Italy is the country of simple pleasures. It became clear to me when I ordered a green salad to go with my pasta. I am not sure what type of green it was. I think it might’ve been baby spinach. But that was it. A green salad. I was provided with olive oil and balsamic vinegar . What else would I need? Certainly not one of those horrendous mixtures in a bottle we fondly call salad dressing.
And the pasta?
Where do I begin? Al dente, a smattering of sun dried tomatoes and a flash of garlic. Heaven.
There is a good reason why Italy is one of the most popular destinations. I love Rome…walk around any corner slap bang into another temple being excavated. It is a treasure trove for ancient history enthusiasts. Likewise with Florence, a great base to explore Cinqe Terra. And then there is Venice….so much to love about this city of canals.
Stresa has been a delightful surprise for me. Perched on the shores of Lake Maggiore it offers all the old fashioned grandeur of a bygone era when the aristocracy went on “the grand tour”. Stately hotels along the lake shore offer chintzy rooms and white glove service.
Here you can hop on a ferry to discover the islands. Napoleon loved it here and so will you. My favourite is Fishermans Island which even has a couple of small hotels.
The old town centre of Stresa is tucked away and is full of pedestrian cobbled streets and lovely piazzas. I have never heard so much bird song ….and they do have signs in the restaurants asking you not to feed the birds. I guess the happy singing means that the patrons are ignoring the signs.
Stresa, ciao for now….but I will be back.