Stresa and Lago Maggiore
This has to be one of my favorite locations of this trip so far. So much, in fact, that I’m planning on going back before I leave Italy. Maggiore is my favorite of the Northern Italian lakes. Somewhere between the extreme-sport heart of Garda and the luxury of Como, Maggiore seems to suit me best. Beautiful lake, gorgeous mountains, great climate, outstanding architecture, and on top of it right on the border of Switzerland. Yeah, this doesn’t suck.
The standout of the three islands on the lake to explore is Isola Bella, famous for its fabulous palazzo and gardens. This is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Italy. Always a kind of surreal experience to actually visit a place that you’ve previously only day-dreamed about from photographs.