Like many towns on the stunning shores of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, Stresa benefits from spectacular views. One of the nicest ways to see it is strolling along the lakefront promenade which stretches from the centre of Stresa to the lido in Carciano, ice-cream in hand. Overlooking the Gulf of Borromeo it is here you’ll see the beautiful eponymous Borromean Islands. Taken over by the aristocratic family, they transformed the three islands – one into pure luxury, another simplicity and one boasting amazing gardens, which are open to the public. Ferries depart regularly from Stresa, so you can explore the islands, and the rest of the lake. Surrounding the town is of course ample countryside offering tranquil woodland walks and meandering streets to cycle or stroll around. There are lots of small churches to visit and in the town itself you’ll find a number of shops. Leather handbag anyone? And, there’s plenty of fine restaurants and cafes to enjoy your cappuccino.