Our endless love for Italy made it very easy to choose it as our summer destination this year. A road trip was a no brainer, so we could be in charge of our daily itineraries, allowing us to see as many places as we could while still enjoying every bit of them. I planned it weeks in advance, but of course we made some alterations based on how we felt on the day, and from tips we got along the way.
We flew to Zurich (to be explained on the next post) driving down to Travedona, a town just ten minutes drive from Lago Maggiore. We arrived in the evening to the most beautiful B&B we have ever stayed, Villa Carlotta. Greeted with a delicious ice tea served at the terrace, and later driving down to the closest shore town called Ispra just in time for sunset and a very tasty seafood dinner.
Starting the next day with a delicious breakfast and soon making our way to Isola Bella, one of the Borromean Islands of Lago Maggiore and truly the most beautiful one. An island that took four hundred years and the work of hundred men, to transform a rock in the middle of a lake to a spectacular place; the Palazzo with its beautiful views and stunning Baroque architecture, and the perfectly groomed gardens.
The easiest way to get there is taking a boat from Stresa, the closest town. Many boats operates to all three Borromean islands, and if time is not an enemy seeing all of them is a must!
The next stop on our week road trip through Italy was the famous Cinque Terre, in the Ligurian coast. On the way we decided to make a stop at Portofino, one of the most photographed villages on the coast. The drive alone was a thrill, its windy roads seemed to get smaller as we got close to it, a few times we questioned how two cars could fit at the same time. What waited for us, a beautiful harbour with turquoise water, colourful houses and lively atmosphere. A place I would love to one day return.
We decided to stay at the town of La Spezia, east of Cinque Terre and just twenty minutes away by train. A better option for us since the towns of Cinque Terre can barely be accessed by car.
An early rise to plenty of sunshine, we started our itinerary with Riomaggiore by train making stops in each town until we reached Vernazza. The towns are all so unique and perfectly set in between the cliffs, hidden so perfectly with its beautiful array of colours.
Saving the best for last, Monterosso was reached by foot from Vernazza. A coastal trail that takes about an hour with plenty of beautiful views and breathtaking moments. Once we arrived we had lunch at one of the local restaurants and ended our afternoon at the beach, swimming and laying with a glass of well deserved aperol spritz.
For the return we opted for a boat ride so we could see the towns from a different view, and it was truly worth it!