Italy and simple pleasures

Italy is the country of simple pleasures. It became clear to me when I ordered a green salad to go with my pasta. I am not sure what type of green it was. I think it might’ve been baby spinach. But that was it. A green salad. I was provided with olive oil and balsamic vinegar . What else would I need? Certainly not one of those horrendous mixtures in a bottle we fondly call salad dressing.
And the pasta?
Where do I begin? Al dente, a smattering of sun dried tomatoes and a flash of garlic. Heaven.
There is a good reason why Italy is one of the most popular destinations. I love Rome…walk around any corner slap bang into another temple being excavated. It is a treasure trove for ancient history enthusiasts. Likewise with Florence, a great base to explore Cinqe Terra. And then there is Venice….so much to love about this city of canals.
Stresa has been a delightful surprise for me. Perched on the shores of Lake Maggiore it offers all the old fashioned grandeur of a bygone era when the aristocracy went on “the grand tour”. Stately hotels along the lake shore offer chintzy rooms and white glove service.

IMG_1729 Here you can hop on a ferry to discover the islands. Napoleon loved it here and so will you. My favourite is Fishermans Island which even has a couple of small hotels.
The old town centre of Stresa is tucked away and is full of pedestrian cobbled streets and lovely piazzas. I have never heard so much bird song ….and they do have signs in the restaurants asking you not to feed the birds. I guess the happy singing means that the patrons are ignoring the signs.
Stresa, ciao for now….but I will be back.

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By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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