I have been excited for this post because this particular trip probably ranks as my favorite family trip we took overseas. It's a hard choice but everything about this trip ws just the absolute best and I would go back in a heartbeat! So today...
L is for Lago Maggiore
We travelled to Stresa, Italy which is situated on the shores of Lago Maggiore which is the second largest lake in Italy. We had been to Italy previously, when we went to Rome and saw some of the famous sights and that was mostly what I had always pictured when I thought of Italy. But the lake district was something else entirely and it was absolutely spectacular.
The town is a picturesque Italian village teeming with shops, gelato stands, boutique hotels and restaurants. And plenty of our time was spent strolling through the streets, window shopping, snacking and enjoying the most beautiful whether.
But the other cool thing about this particular place is that it is that it is located right by the Borromean Islands. These islands total only about 50 acres altogether but are definitely worth visiting. There were ferries to each of the islands and so we spent time hopping over to an island and exploring it for a day or half a day.
Isola Bella and Isola Madre both have lovely palaces to view and some spectacular gardens. One even had roaming peacocks! Isola Pescatori is the only island that is inhabited and is a small fishing village.
There is something so delightfully laid back about the Italian coast where we never felt like we had a huge itinerary, where lunches were long and lazy and walks were slow strolls with plenty of time to stop, gaze, take pictures and absorb the breathtaking views.
And with each ferry ride you felt like you were somewhere totally different!
There was also a tram that took you up to a mountain peak and if you know me you know trams tend to make me sweat but it was worth it for all of the beautiful views.
And of course, I cannot talk about this trip without talking about the food. We tried several local restaurants and also ate at one particular pizza place for lunch often enough that we were on a first name basis with Enzo the waiter. But what I most want to tell you is what I still think of as the best (and longest) meal I've ever had. My dad had a colleague from work who lived not too far away in the Milan area and him and his wife came to meet us for a meal while we were there. They told us they had the perfect spot and when we got in to the cab to head over to meet them, the driver verified several times that we were sure this was the right place and do they know we're coming and a bunch of things that made us a bit unsure about where we were headed.
And that ended up essentially being a person's home. They had tables and chairs, just a very few, set up outside the house and when we arrived they welcomed us warmly as they were unloading things from the local market they'd picked up that day. The home was situated on the edge of a "cliff" overlooking the water and it was a stunning dinner view. And then they proceeded to feed us delectable bite after delectable bite for what felt like hours. There were stuffed, fried zucchini flowers, gorgonzola gnocchi, a fish course, more pasta, salad a dessert. I can't remember everything that was served but what I remember was being delightfully stuffed, blissfully happy with every course we'd tried.
This trip is stamped as one of the most beautiful, most relaxing, most delicious trips of my time overseas.