Have a long drive planned in a few weeks that takes us right by Stresa (destination is Zermatt, parking in Tasch) ; the fastest route goes on E62 and very near to Stresa ; most likely early afternoon.
Seems like a good place for us to stop and have a quick bite to eat and maybe do some siteseeing ; depending what is possible if we only have a couple of hours.
Stresa stood out to me more than any other town on the immediate road when looking at the map.
Since our next destination requires taking a cable car/train that does not run very late we will be on a firm and tight schedule. Missing the ride up to our hotel is not an option!
Would love to take the ferry over to Isola Bella and see the gardens there even if rushed ; biggest question is how long at minimum would one need to park in Stresa (ok paying to park) ; go to the ferry, take a ferry to Isola Bella, see the gardens and boat back to Stresa ; back to car, leave town, etc...
If what I am thinking is impossible I want to eliminate the thought entirely.
If we do skip an island boat ride, any lakeside promenade that has good views, that plus checking out the main piazza in town could be the other option for our limited time?
Or is Stresa so crowded in July that we should not plan on stopping there if we are short on time no matter what? Will be on a Thursday if that matters.