Visit Parco Pallavicino
Pallavicino Park is a villa surrounded by gardens, parkland and a zoo a short distance south-east of Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
Exploring Parco Pallavicino
Italy This Way comment: when considered individually the villa, zoo and gardens of Pallavicino Park are not exceptional, but together they make for a pleasant visit, espcially for children who like seeing animals up close.
The park is quite extensive - it covers 18 hectares (44 acres) and you will walk quite a long way during a visit so allow half a day for a visit. Parking for the park is across the road from the entrance, on the edge of Lake Maggiore, although the park is within walking distance of Stresa.
Pallavicino park is divided into three distinct area: the villa and gardens; the zoo animals; and the animals in the farm area. The path visits the three sections in this order.
All around the park there are numerous impressive ancient trees including chestnut trees, maples, sequoias and magnolias, among others. Because of this the park is quite shady and dark: rather gloomy perhaps on a cloudy day but welcome shade on a sunny day.
You walk passed the Villa Pallavicino to reach the gardens, which include both formal and informal areas and a turtle pond. The formal areas are overflowing with flowers, and there are various ponds with ducks and black swans, and you will see peacocks walk through the gardens. On one edge of the formal gardens there is a cafe and gift shop, as well as a childrens play area.
The zoo area includes numerous enclosures, most for small animals such as owls, parakeets, squirrels and tortoises. The zebras and wallabies are also in this area.
The farm area of Park Pallavicino is where children get in close contact wth the animals: the highlight are the deer, because you can walk through the deer enclosure very close to the animals. Other animals here include donkeys, llamas, Tibetan goats and wild boar.
Attractions near Parc Pallavicino
Of course, you will also visit Stresa as part of your visit to this part of Lake Maggiore. The principal highlight for visitors is a trip to explore the Borromean Islands in the lake, and a ride up the cable car to the alpine gardens and mountain top at Mottarone is also very popular. See also our guide to Lake Maggiore.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Piedmont guide.