Subject: Italy“s Lakes
Dear Ziners,

Let me share with you the experience of our (me and my wife Luisa) visit to the Lake area in Northern Italy, last June. The reason was simple: it is twenty years after our marriage, and we are still very happy about it.

1. Preparation phase: Read Don and Linda“s travelogs, of course.

2. Road map Stresa (1 night), Milan (2 nigths), Como (2 nights), Bellagio (2 nights). I printed road maps from to know the best connections between the several places to visit. They were very useful. Remember I had a hired car.

3. Reservations I booked air flights, hotels and a hired car all over the Internet. I used Expedia to choose the best flight options, and choose Iberia I had to travel from Lisboa to Madrid and Madrid to Malpensa (Milan), but it was much cheaper than a direct flght Lisboa to Milan - Malpensa

4. The visit Arrival at Malpensa airport, in the afternoon. Pick the car at Hertz, reasonable service, and way we went to Stresa. Stay at La Palma Hotel a nice 4 star on the shore of Lake Maggiore. Next day we visited Mottarone (1.491 mt. of altittude) by means of the Cableway (funicolare). Mottarone has a nice sky station with 18 slopes. If you go to Stresa in Feb. or March maybe you can swim in the lake and sky at Mottarone. We also visited the alpine garden One remark: in Italy they always stop for lunch. So we decided to walk from the Alpine Garden to Stresa. We took 2,5 hours. Better would be to wait 45 minutes.

- Milan Visited the Duomo place,the Vittorio Emmanuele gallery and saw La Scala from the outside (I thought it was biggger) Diner at the Trattoria Milanese, Via Santa Marta 11. Good old restaurant. We did not like Milan so we decided to go to lake Garda which was not in our plan. It was about 150 km from Milan by highway. First we went to Desenzano where we had a marvelous lunch at "la Colomba" restaurant on the old port. Nice athmosphere and pasta with superb mussles and clams. Then we went to Sirmione they call it "La Perla del Lago di Garda" and I believe it. It is very, very nice.

- Como We stay at La Metropole Suisse following Linda and Don“s advice. We went to Brunate by means of the cableway (funicolare). We visited the Alessandro Volta lighthouse on the top of the hill with 143 steps and a magnificent view over Lake Como. You have to be a good hikker to go there.

- Lugano Next day we decided to visit Lake Lugano. We went to Lugano, a nice swiss town, and went to the Funicolare Monte San Salvatore Climbing some steps, there is a belvedere on the top of a church with an extraordinary view. Then we went to Locarno on the north of Lake Maggiore. We did not like it. And went back to Como. Of course we made a boat trip on Lake Como and visited the city which is very nice. The palaces over the shores of Lake Como are impressive. That was certainly a very rich region in the end of the 19th century.

Finally the very best of all - Bellagio. We continued to follow Don and Linda“s advice and stay at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni an excellent choice, with a beach on the Lake Como where we went as soon as we arrived. I forgot to mention that the temperature was always above 30ŗ Celsius or 86 F. Very hot so we had to refresh ourselves in the Lakes (we swim on Maggiore, Garda and Como Lakes). You have to go to Bellagio to see how beautiful it is. It must be the last point of your travel because it is the best place over there. The Americans know it because I never saw so many in a single place. There is another beautiful place near Bellagio which is Pescallo. From the Belvedere Hotel you can see it. We had dinner at the Belvedere, and yes Don, the nice old lady is still there running things, in a beautiful red dress.

We did 700 km or 440 miles in 7 days and we saw a lot of beautiful places I recommend our Ziner friends to visit.

Best regards, Joao and Luisa in Lisboa, Portugal