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The paths to Mottarone

Clear air and new horizons to explore


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Where is


Mottarone, 28838 Stresa VB, Italia (1,376m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

Past Someraro and the oratory of San Bernardo, we turn our backs on Lake Maggiore to enter the woods. There are many paths from here into the wild vegetation, thick and lush thanks to the lake air. Ferns and hydrangeas intertwine on either side of a stream that flows steeply down a cliff, over which a small bridge allows passage. Just beyond, a small devotional chapel, similar to many others encountered along the way, inspires peace and tranquility in full contemplation of nature.

Why it is special

The main trail is called L1, and it is the one that from Stresa, passing through the various villages, reaches the summit of Mottarone, to the delight of lovers of trekking and outdoor walks. Climbing a little higher, here in fact appears the village of Levo, which, from its height of 600 meters above sea level, offers as many wonderful views of the lake and the Borromeo Gulf. The climb is rather steep, but to quench your thirst and refresh yourself, at the edge of the village, the 18th-century fountain Fonte Purissima is the perfect stop.

Don't miss

The summit of Mottarone, from the height of its 1491 m, affords a 360-degree view of the Alps, from the Monte Rosa group, to the Swiss and Monviso ranges, and then down to Lakes Maggiore, Orta and Varese, and again to the Po Valley. Sometimes, when the days are really clear, you can even see the glitter of the Madonnina of Milan Cathedral! To get up here effortlessly, there is a nice little helper: the Stresa-Mottarone cable car .

A bit of history

In 1911, a railway had been built to the top of Mottarone. By the 1960s, this means of transportation had become inconvenient and inadequate. Thus in 1963 work began on dismantling the railway and building the cable car. The inauguration took place on August 1, 1970. Since then the structure has been well maintained and updated with new technology, ensuring a comfortable and spectacular way to reach the summit.


At the middle station of the cable car, there is "Alpinia," a small but valuable botanical garden of about four hectares, in which numerous plant species, of special naturalistic interest, are preserved. A window to a rarer and more delicate nature, different from that of the forests just crossed, to be known and respected.

mottarone-stresaThe view of Lake Maggiore - Ph: F. Grisoni (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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Recommended by
Francesca Grisoni

A walk in the midst of nature passing through small villages, forests, and botanical gardens (the Alpinia garden, intermediate cable car stop), to the top, where you can enjoy a priceless view of all of Lake Maggiore and beyond!