Art, history and culture
Do not miss a visit to the majestic and impressive Sanctuary of Santa Caterina del Sasso, an hour by car or 15 minutes by boat from Stresa, built on the cliff top overlooking the lake, framed by a mystical and captivating landscape of rare beauty. Located on the Lombardy side of Lake Maggiore, it was built in the twelfth century by Alberto Besozzi from Besozzo, a merchant who later retired there for life, becoming a hermit.
A historical trip to the impressive Castle of Angera, about 40 minutes by car from Stresa or 15 minutes by boat, built on the Rocca di Angera by the Visconti family, in which there are marvellous and very valuable frescoes in its Hall of Justice. In 1449, it became the property and the residence of the Borromeo family. Since 1988, as well as visiting the fortress, you can also see the famous Museum of Dolls. From the Castle Tower, you can enjoy a breathtaking and unique view of the Lake and of Arona, a delightful town on the Piedmont side, which can be reached in 5 minutes by boat from Angera or in 15 minutes by car from Stresa, where you can visit the Rocca Borromeo and stroll through the lively old town centre, with its shops and restaurants.
Born in 2009 as a complement to the extraordinary castle structure, the Medieval Garden was designed to offer visitors a place of delight for sight, smell and contemplation, but at the same time to illustrate what the garden was in the Middle Ages, from the botanical and historical point of view. The Medieval Garden is the rediscovery of the "original" plant, the one that is present in nature, which knows no human intervention and the typical cultural contaminations of the following centuries.
The Castle of Angera is also host of the exhibit Continuum, the exposure that inaugurated the Ala Scaligera at the Rocca di Angera. With this exhibit, the Borromeo family is continuing its centuries-old support for the arts, now expressing it through this new location. Ala Scaligera is a space dedicated exclusively to the arts and to contemporary creativity, hosting a series of specially created events.
Milan is about 75 km from Stresa and is the city of fashion, rich in history and art and the centre of the most important international cultural events. Also worth visiting, while walking through the heart of the city, around Piazza del Duomo, you can admire the artistic jewellery in the Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Art Gallery), the Poldi Pezzoli Museum and the Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle) and you can see an opera at the magnificent Teatro alla Scala opera house or do some shopping in Via Monte Napoleone and Via della Spiga. There are numerous famous and elegant restaurants, cafés and wine bars where you can spend an evening in the most fashionable city in Europe.
Turin is a romantic and aristocratic city, about 130 km from Stresa, in which you will find artistic and cultural treasures of great value, like the superb Baroque buildings, architecture of the future and you can spend “trendy” evenings in the charming clubs and restaurants along the river. Its magnificent squares will strike you with their grandeur and tradition. Its theatres with their precious decor offer unforgettable seasons. It is a city full of events, exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year. It was also the venue of the 2006 Winter Olympics.