Comments flow around my tour group all the time and I try and remember them or write them down. But one word I hear constantly is ‘Amazing ‘ Sue my old school friend from Mosgiel – who now lives in Australia said “thats it’s a word she is becoming very familiar with.”
Under grey cloudy skies but very calm balmy conditions our day on lake Maggiore was magical and the late summer gardens on Isola Bella and Isola Madre looked heavy with flowers and foliage. The Italian lakes have many impressive homes lining the lake edges and although many are holiday homes to the European wealthy. The towns and villages are full of Italians who will have lived here all their lives,probably in the same house as their parents .
I just loved returning to my dear friends at their family Trattoria – Il Buchiello. For the best Gorgonzola gnocchi, porcini tagliatelle and Talliegio the typical dish of rare beef slices with rocket and grana cheese .It was so good Charles and I had a second dose the next night.
‘Exhilarating ‘ is a word that literally describes our bucket ride up 1000 m above the town of Levano to get a stunning view of lake Maggiore and the adjacent lakes .I can’t imagine any where in New Zealand where they would allow a cable car ride quite like this. Below us was a lovely beach forest lined with chestnut trees – all thick with spiky chestnuts and lots of wild hellebores.
This region of Italy has many lakes – almost side by side . It’s a short drive for us late in the afternoon to Lake Orta. A chance to wander the narrow streets in Orta, enjoy a ‘Prosecco’ and a few plates of local cheeses and meats .