Friday, August 14, 2009

Bella us your favorite vacation spot

I am joining in the fun at Kelly's Korner today...any excuse to write about Italy. Kelly is hosting 'Show us your Favorite Vacation Spot' and I guess no one is surprised to see that I'm writing about Italy. I love to travel and there are lots of fabulous places I could write about... and I was torn for maybe a second or two but in the end Italy is my favorite so here we go.

We've been up and down the country and it's all lovely. I know though, that my family will agree with me when I say the week we spent in the tiny town of Stresa in July, 2007 was special. It was the perfect combination of natural beauty, sightseeing, wonderful weather, fantastic food, relaxation and family togetherness.

Stresa is situated on one of Italy's most beautiful lakes-Lago Maggiore. The tip of the lake extends into Switzerland but we didn't venture there this time around. We stayed in a lovely hotel called the Regina Palace and enjoyed breakfast every morning on the patio facing the lake.

Sitting in the midst of Lago Maggiore are some small islands called the Borromean Islands...Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola Pescatori. After breakfast each morning we would hop on a boat and head to one of the islands to walk, shop, sightsee, and have some amazing lunches. I'm sure I mention food alot when I'm talking about Italy but honestly how could I talk about this country without mentioning the food a few hundred times? Can you say gelato?

These little islands are filled with magnificent gardens, an old palazzo, lovely peacocks and some that are even all white, fishing boats, quaint streets, tiny shops, and friendly Italians.

After lunch we hopped back on the boat and spent our afternoons generally relaxing and reading beside the pool. Between the four of us we read fourteen books that week. That's my kind of holiday!

One morning we took the cable car to the top of the mountain. Have I mentioned that riding in very high, precariously hung cable cars is not really my thing? Daughter2 isn't a huge fan either but I scoped out the journey from the ground and convinced her that this one just hugged the mountain and there wouldn't be any huge valleys to cross. Oops. Turns out there was a great big valley to cross, you just couldn't see that bit of the 'ride' from the ground. The views were magnificent though so it was totally worth it.

Another highlight of the week was the four hour lunch we had at the teensiest little restaurant up on a hillside overlooking the lake. And yes I did say four hour lunch. Coincidentally the pilot for my husband's company jet just happens to be from the little village beside Stresa and he and his wife just happened to be spending the week at their apartment there. We met them for lunch at a local spot that we would never in a million years have found on our own. On the ride up the mountain our taxi driver kept asking, 'They know you are coming, yes? It is very small.' Yes indeed. I think very small would describe it-there were only about four tables. The owners were so charming and had just been to the market that morning. They prepared course after course of some of the best food I've ever eaten...ravioli, fresh fish, zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella cheese...sigh...

Do you see why Italy is my happy place?

I mean really...what's not to love?


  1. italy's my fav, too! i think it's almost a given if someone's been to italy that it will become their fav. =)

  2. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! I loved looking at your pictures of Italy too. It was fun to see a different side of Italy. We stayed mostly in the very crowded cities where all the hustle and bustle was, but in these pictures it looks so peaceful and serene. Beautiful

  3. I spent a month in Europe on a tour with my high school history teacher when I graduated from high school and Italy was by far my most favorite country too!! Yes, the food is amazing!!! I was in Rome, Florence & Pompeii and we rode the train up the coast and saw some amazing scenery. We saw the leaning tower of Pisa from the train. I want to go back some day. Have a great weekend. Gotta go and finish getting unpacked from my mountain trip. Love & blessings from NC!

  4. Oh, I do want to go back to Italy. So many more things to see and do. Can't wait to return.

  5. OK, I'm sitting here in my favorite place, Colorado, and I am wondering if I am ever going to make it out of this country? Our best friends LOVE Italy, but . . . it's hard on the budget (they don't have one, we definetly do). Sigh.
    I keep buying lottery tickets, but the dumb machine keeps picking the wrong numbers! What's with that?

  6. Oh Italy is one of my dream vacations. I will gladly go to any of those amazing places you mentioned. Loved the fountain like statue you had pictures of, truly beautiful.

    Reminds me of Under The Tuscan Sun! I can see just visiting quaint countrysides and wineries, picking up fresh cheese and bread from the local bakeries.

    Thanks for the virtual vacation.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  7. Gorgeous! I would love to go there!!!!
    You captured some beautiful many great ones of your family. What a special memory for you all to treasure forever.