The Park of Villa Pallavicino in Stresa is a favourite tourist attraction on Lake Maggiore, a paradise of flowers and animals to delight visitors of all ages.
The Park was originally the idea of the Neapolitan statesman Ruggero Bonghi, who fell in love with Lake Maggiore and decided in 1855 to purchase the land and build a small house for himself. In 1862 the family of the Marquises of Pallavicino acquired the property and began to improve it, extending the grounds, building drives suitable for carriages, embellishing the park with statues and transforming the modest house into the opulent 19th century Neoclassical mansion which still graces the hillside. In 1952 Marchioness Luisa Pallavicino completed the family project with the addition of a zoo with animals from every corner of the globe.
Now thousands of tourists visit the Villa’s extensive 16 hectare-park between March and October.
Broad lawns, shady avenues and open spaces planted with roses, oleanders, magnolias, daffodils, azaleas, and rhododendrons blend perfectly with the majestic, mature trees of the wooded areas. The zoo with its more than 40 species of animals from all over the world is the major visitor attraction: black swans, rare species of duck, grey crowned cranes, deer, silver pheasants, cervi-capra, zebras, Bennet kangaroos, and peacocks add their life and colour to this natural stage looking out over Lake Maggiore and the surrounding mountains.
The park (admission fee) has a restaurant, bar, souvenir shop, children’s play area and several picnic areas.
Open from March to October, the Park of Villa Pallavicino is the perfect place for a day out in the open air with all the family!
HOW TO GET THERE
By car: from the A26 motorway exit at Carpugnino or Baveno. When you get to Stresa lakefront, turn right along the lakeside road towards Belgirate. Villa Pallavicino is just outside Stresa on the right. Leave your car in the car park on the left.
By train: the nearest station is Stresa.