Chianti to Lago Maggiore
Trip Start Apr 30, 2012
30Trip End May 29, 2012
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Today we packed up and drove north 5 hours to Lago Maggiore. I promised Kaela we would swim one last time in the morning. So we all got up a bit early to start packing and cleaning. Although the pool had dropped back to 60F, we jumped in and splashed around for a few minutes.
Cucule has been a wonderful place to spend the week. Susan Thrower is meticulous with the gardens and the apartment she rents out. It's a beautiful spot deep in the Chianti hills. I think both the kitchen and the apartment were the nicest we stayed in on this trip. The only downside was that the week started off cold and rainy. So we didn’t enjoy the patio or the pool as much as we would have hoped. But otherwise it was a really nice visit.
Chianti also proved to be a fun location. At first we were wary of how remote Cucule was. We had several kilometers of dirt road before paved road. But once the weather improved, we came to enjoy the beauty of these winding mountain roads and we really enjoyed the rural landscape and absence of tourists. The little towns in these hills are beautiful and I think we got to experience a very different part of Tuscany than most. Of course the food was fantastic and very well priced compared to all of the other touristy areas we have visited.
Our trip is nearly over. Our initial goal was 28 nights in Italy and the booking in Chianti left 3 nights at the end. I had always wanted to get just a taste of the northern mountains in Italy. I once spent 10 days glacier hiking in Switzerland and northern Italy and fell in love with the landscape even more than the mountains of CO. So we found a place on the shores of Lago Maggiore that is only 30 minutes from Malpensa Airport in Milan. On our last day, we can get up early and easily make it to our plane.
So we made our way to the Autostrade and drove 450 KM north. It was a bit of a long day and we were very happy to arrive in Solcio – a small part of Lesa on the shores of Lago Maggiore.
For our last three nights we are staying at a bed and breakfast in Lesa with Luisa and Eduardo. They lived in NY for 18 years and speak fluent English. Their house is perched up a hill and we found the tiny streets getting here a bit terrifying. As Americans who are used to everything big, it is disconcerting to drive a 2 way street that can only fit one car with inches to spare. But we got settled and their view of the lake from the porch is wonderful.
We drove into town and visited a campground that has a pizzeria. Then we went to the main part of Lesa and found some gelato for Kaela. The lake and shores are beautiful, but we are all tired, so we made it an early evening.