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Lake Maggiore, located on the southern side of the Alps is the second largest lake in Italy and the largest in southern Switzerland. The lake and its coast are divided between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy, and the Swiss Canton of Ticino. The climate is mild both in summer and in winter, letting Mediterranean vegetation grow and ideal for the gardens, where there are rare and exotic plants.
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The town of Stresa overlooks Lake Maggiore near the Gulf where the scenic Borromean Islands (Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori) are located, in a very suggestive position. This peculiarity, combined with the sweetness of the climate and the landscape and architectural beauties harmoniously merged here, attracts thousands of tourists every year and makes the town one of the most popular Italian tourist destinations since the second half of the nineteenth century. Among the numerous events that color the sparkling cultural and musical life of the city we remember Stresa Festival, the "Musical Weeks of Stresa and Lake Maggiore. The lakefront, ideal for relaxing walks, is flanked by historic houses and luxurious Art Nouveau hotels immersed in the green. Since the nineteenth century the town was chosen as a stop on their "Grand Tour" by numerous intellectuals including Lord Byron, Stendhal and Charles Dickens.
In the historic center you can visit the parish church of Sant'Ambrogio, in neoclassical style, which collects inside some seventeenth-century paintings. On its right stands the famous Villa Ducale dating back to the end of the eighteenth century and built in the same style, and not far away is the Palazzo dei Congressi: modern and equipped, it houses the aforementioned "Musical Weeks". This event, of undoubted importance in the panorama of European classical music festivals, welcomes the performance of world famous artists. Among the stately residences we also remember the nineteenth-century Villa Pallavicino with its famous park, transformed in the 1950s into a zoological park, which attracts both young people and adults.