My son went to a medical conference in Milan an invited me to join him as it ended, so we could spend a day driving around Lake Maggiore after eating and walking in Milan on a balmy Friday evening.
We went up the East side of the lake, following the road towards the Swiss border and stopping often to amble along the shore and enjoy the views. Despite it being the beginning of October, the air is fresh but mild. The strongest sign of autumn is the mist, which veils the Alps, but also emphasises the sheer, awesome size of the mountains.
After stopping briefly in Lucarno, in Switzerland, we roll back along the West of the Lake, stopping for a fantastic, and cheap, lunch, surrounded by orange and lemon trees and eating on a verandah with a view right across the lake. By the time we are heading back to the airport, heavy rain has set in, but this is still one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.