Ernest’s hotel in Stresa

Another stop in our journey in the world of vintage luggage labels: Stresa.

Stresa faces Lake Maggiore and stands guard over its three Borromean Islands, but is also surrounded by mountains such as Mottarone, with a number of pastures and ski resorts.

The small municipality in Piedmont was dear to many important personalities. Some – such as philosopher Antonio Rosmini and poet Clemente Rebora – decided to spend the last of their mortal days here; most simply came to rest for a few days and left rejuvenated.

Gabriele D’Annunzio, Clark Gable, George Bernard Shaw, David Niven, John Steinbeck, and Renato Guttuso were all guests of the famous Grand Hôtel des Iles Borromées.

Ernest Hemingway stayed there more than once, and described it in the voice of Frederic Henry, the protagonist of “A Farewell to Arms”: “The hotel was very luxurious. I went down the long halls, down the wide stairs, through the rooms to the bar. I knew the barman and sat on a high stool and ate salted almonds and potato chips. The martini felt cool and clean.”

When the American writer returned to the hotel in 1948, he signed the guestbook, “An old client”.

Perhaps he even decorated his suitcase with one of these labels.

Ernest’s hotel in Stresa

Stresa (Vb)


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