Driving down through France heading for the tunnels through the Alps, the first sign that the splendours of Italy await is the rear of Mt Blanc standing guard on the border. Once through its dim, subterranean dual carriage way the glories of the Italian Alps beckon you further in.
The first thing that has to be done once over the border is to find the prettiest of places & stop for lunch & explore.
Rabbit salad with a glass of ice cold rose on the shore of Lake Orta. This is one of the smallest of the Italian lakes, surrounded by mountains. It is as if Walt Disney has taken the place over to typify all that is Italian beauty. Picturesque old villages nestle around the shore cry out to be expored.
The pivotal sight is that of the island of San Giulio which can be seen from every spot on the shore. Only 275m x 140m it oozes a mixture of scruffy elegance & class & history & religion & the Italian way of doing things.