When you leave a place, you carry it with you wherever you go.” – Alexandra Stoddard.
It’s been five years since my visit to Lake Maggiore and this quote still rings through my head whenever I think about it. I find myself remembering little things in my day-to-day English life that was from my time spent in this comfy corner of Italy; the way a cobblestone street winds in a familiar pattern, to the scent of jasmine blossom carried in a summer breeze. I’ll be hit with a nostalgic moment that reminds me of a moment I miss so badly. Something I can never recapture is the feeling of homemade freedom and adventure one would only get from pondering over the reflection of the mountains in the lake. Sat next to that lake in Laveno, sipping a creamy latte with the sun warming my back under the shade of a tree and the sound of a quiet town going about its day; how could you want to be anywhere else?
I would stroll past the markets of rich coloured indigo, red, green, orange and gold. The marketeers would charm the tourists and the young couples would zoom past on their motorbikes, while my stomach yearned for the smokey smell of salmon drifting from one of the restaurants. Toasted mozzarella pizza for dinner, ice cold peach juice and rich chocolate brownie, while being served by friendly waiters that would treat me like a princess. At the time, it felt like I was Audrey Hepburn in ‘Roman Holiday’; the calming rhythm of the town was elegant and romantic. What a dream.
I’d drift up the winding lane in the evening enjoying the fresh greenery of the mountain and the tiny lizards scuttling past me. For a house so luxurious, you wouldn’t expect to be led there by a country lane! And luxurious is exactly the right word – hidden by a grove of trees, the three story house was homelike; something in the way it was designed with wooden window frames and marble floors, winding staircases and private balconies, soft sofas and appropriately decorated bedrooms made me feel like I was at home. I felt truly safe. Looking out over the whole town in the evening, across the lake, face to face with the mountains opposite, I felt like a king.
I think that’s what made Lake Maggiore special. The town is yours; the winding roads and jasmine blossoms, scents of coffee and the purr of distant motorbikes, the lake splashing and the marketeers chatting, the towering mountains perched comfortably and wisely over the opposite town, the scuttling lizards and sun warmed back, the charming restaurants and flamboyant ice cream displays; it belongs to you. A place that you can pocket for when you need a splash of home.
‘My name is Issy Ryman and I have always loved literature since I was little. I would write my own books and staple the paper together, pretending to sell them to my family from the living room! My poems were constantly recognised in school and one was chosen to be published in a poetry book after winning a competition: ‘Poetopia; Voices of the Future’. My passion for travel and adventure started on my first trip to Venice, Italy. I was 9 years old. The whole city cast a spell on me – I had never seen anything like it! The only way to describe how I felt was with a pen and paper. My idol author is Katherine Rundell. I read ‘Rooftoppers’ (a fiction story based on the rooftops of Paris, France) when I was 11 years old. I believe these two experiences shaped my love of foreign adventure. With curiosity I inherited from my parents and a deep need to share my views on the world, I keep hold of my ambition to one day publish my very own book.’
Feeling inspired? View our villas in Lake Maggiore >