Adventure and fun… The best words to describe this week.
Nancy and Gary Luck planned a tour of Italy, and added a week to visit us in Verbania They arrived Sunday Sept 13th. We had homemade chicken soup, walked along the lake, and had gelato to help the adjustment to the time difference.
Monday morning greets us with a warm sun, and we are off to walk along Lake Maggiore headed for the old streets of Intra. Our stomachs tell us it’s time to eat and we settle in to a fine bottle of wine and an OK pasta. More wandering, a stop for gelato, (this happened almost every day) and the day ended with a picnic of cheeses, olives, bread and wine at the lake in front of our apartment.
Tuesday takes us across Lago Maggorie by ferry to the delightful town of Stresa. Here we explore opulent hotels built in the 1800’s, discover crazy large hydrangea flowers, (it turns out that gigantic hydrangea grow everywhere) and have a relaxed long lunch with wine, great conversation, and wonderfully decadent pastas. Northern Italian cuisine is influenced by the French. We missed a ferry which allowed time for, you guessed it, GELATO.
Wednesday’s a big day as we traveled into Switzerland on the Lake Maggiore Express. The express includes a Hydrofoil boat ride north on the lake into Switzerland, a transfer to a panoramic train that took us into the Alps and then a fast train back to Stresa for a quick ferry ride back to Verbania. The views of the mountains took your breath away and Heidi showing up was a really possibility.
We got off the panoramic train in a sleepy ski town – Santa Maria Maggiore, and found the only restaurant open and had the best meal ever. Bob had the idea to order three pasta plates and share. The waitress returned with a tableside cart and prepared a plate sampling all three dishes for each of us – totally unexpected.
Thursday called for a walk to Villa Taranto, a garden with 20,000 species of plants. We wondered back to Intra to eat and found a family run restaurant. The pesto pasta and Jane size salads hit the spot, and of course so did the wonderful wine. I haven’t had a bad bottle of wine yet and the prices are insanely low.
Friday was a rainy day with lazy walks through the traveling market and a vodka inspired dinner at home – perfetto!
Saturday, the hike, The mountain trek. Stay tuned. This day gets a blog of its own.
Sunday we visited Villa Giulla for an exhibit of English gardens and a goodbye dinner complete with a birthday toast for Nancy. Monday morning came early and we shared a bitter sweet goodbye at the bus stop.
I’d say a perfect third week in our new home for the next six months.