Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Lots of Lovely Lakes

Thanks to Kathy, Fran, James and Glenn we ended up with a lovely itinerary through the Italian and Swiss lakes area. Many months ago there was much discussion about what we would do in this area. Originally we planned to stay in one place and do day trips. But then Fran and James said you must go to Lake Orta and Kathy started reading all about the area and Glenn was researching the places to stay.

You've heard about the amazing hotel Glenn found for us in Varenna after Kathy decided this was the first place we should stay. Some people have asked what a funicular is (you'll remember we needed two of these to get to our rooms) so here is a photo.

Kathy and Keith going up in the funicular.
Meryl and Kathy blogging on the terrace.
An evening view from the terrace.
The next morning we caught the car ferry across Lake Como and then onto Lake Lugano.

Lovely flowers along the foreshore of Lake Lugano.
The next overnight stop Kathy decided should be Ascona in Switzerland, thinking this was a little village like Varenna. But no it was different, much bigger but still with it's own beauty and a lovely promenade to walk along.

Looking back to the promenade of Ascona. 

Ascona was quite arty.
We drove along the shores of Lake Maggiore to Stresa and took a ferry to the Borromean Islands including Isola Bella and Isola Madre. Have a look.

Gardens and statues on Isola Bella.

View of Isola Bella from the ferry.

We had lunch on Isola Pescatori.

And now to Lake Orta. A bit tricky to find our hotel and to drive the car down through streets barely wider than the car to drop off the luggage but it is gorgeous. We settled into our very satisfactory apartment on the square before heading to dinner. Kathy and Glenn had the veal with gorgonzola and nuts at the Olina Restaurant associated with our accommodation and although Keith and I loved our gnocchi and fish we have to go back tonight so Keith and I can have the divine veal. Their breakfast won our best breakfast in Europe award.

From the main square looking to the island.

The island from the ferry.

The square at night.
Tomorrow we leave Italy for the last time and go to Zermatt, Switzerland.

PS Did you see Keith and I in one of the photos?


  1. Yep, I spotted Keith and then I saw you on the other side!

  2. How beautiful is Orta San Guilio!! And did you see the white peacocks on Isola Bella? Thanks for your text though it did make it hard to get back to sleep, as we then started reminiscing! Looking forward to more of your Swiss photos and I may have to download your photo of the calf against the hills from a few days ago.

    Take care

    Love Fran

  3. What wonderful places to visit. Your meals sound fantastic too.

  4. Yes Fran we did see the white peacocks. Hope you like the Zermatt photos added today. Meryl

  5. What a fantastic room with a view!