Friday May 27, 2016
Lake Maggiore, Italy

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Goodbye Lake Garda – it’s been a pleasure! We’re on our way west to another of northern Italy’s string of beautiful lakes, Lake Maggiore, where we’ll spend our remaining days. From there it’ll be an easy less-than-an-hour drive to Milan’s airport when we have to leave.
We searched long and hard for a lake-view spot and oh did we find it! Clinging to a steep hill over the village of Baveno, Fausta’s holiday apartment gives us what we’re looking for…05271601 bavenoand the view’s so enticing we don’t want to stop and unpack!  But those suitcases can wait – we’ve arrived as early as possible since it looks like today will be the only rain-free day to enjoy the lake.
Next stop, Stresa, from where we ferry to Isola Bella, the beautiful island. 05271601 easy to get to milan drive to stresa ferry to isola bellaWe stayed in Stresa a few years ago, but didn’t get to the island and today’s our chance! It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy the gardens, terracing down the islet.05271601 enter palace on one side of island gardens spread to otherThe entrance to the gardens is through the palace at the far end…05271601 entrybut it’s the Italianate garden that’s the draw, covering nearly half of the island. 05271601 lush gardens most popular tourist draw in areaThe stretch of tacky souvenir stands from the garden exit to the ferry stop detracts from the beauty of the island – look up and enjoy the architecture to avoid them! 05271601 look up to avoid disconcerting abundance of tacky souvenir standsAnd be sure to wind through the narrow cobbled lanes of the old village – 05271601 tiny island wander arounda riot of color and creativity! 05271602 adorableFrom the terrace of the palace take in the view of Isola Pescatori, with a larger town and a couple of hotels. 05271602 beyond is another islandFerrying back to Stresa, we admire the pull-up-and-eat restaurant, 05271602 boat up for lunchwhich was doing a brisk business as we strolled by, and wave farewell to Isola Bella,05271602 farewell bella indeed! 05271602 isola bella indeedRemembering the flower-lined lakeside path of Stresa from our previous stay, we enjoy it once again,05271602 stresa stroll reference previous visit blogthen return to our own bella spot for an evening apero.05271602 time for aperoThe view is as intriguing as our delicious dinner…as the lights twinkle on across the lake. 05271603 lights twinkle on intriquing funicularKirk wants to head up that funicular on the right tomorrow!
Still watching as the night darkens…05271604 enjoy the showenjoy the show!