Stresa (VB), Italy
How to get there:
By train: Stresa and Baveno Stations, Ferrovie dello Stato. Timetables: http://www.trenitalia.com/; www.ffs.ch
By car: A26 motorway to Gravellona Toce, exit for Carpugnino (in direction of Gravellona Toce), or exit for Baveno (in direction of Genova). Then follow for Stresa and town centre.
Trail on a slight slope on short stretches of an asphalted road and long paved mule tracks offering picturesque views over Lake Maggiore. An itinerary suspended between rural and religious past and the recent changes of landscape.
From Stresa railway station take via Carducci, via Bolongaro and go up via Manzoni until the junction with a chapel with frescoes near the Collegio Rosmini and the monument remembering the friendship between Antonio Rosmini and Alessandro Manzoni. On the left take the old road leading through the wood to Passèra along the chestnut trees trail, “Sentiero dei castagni” (12 information panels throughout the itinerary) walking along the back of the beautiful park of Villa Pallavicino (entrance from via Sempione Sud). You will soon reach the panoramic balcony of the Oratory of Passèra. Continue along some beautiful villas and then on a trail up to the ruins of the “mulin da la stria di Passèra”. Get over the locality Piane di Pramezzano and you will reach soon through the road the cemetery of Sant’Albino in Magognino, inside you will find the beautiful Church with frescoes of the fiftieth Century. Continue on the path that soon becomes a mule track towards Calogna reaching the Chapel of S.Maria Mater Gratiae which has a base rock with 200 cups engraved, some have a lightening shape (San Grato, frescoed in the chapel, is the protector of storms and lightenings). Taking then towards you will arrive to a clearing with the Church of San Paolo. After a short flat stretch leading to Pianezza, you will reach Farinelli. Walking down along the old mule trak that connected Calogna to Belgirate, you finally reach Belgirate’s town center where you can take a boat back to Stresa.
From Baveno you can go back to Stresa by boat with the Navigazione del Lago Maggiore. Timetables: www.navigazionelaghi.it. Or by train with Ferrovie dello Stato. Timetables: http://www.trenitalia.com
Parco-Zoo Villa Pallavicino: http://www.parcozoopallavicino.it/index.html
Where to eat:
Stresa and Belgirate