Friday Diary: A Farewell to Arms, Stresa, Italy / by daintydora

Last week I was in Italy and it was more than Bellissimo. I stayed in Cadenabbia, Lake Como, but ventured far and wide taking trips to St Moritz and Lake Lugano in Switzerland, and to Stresa on Lake Maggiore.

Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées, Stresa, Italy

The streets were picturesque with beautiful gardens and walkways, wide roads, tall trees providing shade and a breath-taking view to the lake at all points (with gelaterias in abundance - my favourite flavours were limone e pesca).

Statue, Stresa Street scene, Stresa, ItalyView to Isola Bella, Stresa, Italy

I've accidentally followed Hemingway around the world: to Paris, Cuba, Spain - and now to the beautiful town of Stresa, Italy where he recovered from war injuries at the Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées.

Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées, Stresa, Italy Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées, Stresa, Italy

I'm up here in Stresa, a little resort on Lake Maggiore. One of the most beautiful Italian lakes.
Hemingway, 1918

Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées, Stresa, Italy

I love this photo and the way the sun bathes the welcoming cherub in an almost holy light; though the light everywhere was so vibrant and intoxicating.

Lake Maggiore, Stresa, Italy

I've heard that some of the scenes from A Farewell to Arms were set/based in the Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées, and one scene in particular describes taking a fishing boat over the lake to Isola dei Pescatori.

It is in the evenings, when silence falls and the lights are reflected in the waters of the lake, that the island is at its most evocative..."

I was immediately immersed in the experience of following in Hemingway's footsteps, so of course I had to visit the hotel, see inside, take in the luxurious, opulent surroundings.

Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées, Stresa, Italy

Here's my souvenir - a beautifully monogrammed paper coaster. It's not enough, can never be enough, but for now it will have to sate me.

Souvenir, Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées, Stresa, Italy

I will continue my Italian-Hemingway adventure by reading A Farewell to Arms (and all its 47 alternate endings...)

A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway

One day, I hope to return to the Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées; maybe even staying in the Hemingway suite...

Buon fine settimana!