After several long tunnels, our train from Milan emerges on a grey day to suddenly present us with this … Lake Maggiore. Steep forested hills dip their feet in the water, and tiny towns cling to its narrow edges. Even grey, it is stunning.
We have arrived at Luino, to stay one night before heading into the mountains.
We get little chance to explore far along the promenade, as rain is threatening.
There is a great children’s park with a musical instrument installation, of drums to tap, and pipes of varying notes to strike like gongs.
Another golden Madonna watches over the port’s walled marina for small boats.
Familiar Erigeron plants (Seaside daisies) flourish in any crack in the walls.
But the weather defeats us; rain hunts us from our coffees and follows us up to our lodgings for the night.
This is small but well-planned, high up under the roof. I am taken by the new windows, well-made and clever, where the one operation opens and closes both the upper casement windows and the lower hopper one.
Next day dawns fair, the clouds are lifting and the outdoor cafés are again in use.
I am getting used to coffee and sweet pastry for breakfast, as that is the norm, with many varieties beyond croissants from which to choose.
I do admit to a hankering for avocado on toast with a dash of lemon, but even if we were self-catering, avocados are extremely expensive here. I also learnt that you must weigh your fruit and vegetables first and affix the product number and weight or the checkout person will reject them.
The lake beckons…