To and from Stresa by air:

The nearest airport is Milan Malpensa (MXP)  --   http://www.sea-aeroportimilano.it/en/...

To reach Stresa from the airport there are several options:

- by bus: the 'Alibus' service connects Malpensa to Stresa in about one hour. There are five departures per day, but the service runs only from April to end September. You must reserve a seat at least the previous day before 11am but no payment is taken. However if your flight is delayed and nobody else is booked on the next bus, it won't turn up and run to timetable. Timetable on http://www.vcoinbus.it/unico/estivo/t

- by train: it is possible to take a train from Malpensa airport to Busto Arsizio's Trenitalia station, hence another train to Stresa.  Schedules at  http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html. The Malpensa to Busto service, however, is temporarily (2011) operated  by bus; being this a rail replacement service, the bus departs from outside Malpensa airport train station, not the bus terminal, where other buses leave from.  Buy your through ticket to Stresa from the station ticket office. 

Do NOT take a train from Malpensa to Milan, as this would be an unnecessary detour.

- by taxi: a taxi ride from the airport to Stresa is certainly an option, but will cost probably around 70 to 85 euro.

- by rental car.

To and from Stresa by rail:

Stresa has a train station on the main line linking Milan and Geneva and Basel.  Service is frequent, with connections to many major Italian and European cities  http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

To and from Stresa by bus:

There are two buses a day (excl. on Sundays) connecting Stresa with Milan: http://www.vcoinbus.it/unico/estivo/t...  Although long distance bus service is neither extensive nor very popular in Italy, those who wish to travel by bus/coach find connections from Milan bus station to Turin, Bergamo, Florence, Siena, Rome (via Siena), Bari, Cortina, Lido di Jesolo, and other towns in Italy.

To and from Stresa by road:

Stresa can be reached via the A26 motorway (toll road), or along the scenic road that follows the Western shore of Lake Maggiore. See www.autostrade.it or www.viamichelin.com

Bus and train

There is a bus that runs from both airport terminals to Gallarate (S.A.C.O.) - 2 EUR. It runs every 30 minutes or so and the trip to Gallarate Train Station takes around 20 minutes. Then from Gallarate you can take the train which takes at most 35 minutes to reach Stresa (~ 5 EUR).