Labor Day weekend in lovely Lesa, Italy on Lake Maggiore… Part three

The Handmaid’s Tale gave me lots of nightmares on Saturday night/Sunday morning, so I woke up early.  Usually, when I get up, I’m up.  On Sunday, I was up for maybe an hour before I decided to go back to bed… and then we all proceeded to sleep until about 9:00am.  We never do this.  When I was growing up, I would routinely sleep until late in the morning, but now that I’m in my 40s, I’m usually up at the crack of dawn with Bill.  It was kind of nice to snooze for a bit.

The sun was out Sunday morning, so after yet another breakfast of cornetti, eggs, and ham, we took a walk to the lake.  Rose Apartment is very close to it.  There’s what appears to be a private boat slip just yards away from the front gate.  The slip also has a gate, but it was left ajar on Sunday.  We went down to check it out and found a couple sitting there, enjoying the views and massaging each other.

A few shots of the boat ramp near the Rose Apartment.  It’s one house away from the property.

Not wanting to intrude on the couple’s private moment, we took the dogs for a walk down the narrow lane, running a gauntlet of barking dogs in their spacious yards.  I noticed that many of the houses in Lesa had at least one dog and the yards were mostly spacious and fenced in.  One man was working in his abundantly productive garden as we passed with Zane and Arran.  He own dog was enthusiastically barking at us, while the neighbor across the street had two dogs running along the fence, vocalizing.

Lesa has a public beach of sorts.  There’s what appears to be a beach bar there, right next to the lake.  It’s not the most developed beach I’ve ever seen, but a few people were there milking the last rays of summer sunshine.  Another couple brought their dogs and let them wade in the lake.  I was content to take pictures.

A dog run…  It appeared to be privately owned, run by a dog sitting/training business.

Here is a picture of the “beach club”, which was basically a place that served snacks and probably rented out umbrellas and such.  There were a few people there on Sunday, enjoying the sunshine.

This is not the greatest picture, but as we were walking back to the house, we ran into what appeared to be a “Vespa” rally.  Dozens of people on scooters passed us on their way to the beach.  It was like a parade of scooter enthusiasts.  I don’t know if there was a race or a rally about to happen, but it was definitely an interesting spectacle.  I suppose if we’d wanted to, we could have also watched the football/soccer game going on at the local sports complex.


After awhile, we decided to go into town to see what was going on.  First, we went to Arona, which is a somewhat large town on the lake maybe ten minutes away from Lesa.  We didn’t stay because there were many people in the street and no parking to be had.  Since Bill had already messed up the bumper on the RAV 4, he wasn’t looking for another scrape.  We went the opposite direction, back through Lesa, and stopped at Belgirate, another lakeside town that appeared to be a little bit quieter on Sunday.  We parked on the side of the road and I got more photos.

Belgirate is a little more picturesque than Lesa is, though I wouldn’t say it’s larger…

We strolled along the lake, enjoying the sights and sounds and trying to decide where we’d have lunch.  We finally settled on La Bruma, a nice looking restaurant on the main drag.  They had some tables set up near the lake and were doing a swift business.  I felt a little sorry for the waitress, who was busting her butt repeatedly crossing the street laden down with food.  It’s pretty hard to get a bad meal in Italy, though, which makes dining there a pleasure.

La Bruma.


Another obligatory shot of my handsome husband, Bill.

Bill ordered this really lovely red… it reminded me of fruit punch without the excessive sugar.  It was bold and fruity, slightly spicy, and very nice with what we ordered.  I’m going to have to see if I can find this locally.

Service was a little bit slow at La Bruma, although it was otherwise professional.  As I mentioned previously, they were having a busy day, so it took awhile to put in our orders.  We weren’t in a hurry, though, and the weather was fine.

A little amuse to start things off… crostini with chopped tomatoes.  They also brought out rolls and breadsticks that did not appear to be homemade.

I ordered entrecote and this time, the waiter heard me and actually delivered what I ordered.  This steak wasn’t bad, although there was a bit of gristle.  It was also not as hot as I would have preferred.  Again… weeded wait staff.  

Bill had salmon with “cauliflower mayonnaise”.  He said he liked it, although it was a little bit salty.  I noticed some kids at the next table having spaghetti and kind of wished I’d ordered that instead.  It looked really good.  

Dessert was the best part of the meal.  Bill had what was kind of like a deconstructed cheesecake, complete with graham crackers and red fruits.  It was delicious!

I had a chocolate souffle.  This hit the spot quite nicely.  We also had espresso, this time made in a machine instead of in a pot.  I believe this meal was about ten euros less than our fish lunch on Saturday.  To be honest, I enjoyed the fish more, but like I said, it’s hard to get a bad meal in Italy.

I was glad to see a well stocked dog station, too.

Below are some more photos from nearby Belgirate.  I think this time of year is a nice time to visit.  It’s not very crowded, yet the weather is good.

One nice thing about Italy is that you can go grocery shopping on Sunday.  We decided to stop at the market one more time so we could fill up our wine suitcase with local wines.  I also loaded us up on pasta, Italian soaps, cookies, and cheese.

I ogled some fruit.

And noticed the street shared a name with a guy on my Facebook friends list.


As we were about to go back to the house, I saw a father with his little daughter, maybe about five years old or so, sitting on his lap, steering their car into the parking lot.  At first, I was a little shocked.  It’s been awhile since I last saw a dad doing that… although my dad did it, as did a lot of my friends’ dads.  Nowadays, kids have to be strapped down or helmeted for just about everything.  While the safety conscious side of me might have disapproved at the sight of a five year old “driving” (and at first, it really did look like she was driving), the more reckless side of me found it a refreshing sight. I miss the days when kids could do that sort of thing and parents didn’t have to worry about someone calling CPS.  Of course, I mentioned it on Facebook– most of my old fart friends approved, but there was one comment from someone who disapproved.  I was surprised there weren’t more.

Anyway… Italy is nice because it reminds me of a time less controlled by laws.  It was nice to see a dad sharing a bonding moment with his daughter.  On the other hand, we did leave there with a nasty calling card on our car.  So maybe it’s a tradeoff.


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