The weekend after I went to Venice with my mom and sister, they spent the week in Florence. Then I met them in Milan the following weekend, and we headed up to Stresa on Lake Maggorie. It was a quick train ride up there, and we were able to check into our hotel just in time to watch the sunset from our balcony. It was gorgeous on the water and behind the mountains.
The hotel was absolutely adorable! Every inch was decorated so decadently!
The next morning we got up, and had breakfast at the hotel. They had the best cappuccinos and chocolate croissants which they called chocolate bundles, and the view was even better.
After breakfast, we headed down to the hotel's dock and hired a boat for the day so that we could go visit the three little islands on Lake Maggiore.
The first island we went to was Isola Madre. The entire island was covered in gardens and had an old mansion on it.
The next island that we went to was Isola Bella, which has a gorgeous palace on it, and the most beautiful gardens behind it. There were also some cute little shops and restaurants on the island outside of the castle and it's gardens.
We went to the third island, Isola dei Piscatory. The first thing we did before exploring the island was grab lunch at Ristorante Verbano. It was so nice to eat outside with such a beautiful view. After exploring the little island, we took the boat back to Stresa and then headed to take a cable car up the mountain.
The view as we got higher in the cable car was incredible. The car took us most of the way up, and then we took a chair lift to the very top of the mountain. The view was a little blocked by a haze but still picturesque. I loved being up on top of the mountain it reminded me of Park City summers. After we got back down to the hotel, we headed into town to get dinner at a little pizza shop.
The following day we got the delicious hotel breakfast again and then took our Christmas card pictures in their gardens by the pool.
After we finished with pictures, we headed back into town to explore Stresa. We walked through the cute little stores, grabbed some lunch and gelato. Then we headed towards the water and took in the beautiful views before we had to catch our train back to Milan.
When we got back to Milan, I showed my mom and sister around LIUC, and then took them to dinner in Castellanza. After dinner, they headed back into Milan for their early flight back to the U.S. the next morning. It was so nice to be able to see my family after being abroad for so long. I'm counting down the days until I get to see them again at the end of the semester.