A first stop for coffee and on to Lago Maggiore, the longest lake in Italy, but also a lake that is located not only in two Italian regions (Piedmont and Lombardy) but also in the Swiss canton of Ticino. A discussion with the parking attendants and money into the machine as well as the purchase of boat tickets; a walk along the lake front before boarding the boat that stopped on three islands: the Isola Madre, the Isola Pescatori where we had lunch at the Albergo Ristorante Verbano (a daily menu that put most of the others that I have ever enjoyed to shame). The last stop was the Isola Bella and yet another church. Here also we talked to a very eccentric woman (her dress in bright spring colors along the lines of a Cossack woman with a hat, drawn-on eyebrows, etc. made her really stand out from the crowd – would have taken her photo had I dared. She spoke fluent French, Italian, German and probably many other languages but no time to prolong the conversation with a group at our heels.
|Italian church bells are very different.|
|Sail boat sculpture on the edge of the lake|
|lots of wrought-iron gates.|
|Off to the Borromeo Islands|
|Isola dei Pescatori - lunch at the Verbano Albergho|
|Albergho Verbano's terrace overlooking the lake.|
|Entry was beef carpaccio (very thinkly sliced)|
|The main fresh fish on a bed of al dente vegetables|
|Isola Bella - the "palace"|
|Buildings on Isola Bella|
|the San Vittorio church main alter|
|Yet another church facade|
|Plants in full bloom|
|The white peacocks are famous.|
Leaving Stresa behind, we stopped in Omegna on the Lago d’Orta for that most typical and beloved treat – a Gelato, then on to Varallo Sesia, where finding a hotel with room was a bit difficult: never mind – a couple of drinks later (turns out that there was going to be a car rally come Sunday), there was a no show and so we didn’t have to look further. I have often said that I tend to be lucky – this is continually being born out. Dinner after the luxurious lunch seemed rather redundant (never mind a total lack of hunger) so settled for a beer and a sandwich.