Friday, July 16, 2010
9:04 PM | Dana Kaplan, Stresa Sights | Edit Post
The exterior of Caffe Bolongaro, across from the Imbarcadero.
There was live music last night at Caffe Bolongaro, and there will be music again tonight. In fact, there will be live music just about every night this summer at the bar caffe, which is located in Piazza Matteotti, just next to the municipal offices and just across the street from the Stresa Imbarcadero. It's hard to miss the caffe, as it sits front and center on the lakefront, as it has since at least 1840 according to the oldest known records of it, and fills the piazza with red tablecloth-covered tables and umbrellas. And from my experience those tables are filled many times during the day and most evenings.
But while you're sitting at the caffe listening to the night's band, also take a good long look at the sign over the front door. This historic and beautiful Art Deco sign was carefully restored last year by Luisa Panfani, a restoration artist from Torino. It dates from 1906, and three years ago, when the owners of the caffe began searching for a restorer, it was just a blackish rectangular sign, having been unfortunately painted over many times over the years. But underneath all that paint were colors that were waiting to be brought back to life. Others had refused, but Panfani took on the challenge.
Now, once again, the sign shines, not with electricity, but with its original colors, golden letters glowing on a red background. The design, compared to others of the same era in Torino, is considered to have been ahead of its time, with its combination of Liberty and Art Deco styles, and its very modern -- at the time -- use of the words 'Tea Room' in English.
So take a moment, while relaxing at Caffe Bolongaro, to admire the sign you are looking at, now that you know a little bit more about it. It is more than a sign, it's art.. and a bit of Stresiani history.
Caffe Bolongaro was the site of another bit of Stresa history as well. It was here that the first Margheritine di Stresa cookies were created, prepared for the first communion of Margherita di Savoia, the future queen.
- 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?
IMPORTANT POSTS AND LINKS
- Important Train Information
- Alibus Shuttle From Malpensa to Stresa
- Driving Directions From Malpensa - With Photos
- If You Have Only One Day in Stresa
- Top Ten Things to See in Stresa
- Parking a Car in Stresa
- 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
- Boat Schedule - English
- PosteItaliane - Postal service
- Trenitalia Site and Schedule -- English
- Winter Trip to Stresa? Start Planning Here
If you don't already receive Italian Notebook, sign up immediately to receive this wonderful daily dose of Italy.
- art and culture
- day trips
- for kids
- Guest writer Tony
- just for fun
- learning italian
- letters from readers
- letters from the editor
- news and information
- outdoor activities
- photo gallery
- places to go
- places to go and day trips
- places to stay
- rainy day activities
- things to do