Milan’s Great Escapes: Lago Maggiore-------
Milan is one of the world’s best transit towns, a fact that more than makes up for its never-ending traffic and the smog that blankets the city. Style.com offers mini-itineraries of interesting places to visit that are close enough to the city to be accessible but far enough away to give you a break.
Lago Maggiore may not be framed by Lake Como’s dramatic mountains or have the celebrity pull of a heavyweight like Clooney, but for those in search of simple pleasures, this is your place. For your first stop, head from Stresa directly to the lake’s islands. The Isola dei Pescatori is easy to reach; it has a small shingle beach for swimmers and the island’s Hotel Verbano offers a shaded terrace restaurant with beautiful views of the lake. The magnificent Borromean Islands are a short traghetto ride away. The loveliest island is the Isola Bella, whose palace and terraced gardens are open to visitors. If you have more time to spare, head across the lake to the Eremo di Santa Caterina, a thirteenth-century stone monastery slotted precariously into the cliff face. Climb up to see beautiful portico-framed vistas, and look out for the mummified Saint Alberto Besozzi inside.
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