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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Seen In Stresa: The Stresa Seal


This is the stemma, the seal of the city of Stresa.  This current design has been in use since 1914. You will see it everywhere in town:

Above the boat station...

On the Comune building in Piazza Matteotti...
(   Continued ...   )

On countless touristic brochures, both old and new... 

On the official website... 

And so on and so on ... The more you look for it, the more you will notice the seal everywhere. Stresa Eventi, a recently introduced website that promotes cultural, artistic, and sports events in and around Stresa, has modernized the design for its own logo: 


So, what's it all about?

Here's what it means:


On the left side is half of a red cross. The half red cross is a reference to Novara, the province of which Stresa was a part of in 1914, when this was designed. The three wavy blue lines on the right side are symbolic of the three small rivers which flow through Stresa: il Roddo, il Vignolo, and il Cree (which is now covered by via Roma). The turreted crown at the top is a commonly seen symbol on local town seals. Sometimes it signified a town protected by actual walls and turrets; it also signified towns of importance, protected by castles or under the protection of powerful families. 

Now that you know what it is, I'm sure you'll see this design everywhere you go around town. But unless you're here in the winter, you probably won't see one seal. See it below? That white spot in the middle of Piazza Cadorna?


Let's take a closer look. Near the center of the piazza is another Stresa seal. A different shape, and an interesting design formed from strips of colored stone tiles, this beautiful seal remains hidden beneath dining tables for more than half the year. But now you know that it is there.

Piazza Cadorna




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