• Lake Maggiore

The most retro event on Lake Maggiore is the right opportunity for a suggestive cruise on the historic steamboat Piemonte

It is one of the most fascinating and suggestive eras and, in the various countries where it has established itself, it has taken on special names, which describe it perfectly: Art Nouveau,  Floral Style,  Liberty Style… you can call it as you like, anyway we are talking about a refined artistic and philosophical movement born between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which reached its peak during the sunset of the so-called Belle Époque.

A real aesthetic revolution, which went hand in hand with an other revolution, the industrial one, which found in the innovation of the steam engine the necessary motivation to establish itself in the society, in the industry and in the mobility on water and by rail.

A golden age in all respects, which is celebrated every year in Stresa, the suggestive village on Lake Maggiore, during the event called “Stresa Liberty”.

(On Sunday 9th July, discover the cruises on board the steamer Piemonte, furnished in Liberty style and departing from Stresa)

Stresa is getting ready for a definitely retro costume fitting

Stresa Liberty is one of  the most awaited events of the summer.  While the rest of Italy is getting ready for the swimsuit test for the first 2023 tan, on the lake Maggiore the costumes will be quite different. In fact, they will be the historical clothes, which the extras, the inhabitants and the shop keepers will dress with, ready to welcome, on the second weekend of July, thousands of visitors arriving to the city to relive the atmosphere of the past.

Many events are scheduled in the name of Liberty, that will take place in Stresa between Saturday July 8th and Sunday July 9th.

The beginning is scheduled for Saturday, in the early afternoon, around 2.00p.m.. The appointment is at the wharf where the exhibition “STRESA ON THE WAVE OF LIBERTY, PICTURES OF LIFE ON THE WATER” will be inaugurated, with texts and material illustrating the activities, sports and open-air leisure activities during the Belle Époque. Some panels dedicated to the great works created in Stresa at the time of Liberty will be placed in significant parts of the city.

For those who are unable to attend, it will be possible to visit the exhibition in the following weekends at the Exhibition Hall Pietro Canonica.

In the evening, from 9.00 p.m. onwards, the event will then move to Piazza Possi, where “Milonga Liberty” will be held, a dance show in the name of tango, by Michel vero, director of the international group CULTURETANGO.

Some historical groups of the area will be involved during the evening, such as candlelit dinners in historical costume in the restaurants of Stresa, the show of the traveling band “Dirty Dixie Jazz Band” and in old town the dance show by the Group Balastorie.

The evening will also feature a collaboration with several historical groups of the area, which involves, in particular, dinners by candlelight in costume in restaurants in Stresa, a show by the travelling band “Dirty Dixie Jazz Band” and in the old town, the dance performances of the Balastorie Group.

A Liberty Sunday hard to forget

The event wil then open again its doors the following day, Sunday, when, in the morning, an extraordinary opening of the museum, dedicated to the philosopher Antonio Rosmini, will be held at the Rosminiani International Studies Center in Villa Ducale. The visiting schedule is from 9,00 a.m. to 12,00 am and in the afternoon from 3,00 p.m. to 6,00 p.m.

In addition, on Sunday morning, the old town in Stresa will once again be filled up with historical costumes, with a parade, dance shows and music organized by historical organizations.


Travelling on the lake in Liberty style by the steamer Piemonte

Sunday promises to showcase one of the most interesting surprises of the event.

At 10.20 a.m., you can watch the arrival in the port of the historical Steamship Piemonte, a majestic gem of steam transport dating back to 1904 and in perfect working order, which is sure to bewitch everyone with its old-world charm.

The oldest steamship in Italy still in operation, a three-deck craft with paddle propulsion and Art Nouveau interiors, built by the Escher Wyss Shipyard in Zurich, will host on board more than 130 re-enactors in period costume for the event “Stresa Liberty” and will remain moored for free guided tours. And for those interested in experiencing the thrill of sailing on a genuine “piece of history”, three cruises of approximately an hour will be organised in the late morning and during the afternoon, giving participants a unique view of the “lake from the lake” against the beautiful backdrop of the islands of the Borromean Gulf.

Lake cruise on board the Steamship “Piemonte”: departure times

  • 1st tour: Sunday 9 July, 3 p.m.
    Meeting point: Navigazione Laghi ticket office in piazza Marconi 1 on Stresa lake promenade.
    Boarding: 2:30 p.m.
  • 2nd tour: Sunday 9 July, 4.30 p.m.
    Meeting point: Navigazione Laghi ticket office in piazza Marconi 1 on Stresa lake promenade.
    Boarding: 4 p.m.
  • 3rd tour: Sunday 9 July, 6 p.m.
    Meeting point: Navigazione Laghi ticket office in piazza Marconi 1 on Stresa lake promenade.
    Boarding: 5.30 p.m.

Lake cruise on board the Steamship “Piemonte”: prices

  • Full price: €20
  • Reduced price: €10 (children from 4 to under 12 years old)
  • Free: children under 4 years old

Prices include a nonstop tour of approximately one hour aboard the Steamship “Piemonte”, with drinks available for purchase at the onboard bar. We also remind you that you’ll need to print the voucher and hand it in at the ticket office at least 20 minutes before the departure time, to receive your boarding ticket.

Stresa Liberty doesn’t end here

Also on Sunday afternoon, for all those who decide not to board the steamship “Piemonte”, there will still be the chance to take advantage of many other opportunities to delve into the past.
Lunchtime will be animated by the traditional picnic in historical clothes, organised by the WINTERLUNA association in the public gardens along the lake promenade. Adding excitement to the day, at around 4 p.m., in front of the Regina Palace hotel, an unmissable competition organised by the “Gruppo Italiano Attacchi” will take place, with a parade of elegant historical carriages built by some of the most important builders of the 1800s and early 1900s, with passengers dressed in period costume.
The parade will continue at 5 p.m. through the historic centre, passing through Via Canonica, Via Carducci, Via Tommaso and Via Roma.

The Steamship “Piemonte”, on its return from Arona, will close the event at around 7 p.m., with re-enacters in costume ready to bring life to a golden age that will never be forgotten.  

Fingers crossed for a weekend without rain so that it can be enjoyed in total… Liberty

In short, Stresa, between 8th and 9th July, will be imbued with Art Nouveau in all its manifestations, offering the opportunity to rediscover the ambiance, transportation and lifestyles of one of history’s most elegant and sophisticated periods.

Hoping for favourable weather conditions, as the event will be cancelled in the case of rain, Navigazione Laghi invites you to enjoy this incredible weekend surrounded by the spectacular waters of Lake Maggiore, the perfect setting for a “Stile Liberty” weekend.

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