Top of the lago: a saunter around the Italian lakes

Hiking high above Lake Maggiore, through forests and hills alive with Grand Tour romance, is a great way to build an appetite for Piedmont’s epic cuisine

Close to the summit of Monte Mottarone, we sit in silence soaking up the 360-degree views. To the east, far below, sparkles Lake Maggiore. A handful of other lakes shimmer in the late-afternoon sunlight, while layer upon layer of rolling hills and the jagged snow-capped Alps melt into the horizon. We’re lucky: the bright, cloudless skies are a boon, and I’d be hard pushed to namecheck a more beautiful landscape.

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