A Week in Northern Italy: Milan, the Lakes, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre

Milan and the Lakes (Maggiore, Como, Orta)

In Lago Maggiore area, I recommend to spend the night in Stresa as it’s the closest town to the amazing Borromean islands. Many companies link the islands to Stresa by boat. You can hire a private water taxi (expensive, but no timetables to stick to) or use the scheduled connections (very affordable) offered by many companies. I took the first morning shuttle boat of a company named Lake Tours, departing from Stresa at 9:15. Their boats first stops at Isola Madre, then Isola dei Pescatori and last in Isola Bella before heading back to Stresa. They leave from each island to the next one on an hourly basis (every 30 minutes in high season) and adult ticket for the 3 islands costs 15 euros. Each of those 3 wonderful islands has a very strong identity and are all totally worth the visit! Isola Madre for the exotic gardens, Isola dei Pescatori for its picturesque village and Isola Bella for the magnificent palace.

Baveno, Lago Maggiore Italy
Baveno, Lago Maggiore

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Alice Ristorante in Milan

During my recent trip across Northern Italy, I had an amazing dinner at Alice Ristorante in Milan. Awarded with one Michelin star and located inside the slow food temple of Eataly near Garibaldi station, this women-led restaurant serves almost flawless modern Italian cuisine. I chose the shorter Sandrina menu and wasn’t disappointed. Wine pairing was excellent with very local wines! In terms of food, my favorite dishes were the revisited Caesar salad and “superspaghettino”. The red mullet was somehow disappointing, only flaw of an otherwise splendid meal. Efficiency and professionalism of the service has to be mentioned, no long waiting times between dishes which I think is a great thing. In my opinion Alice Ristorante easily deserves another star!

Table for 2, Alice Ristorante
Table for 2

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Hotel Moresco in Venice

Cosy. Intimate. Perfectly located. Hotel Moresco is a great choice for a stay in Venice. The room rates are not cheap, but come with nice perks (welcome drink, happy hour with free buffet in the early evening, complimentary bottle of prosecco upon arrival, great breakfast…). And…it’s Venice! Piazzale Roma (car and train terminus) couldn’t be closer though you are located along a quiet canal, and it’s easy to walk everywhere from here (or take a vaporetto). Hotel Moresco’s style is very Venetian, old-fashioned in a certain way but not tacky. What I particularly liked is the comfy lobby and the spacious en-suite bathroom with nice lighting (I stayed in the Blacksmith room). In the coming days, stay tuned for an article about incredible Venice and other wonderful places I visited in Northern Italy!

Entrance, hotel Moresco
Entrance

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