Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heaven on Earth

On my very first visit to Europe ~ many many years ago, I had the good fortune to take a weekend side trip to a place (at the time, I had not heard of) called Lago Maggiore! We drove from Southern Germany, the Black Forest region, through the Swiss Alps and arrived at our location, a tranquil lake in Northern Italy surrounded by a lush hillside with snow capped peaks beyond. At the time, I was 22 and I had never seen a place so beautiful. Well, a lot of years have past and I have traveled to many gorgeous places, but for me, nothing has topped this little slice of heaven!
Here I am enjoying a draft with my German friends, Wolfgang and Jens after a day of exploring the villages

The lake is surrounded by charming seaside villages that have not seemed to change much over the century's.

Many of the buildings in the villages date back to the 13th century!

During my short stay I did not visit (nor was I even aware of) the exquisite Palace on Isola Bella
This is the main reason I can't wait to return! This privately owned island is my personal vision of heaven

One of the many terraced gardens! 
and another . . . . . (I think I would be content just to be a grounds keeper here!)

An interior shot of the main palace building! (inspiration for Lenox china pattern no doubt!)
All the old streets winding up the hillside are so narrow ~ you see little old cars like this Citron everywhere!

A few vistas of this lovely paradise that has remained out of the limelight all these years,
unlike it's cousin Lake Como with George Clooney and his paparazzi! Hope to go back soon!