SAME13 - Excursions

Keeping the usual SAME tradition, no scientific sessions will be scheduled on the afternoon of Wednesday 11 September 2013. Participants will be free to take advantage of the many leisure opportunities offered by Stresa, the lakes, and the mountains.

A number of excursions with reduced impact on the environment and high naturalistic value have been selected. To book a tour, please make your choice at the Registration page. You will be asked to pay the fee at the SAME desk in Stresa. SAME13 organization is not responsible for the excursions, that are professionally organized. Two members of SAME13 staff will be accompanying the participants of every tour. There are limited places for each excursion. Make your choice soon!


SAME13 Excursions:

1 - Val Grande National Park -FULL-
2 - Mountain bike trip Mottarone-Stresa
3 - Borromean Islands -FULL-
4 - Snorkelling at Lake Megozzo
5 - Villa Taranto and the Institute of Ecosystem Study


Excursion nr. 1 - Val Grande National Park  

fullYou will have the chance to take a light trekking within the largest wilderness area in Italy, discovering the traces of the ancient civilization of the Alps. In Val Grande, the abandonment of the alpine summer pastures and of the deforestation practice led to the return to wilderness. The richness and variety of the vegetation represents one of the greatest attractions of the area, with impenetrable woods and a colourful flora. A Park with many secrets: timid animals, steep deep valleys, crystal-clear waters in gorges protected by overhanging walls, and charming views, from Mt. Rosa to Lago Maggiore. Professional guides will take you for a 2:30 h walk in one of the most pristine area of the Alps, showing you a huge variety of endemic plants and (possibly) animals. Small buses will leave Stresa to the Val Grande National Park at 13:30 (arrival in the park 14:30). A walk along ... will take up to 17:00 when you will have 1 hour to taste the delicious mountain specialities (cheeses and salami) of the area and refresh yourself with spring water or drinks (and snaps!), before taking the buses. Retour in Stresa is scheduled for 19:00. In case of heavy rain the walk will be substituted by a visit of the Val Grande Educational Centre, where the representatives of the Park will provide you with interesting information concerning the National Park and show you famous short movies dedicated to the wilderness area.

Required: wind jacket, trekking shoes, long trousers.

Excursion fee: 30 euros per person (TBC)


Excursion nr. 2 - Mountain bike trip Mottarone-Stresa

mtbJust behind Stresa, Mount Mottarone (1385 m) is an incredible view point on the Alps and on the plans: from its top, on a sunny day, you will have the chance to concomitantly see the top of the highest European mountains (Monte Bianco, Monte Rosa, Cervino), up to 7 different lakes, and even the cities of Milan, Turin and Novara surrounded by rice fields. Leaving the shore of Stresa by the quiet old fashioned cable way at about 14:00 you will reach the top of the mountain within 30. There you will find your mountain bike, as well as your helmet, waiting for you. A short briefing with your professional guides, and then down! The guides will be with you along the whole run, that is panoramic and mostly off-road. A number of pit stops, to enjoy the different views, the little villages, and the nature, are possible. The downhill is planned with different difficulty levels, in order to allow also the less sporty of us to enjoy the trip.

In case of heavy rain the tour will be cancelled.

Required: sporty clothes, sunglasses, sunscreen.

Excursion fee: 50 euros per person (TBC)


Excursion nr. 3 - Borromean Islands

isola bellafullThrough this excursion you will have the chance to discovery the wonders of two of Lago Maggiore's three Borromean Islands: Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori. Leaving Stresa's harbour by ferry at 14:00 in a few minutes you will reach the world famous Isola Bella where, by walking through the souvenir shops you will be at the entrance of the Borromeo Palace, the historical building of the family isola pescatoriBorromeo, that ruled the area surrounding the lake five centuries ago. Professional guides will take you through the palace with its rooms, the artificial caves, the Italian Style Garden, the green houses, making you taste a bite of the Italian Renaissance. A second ferry will then take you to the Isola dei Pescatori, where you will have time to visit, with the guide or alone, the picturesque fisherman village, or to enjoy a drink at the beach. The ferry will take you back to Stresa around 18:30.

Required: sunglasses, sunscreen.

Excursion fee: 40 euros per person (TBC)


Excursion nr. 4 - Snorkelling at Lake Megozzo

Rustica beachWhat is better than a relaxing afternoon in the middle of the meeting? Lake Mergozzo is a small lake, which separated from Lake Maggiore a few centuries ago after a flooding of the River Toce. It is a deep, clear oligotrophic lake, where tourism and leisure are the only activities allowed. We will leave Stresa by train at 14:00 and in twenty minutes we will be at the Rustica beach, on the southern side of Lake Mergozzo. The grass beach is large, surrounded by a wood and a few cane thickets. The access to the lake is very easy, through a large inlet of soft white sand (max depth 40 cm). The water reaches two metres at about 50 m from the shore, allowing relaxing baths in safe waters. We will have a 500 m long snorkelling trip from the beach to the eastern coast of the lake, were a vertical cliff (artificial for the first 120 m, then natural) is forming a natural habitat for many species of fish. Black bassUnderwater visibility is usually around 10 m, but if we will be lucky enough to miss algal blooms or carbonates precipitation we will have up to 20 m of clear water around us. The water depth at the cliff will go from 2 to 50 metres, with a surprising variety of ecosystems. We will have the chance to see different fishes: perch, endemic Italian chub, tench, carp, pike, black bass, pumpkinseed, pike-perch (zander) and many other smaller ones. If we will be really lucky we will also see trout and white fish. Moreover we will see the three species mussels present in the lake and (maybe) the two species of shrimps. The afternoon at the beach will include also a snack with a typical piadina (a very tasty Italian style wrap) and a real chinotto (the ancestor of Coke, obtained from endemic oranges from Liguria). Beers are available at the beach bar and walks on the nearby Montorfano Mountain ensure an alternative view of the Lake. We plan to take the train back to Stresa at 18:30. The excursion will end before 19:00.

In case of heavy rain the tour will be cancelled.

Required: bathing suit, sunglasses, sunscreen, beach towel, mask & snorkel (finns can help but are not necessary).

Excursion fee: 15 euros per person (TBC)


Excursion nr. 5 - Villa Taranto and the Institute of Ecosystem Study

villa tarantoThe excursion will start around 14:00 from the harbour of Stresa, where participants will take a ferry and cross Lago Maggiore, directly reaching the botanical garden of Villa Taranto in Verbania, one of the largest and richest in Europe. Here you will have the chance to walk for about 2 hours by your own or together with our professional guides within thousands of rare dahlias, roses and tulips, huge conifers, palms and cactus. Little hills, green houses, little ponds, Italian and English style gardens compose the landscape of the gardens. After ISEa refreshing break at the lake we will then take a 20 minutes’ walk around Verbania's Cape and his luxurious villas and we will reach the Institute of Ecosystem Study where some researchers will introduce you to the historical villa and the labs in the year of the 75th anniversary of the Institute's foundation. You will see the rooms where researchers like Hutchinson, Baldi, Tonolli, Margalef, Vollenweider and many others spent years pathing the way for modern aquatic ecology. From the Institute we will then take the ferry back to Stresa, where we will arrive around 19:00.

In case of heavy rain the tour can be modified.

Required: a good camera with excellent macro function for those who love plants and flowers.

Excursion fee: 30 euros per person (TBC)



Fees TBC: Excursion fees are approximate and can change (maximum of 10-15%) according to September 2013 fares of train/bus/ferry.