Little gems from Lago Maggiore: Brissago and Parkhotel Brenscino

Travel is about little gem discoveries as much as it’s about telling stories. These are the distinctive memories that stick in your mind and make your trip an unforgettable one.

Brissago was our gem from Lago Maggiore. On a previous trip we were passing by it and glanced at Brissago islands from the shore, agreed that we will come back and we did. Located on the Swiss side of Lago Maggiore, Brissago is just 10-15 minutes from Ascona and Locarno and a couple of minutes from the Italian border.  Our hosts in Brissago, Parkhotel Brenscino, made all the difference during this trip! The location uphill with a breathtaking view on the lake makes the hotel exceptional. We were told that all the rooms come with lake view so you cannot get it wrong!

View over Brissago

Immediately after we arrived, we hit the pool to cool down and refresh after a long trip. What a wonderful view over lake Maggiore! We scrapped the beaches search we did on the way and installed our “chaises-longues” to enjoy the warm summer vibes. There was another small pool for children next to the big pool. No wonder the hotel became a favourite family destination with such atmosphere!

Parkhotel Brenscino poolFor the evening we wanted to discover the town centre. So we took a shortcut descending a long set of stone stairs and reached town just in few minutes. A promenade on the lake gives another reason why Brissago is just another piece of heaven. We took a table next to the lake watching the boats board and takeoff from the little harbour, while our Italian foody sprint started for the weekend. Italian cuisine is my favourite, I can literally eat pasta 🍝 every day! Only to break for a little Tiramisu dessert 🍮 . We didn’t account for the stairs upward, so we only realised how much we ate on the way back upwards.

Brissago - cuisineIn the morning, the two Brissago islands (Isole di Brissago) were visible from our balcony. The very mild climate of the region allowed many subtropical plants to flourish there. The larger island – San Pancrazio – is well known for its botanical garden. While on the smaller Isola di Sant’apollinare – which is not open to the public – nature is let to go on its own course!

We planned to visit the islands but the weather had other plans for us as the morning carried a heavy cloudy sky!  We were very pleased to know that Parkhotel Brenscino had its own Botanical garden spread over 38000 square meters of the hill. Martin, the gardener, was very kind to give us a personal tour around, naming on the way every single tree and even bamboo and their origins. The palm trees 🌴 give such a Mediterranean feel and many actually come from South America! It’s amazing how much care is taken to preserve such a gem.

Parkhotel Brenscino botanical gardenWe had some more pleasant surprises as lunch time approached! We learned that the chef of the hotel’s restaurant “Al Fresco” is the two times winner of Locarno Risotto Festival award! From here on every single meal included a different risotto dish so to taste all his creative flavours; it was something out of this world! I never thought that my love for pasta will be at a competition. But who cares as long as it’s still within the Italian cuisine family!😋

Parkhotel Brenscino restaurantUsually when we choose an accommodation we mainly focus on its location and its proximity to key landmarks we want to visit. This time the moody weather made us realise the importance of indoors facilities. The lounge area and terrace were not only a saviour from rainy weather but so cosy and tastefully decorated. The hotel atmosphere was simply amazing. A brilliant mix of Swiss love for excellence with Italian warmth that makes you feel among friends. Even when the sun re-showed its face we were too comfortable to move, sipping on a cappuccino and tasting the local gelato!

On our room balcony that night, summing up our trip as we usually do, we were watching the almost full moon creating a silver plate out of the lake between the mountains. Then the realisation came that these little gems we discovered actually make a valuable treasure worth sharing with our friends!

Arrivederci Brissago ❤️

Brissago views

Travelling under COVID restrictions

This year we feel less at ease when we travel due to Covid risks and the restrictions it implied. During the trip we felt very comfortable when we saw the strict safety measures of Parkhotel Brenscino. For example you don’t have a traditional menu at the restaurant. Instead you scan a QR code and check the menu on your mobile.  The traditional buffet breakfast was turned into an individual big tray full of diverse delicious items 😋

Disclaimer: We were hosted by Parkhotel Brenscino during our visit to Brissago. However this blog represents our sincere view of the hotel and its facilities. We definitely recommend it to our friends and readers.

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