From Florence, we traveled to the northern part of Italy. Our final destination was Lake (Lago) Maggiore which is one of the three larger lakes just outside of Milan. Lake Maggiore stretches all the way up into Switzerland. The lake is surrounded by the prealpine mountains. This is a beautiful part of Italy and it’s no wonder many famous visitors come here which include Ernest Hemingway who set part of his novel Farewell to Arms in the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees in Stresa while Prince Charles and Lady Diana stayed at the House of Borromeo on Isola Bella island.
We stayed at the Grand Hotel Dino in Baveno. Our room was located at the front (check out our view from the photos below).
After a short rest, we were eager to explore the hotel before dinner. This is the photo of the lobby with the wonderful stained glass ceiling. Through those doors directly ahead leads to the dining room with a spectacular view of Lake Maggiore.
The next few photos below were taken from the rear of the hotel. We were hoping for a room with a view of the lake but we can’t complain as our view was also quite nice.
Baveno is a small town. Their piazza where the city hall is located is quite small but charming.
I thought the parish church and the adjoining baptistery were treasures. I can’t explain it but they were magnificent in their own way and truly special. Both structures were small for sure but I didn’t expect to see the frescoes that we found inside the baptistery. It didn’t have the grandeur of the other cathedrals but it felt solemn and intimate. I felt like an intruder exploring these places and tried to be respectful. You’ll see what I mean, just check out the photos below. So as you walk up the stairs to the church, you first see a covered walkway. Intrigued, so we carried on.
As we got closer, we realized that the covered portico housed frescoes of the stations of the cross.
The photo below shows the octagonal shaped baptistery and the Romanesque bell tower attached to the church (which I seem to have forgotten to take a photo of). However, I came across a blog by Diana Kaplan which has a photo of the church.
Inside the baptistery were some beautiful frescoes. Check out the photos below. The first one I believe is of John the Baptist… pretty gruesome, isn’t it?
I may not have taken a photo of the outside of parish church but I did take photos of the inside. It was quite dark inside so I’m surprised that the photos below turned out as well as they did.
We were sad to leave the beautiful town of Baveno. It was such a relaxing and calming place. The perfect town to unwind. We look forward to exploring the other lakes of the northern region.