We just returned back to Florence from a lovely, short holiday to celebrate our marriage. We had never been to the area of Northern Italy on Lake Maggiore, so decided to take a winter break there. Like last year this time, when we went to the Portofino area, the majority of restaurants, hotels, cafe's and ferries were not open. We did manage to find a nice boutique hotel called Hotel Ancora in Verbania that sat along the water and catered to us having breakfast in bed each morning. That is one of the perks of going places during the off season, because the price is 1/2 the cost and the service was really good (because you are the only people there!).
While we were in the area, we took a ride to Como to visit with one of my dear friends who moved there from Florence last year. As nasty as the weather was, rainy and VERY cold, it was so great to be there and spend time with her. We had a yummy lunch at a cute place called Pane & Tulipani sitting next to the fireplace chatting our hearts away for the afternoon. Thankfully my husband could tell the weather was only going to get worse, so we had to cut the day trip short to drive back to Verbania. Good thing we left when we did because we got caught in a snowstorm outside of Como about an hour later, which made our drive back to Lake Maggiore a bit longer, albeit beautiful!
Located very close to Verbania is an adorable town called Stresa. It was also completely shut down but the hotels were absolutely gorgeous. I could imagine how delightful this area would be when the weather was better. There was a beautiful tree lined street along the lake with passeggiata on one side, while on the other side were massive french inspired hotels. I would love to go back here and just take tours of the lobbies of each of these grande buildings one day, a definite must see for all you Italy lovers.
We feel fortunate to have these places at our fingertips during our last days in Italy. To be able to hop on a train to go somewhere completely different, but in the same country is something we will definitely miss. It was a nice holiday, but probably too short, especially for a honeymoon.
However, we are in the midst of a big move so had to get back to Firenze to say our goodbyes.........more to come.......! Ciao!
|Stresa, Lago Maggiore|