With my parents, who are visiting us for a few weeks during our sabbatical stay, we are taking every opportunity to spend time with them. Our daughter’s school holiday starts tomorrow, but we decided to go into the sightseeing mode early and took advantage of a beautiful Spring day.

My wife, daughter and I already visited Lago di Garda a month or so earlier, so we wanted to explore another lake. Last night, we were deciding between lakes Como and Maggiore. We didn’t want to rent a car, and the five of us do not move very fast on foot, so island hopping at Lago Maggiore was a perfect agenda – maximum of sightseeing with minimum of exercise. Still, it turned out to be a long day.


After wondering through the palaces and the gardens at the islands of Madre and Bella and having lunch at Pescatore in between, we were just in time to catch the second-to-last boat to the mainland. If this sounds like a rushed day, though, this was not the case. Full of impression – yes, but not rushed. I even had a chance to sketch the terraces at Isola Bella sitting on a bench next to my daughter, who was drawing a mermaid (she was inspired by one of the statues).

Perhaps, we were able to go through the entire three-island route because it was a workday. There were no crowds or lines, even though Spring is the prime time for visiting the gardens.