit is a 15 minute walk from the station, and offers a 360 degree panaroma of the Po Valley, the Alps, of seven different lakes, and on a clear day, all the way to Milan. Here, there are several different cafes and restaurants to choose from. Note that the final walk to the summit is steep, and that it will be much cooler atop Mottarone than down below.
Together, the funivia, the Alpine Gardens, and Mottarone offer four seasons of activities. In the winter, Mottarone is a world-class ski resort. In spring, revive yourself walking among the flowers in the gardens. In summer, mountain bikers bring their bikes up the cableway for the thrilling ride down the well-marked trails. Hikers do the same, just taking a bit longer to reach the lake. And in autumn, there is no better spot from which to see the fall foliage. Enjoy these photos, all courtesy of the stresa-mottarone Web site, where you'll find up-to-date rates and schedules in English.
Giardino Alpinia Web site, schedules, and rates, in English: www.giardinoalpinia.it
If you’re in town on March 8 grab your sneakers and join in the second-annual Lago Maggiore Half-Marathon. The event, which last year attracted over 1,500 runners, begins at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Stresa, and follows a beautiful and flat course along the lake.
Work has begun on the so-called “Ice-Hotel” in Macugnana. Macugnana is a fascinating and historic village, at the foot of
The Stresa Carnevale festivities begin. First, costume parades this weekend for young and old. On Tuesday, it is a double festival in Piazza Cadorna, the piazza will be filled with tables offering traditional polenta and salami, and well as regional chocolate specialities. Later, King Falcett and his court will make their procession through town.
Dates have been set for Stresa for
In the next couple of weeks I plan to write about a few more museums and winter activities, partly in preparation for my own upcoming trip on March 15. Come back and take a look. And as always, if you have any suggestions for topics, questions, or things to share, please send them in.
Thanks, as always, to Stresa 2.0, www.stresaduepuntozero.blogspot.com, for my news information.
100 g. sugar
100 g. ground hazlenuts
80 g. softened butter
Mix all the ingredients together, roll into a tube shape and wrap the tube in plastic, then let the dough chill in the refrigerator for two hours.
After two hours, cut small pieces from the dough and roll it into 1" diameter balls. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet or baking paper. Bake for 25 minutes at 160 C. (325 F) The cookies will flatten out during baking.
Allora, when the cookies have cooled melt some dark baking chocolate in a double boiler, and use a small amount of chocolate to bond together two cookies.
As if they are bonded in a kiss...
Happy Valentine's Day a tutti...
Dolls – At the Rocca Borromeo, in Anghera across the lake from Stresa, there is the
Dolce – Stresa has two of its very own dolci, One is the Margheritine di Stresa, which was originally made for Princess Margherita di Savoia for when she would stay at the Ducal Villa. It’s a buttery cookie with a white meringue topping. The second Stresa sweet is the Baci di Stresa. It’s a combination of dark chocolate and hazelnut, swirled over a soft cookie. These are famous and not inexpensive; I have brought both back for my classmates in the
Ducal Villa – Princess Margherita’s home in Stresa. But before that the luxurious residence, built in the late 1700s by Giacomo Bolongaro, a wealthy Stresiani, was where the rich, famous, and royalty would stay when visiting Stresa. Ducal Villa and its gardens are open to the public now and houses the International Rosminiani Study Centre.
Dickens, as in Charles – Stresa has had so many fans, and one of them was British writer Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens said of Isola Bella during a visit in 1844, "For however fanciful and fantastic the Isola Bella may be, and is, it still is beautiful," words that are still true to this day.
Dolcetto – Dolcetto, the wonderful red wine produced in Dogliani, in Piemonte. Try Dolcetto with some of the traditional Northern Italian dishes, such as brasato and polenta, because as they say, “When it grows together, it goes together.” Or just sample a glass for aperitivo at a local café.
Dangerous curves - Although they scare me sometimes I love the switchbacks and tight curves on the mountain roads that lead in and out of Stresa. And I'm proud to say I learned, (well, practiced), driving a manual car on those roads.
Duomo – No, Stresa doesn’t have its own Duomo. But if you go up to the top of
Dam a Tra – This is a wonderful little restaurant in Verbania, the next town over from Stresa. They specialize in regional Piemontese dishes, so expect to find here things like brasato al carema, truffle dishes, and the wonderful bonet dessert. The name Dam a Tra is Piemontese dialect; the words mean “Trust Me”.
Dormelletto Cane Thicket Preserve - For nature lovers there is the cane thicket natural park at Dormelletto. This large, protected area, the last of its kind on the western side of Lago Maggiore, serves an important natural function in the filtering and cleaning of the lake waters, as well as providing a habitat for over 100 species of birds and fish. For those of the human species there are bike trails, a beach, and campsites.
Drives – There are so many scenic drives one can take from here. There are local ones, such as to the top of Mottarone, or along the lake. And longer, day trips, such as to the wine country of Piemonte, or through the Swiss Alps in
That’s ten, and you know what? I could keep going… Thanks again to girasoli of shaved ice and gelato for the idea. I know it’s given me some new thoughts on future posts for the site, and I hope it’s given you some ideas of things to visit. Who knows, maybe this will become a recurring feature, there are 25 other letters after all… Any other 'D' ideas? Dimmi... :-)
I have memorized just a few key numbers as a guide. Freezing, 32 degrees F, of course is 0 C. 20 would require a light jacket or sweater, by 25 you'll be taking that off. And 30 degrees C would be that sweltering hot day when it's just miserable to be outside. So how do I remember this since I can't do the equation? Mnemonics of course... little hints to help me remember. Here we go and please don't laugh at me.
Below 0: Simple but effective. brrrlow zero. It's cold.
32. This one I know.
20, 20, a sweater is plenty
25, 25, ahhh... great to be alive...
thirsty, thirsty 30
Okay, it's pretty silly sounding, but it works for me. Practice these a few times and you'll know what to grab when you leave the hotel room. Speaking of the hotel room, the only other temperatures I try to remember are where to set the thermostat. If you have air conditioning in your hotel room 25 C is a comfortable temperature to start with, and then adjust according to your own likings. In the winter, an average indoor temperature is 20 C.
Today, as I write this, the temperature in Stresa is 4 C. Better bring that coat.
If you do need a more precise conversion, also helpful when reading recipes, here's a Fahrenheit to Celsius Converter.
Graphic from Quote.com
I don't know yet what I'll be doing there. I know I'll be doing a lot of homework for the blog. And taking a lot of photos. Maybe some Italian classes in Milano... I'll think about that tomorrow. Today I'm just very happy, and excited to know that I'll be back in Italy in... what does that timer say right now? 32 days... Happy happy happy...
To cool down after your sauna, how about a Tropical Shower, in which the misty rain of a tropical forest is reproduced, or, the Fountain of Ice, which produces a gentle snowfall! This is to give you the sensation of running from a hot Jacuzzi into snow to cool down. I’ve done that… And love it… but I want to try this!
In the ‘wet’ area there is the standard Turkish bath, but also a Bath of Herbs, in which each 15 minutes different herbs are pumped into the air, for a varying sense of different essences and perfumes. And here, to cool down, take your choice of the Doccia Gigante Soffione, which consists of large pipes of powerful water, the Doccia a Secchio Cascata, which dumps a bucket of water onto you all at once, or the Doccia Scozzese, which massages you with alternating jets of hot and cold water. This sounds like a water park for adults!
When you’re so relaxed that you don’t want to move, go and rest a bit in the Chromoterapia, the light-therapy room. I’ll tell you how PremioTerme describes this:
The cromoterapia consists of a bath of colors, for relaxation and the recuperation of your power. The pure colored lights, in the four colors of the spectrum, allow a recuperation without comparison, in some, a deep sleep.PremiaTerme was not open the last time I was in Stresa, and so I haven’t been there yet, but I can’t wait to try it.
The entrance fees are very reasonable; they range from 6 euro/person for a two-hour admittance, to 15 euro/person for all day. Children’s rates are from 2 to 8 euro, and there are other packages as well. The spa is easy to reach by car. Only 45 minutes north of Stresa, it is also close enough to many of the Swiss ski resorts to combine it with a visit there. What a great break from winter this would be. By the next day I’d be so ready to hit those slopes again.
PremiaTerme Web site: www.premiaterme.com
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 10 to 19.30.
Friday and Saturday 10 to 21.
Phone: 0324 617211
On a GPS system you’d want to search for Strada 659 in Cadarese, where the spa is very visible from the road.
(photo from PremiaTerme Web site)
Stresa, although 1000 years old, is not your traditional 'timeless' Italian town. Things here are constantly updated and renovated for the multitudes of tourists who come to visit, and so there are few indications of how life was here long ago.
Maybe that's why the old photographs fascinate me so, a little glimpse backwards in time...
This photograph from the mid-1800s captures a moment of everyday life, women meeting and washing linens in the water of the little River Cree, although there doesn't seem to be very much water in this photo. Only a couple of streets away from this scene, Stresa was already a tourist destination for the wealthy, the famous, royalty and politicans.
Lago Maggiore, Stresa
This video was produced by one of the local tourism bureaus. From a helicopter you get a nice overview of the lungolago, some of the villas in Stresa, and then a fly-by of Isola Bella and Isola Pescatori.
Lago di Mergozzo
This video gives an aerial and on-the-ground view of one of my favorite spots, little, lovely Lago Mergozzo. We've visited Mergozzo already in a couple of posts, and you probably know it's one of my favorite spots around here.
I recently came across this video advert for Stresa, from a Japanese TV station! I can't even be sure who made the video, but it's well-made, and it's nice to see that Stresa is known and promoted even on Japan.
This beautiful video, produced by il Distretto Turistico dai Laghi, highlights three sacri monti in the Stresa area; those at Orta San Giulia, at Ghiffa, and at Domodossola.
Yes, folks, it all started right here, in Alba, Piemonte, in the 1940s, when cocoa was in short supply due to WWII rationing. An innovative pastry maker, Pietro Ferrero, (and let’s assume he was also a chocoholic), devised a way to use the plentiful hazelnuts in the Piemonte area to blend with the available amount of chocolate. The first version he created, called Pasta Gianduja, was thicker and heavier than now, formed into a loaf that could be sliced. It seems there was a bit of resistance to this first product; mothers discovered their bambini would eat only the slices of chocolate, and not the bread or pasta it was served with. Innovative Pietro made a creamier version, one that would have to be spread onto bread. He called it Supercrema Gianduja. It wasn’t until 1964 that it was renamed Nutella, for “Nut”, and “ella”, a soft Italian ending.
Good job Pietro… Nutella is now available in more than 75 countries and outsells all brands of peanut butter in the world combined. Che mondo sarebbe senza Nutella? Let's not even think about it!
World Nutella Day site: www.nutelladay.com
Don't forget to check out other participating blogs also, for more Nutella recipes and fun.
And go read Michelle's and Sara's blogs right now! Michelle tells the Top 10 Signs You're Addicted To Nutella, and Sara can tell you What Type Of Nutella Lover You Are. You need to know these things...
Why is it here then? The Italian part of this Egyptian history is this: Beginning in the early 1600s Torino’s wealthy Savoy family began hoarding every mummy and artifact they could acquire. Several kings, including Carlo Emmanuelle III and Carlo Felice, commissioned explorers to go and bring back all they could. Some personal collections were added with the others, for example the 5,268 pieces French Consul Bernardino Drovetti had collected, and the 1,200 piece private collection of Giuseppe Sossio, a wealthy Piemontese. By the late 1700s, the public was allowed to view the massive collection, it was the first Egyptian museum in the world. It still is housed in the original building which had been built for it, at Via Accademia delle Scienze 6. Several complete renovations, such as before the 2006 Winter Olympics, have updated the museum, and the sheer size of the collections, the displays, and the bilingual information (Italian and English) makes this an almost must-see. And so much easier than going to Cairo.
The museum covers 3000 years of Egyptian history. I recommend you give yourself the better part of a day to discover it.
The Egyptian Museum Web site - English version: http://www.museoegizio.it/index.jsp
Regular admission is 7,50 euro, 3,50 for between age 18 and 25 and employed teachers; free for those under 18 or over 65, and those disabled.
Torino, or Turin, is only one easy hour from Stresa on major motorways.
Hours: Winter: 8:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday (January 1st to June 10 and September 10 to December 31st) Summer: 9:30 a.m. -8:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday (June 11 to September 9) Closed: on Mondays, January 1st, and Christmas day
The middle of winter. Short days, cold nights.
Ten things I know you will love to do in and around Stresa in the winter:
2. Visit PremiaTerme, a natural thermal spa.
3. Take a day trip to the Egyptian Museum in Torino.
4. Get a ticket to La Scala in Milano.
5. Visit some cathedrals in peace and quiet.
6. Spend an evening ice skating in Locarno.
8. Take a snowshoe adventure tour.
9. Participate in a wine tasting.
10. Take a cooking class.
Do you have a favorite winter activity?
What do you think of when you think of Northern Italy in the winter?
Now let’s jump across the ocean to
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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