Looking back on it, this summer was one of significant travel (it always surprises me how much five weeks of annual leave can be stretched – thank goodness!) The summer travels began in Bavaria, moving on to Seattle and the pointed pines of the Pacific Northwest for a reunion with my sister and transatlantic best friends after eight months apart. Closer to home there were trips to Suffolk and Surrey, and anywhere outside (and within) London that felt like the countryside (cities in the heat are not my favourite.) The excursions culminated in a weekend in Italy to celebrate my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. I rarely plan for myself holidays that revolve around relaxing, swimming, eating, drinking – I always think I like to be out and about experiencing culture, meeting people, taking trains cross-country – but no, since this Italian jaunt, I’m a card-carrying convert to ‘slow travel’ (codeword for: doing absolutely nothing while eating and swimming as much as is humanly possible.)
We stayed in a beautiful hotel on the lakefront, filled with droopy peonies from a summer wedding; swam twice, sometimes three times, a day; enjoyed a pre-dinner aperitif on the shoreline each evening. Just looking at these photos fills me with longing – if only I could transport myself back to the blazing late August heat and the feast for the eyes that is that deep cerulean water. Lago D’Iseo is far lesser-known than its more touristy counterparts Lake Como and Lake Garda; it would be lovely for that alone. But add to that the simple 1.5 hour flight from London, vistas that make your breath catch in your throat, rattling 1980s single-speeds to hire and pedal around car-free Monte Isola, tiny chapels housed on islands barely bigger and trattorias frequented by sprawling Italian families that serve the best walnut-ricotta ravioli you’ll ever taste in your life? Well, I think you and I both know where we’re spending our next summer holiday…
Many more photos of this gorgeous scenery on their way in Part II!
(photos) on digital | Lago D’Iseo, Italy | August 2015