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After a long drive through France, Switzerland and then into Italy we finally arrived at Bognanco. A few km from Domodossola, Bognanco is an area set in a magnificent valley with stunning views of snow capped mountains (even in mid July) but with that gorgeous dry Italian heat and glorious sunshine. From the Bognanco signpost you will need to climb a few more km up steep and breathtaking winding roads before you get to the Villa Bellevue which is situated close to the small and very friendly Panorama hotel. The house was very clean and spacious with a large lounge, a front balcony where you could enjoy breakfasts in the early morning sunshine and a patio to the side of the house for afternoon lounging and evening BBQs (BTW, the BBQ was amazing). The views of the valley and the mountains from the front and sides of the house are stunning and it would have been quite easy just to chill there the whole week. Also with two small hotels nearby and several further down in the valley you don't have to think about cooking in the well equipped kitchen straight away (or at all really) The food at the Panorama especially was outstanding and good value and the hosts were friendly and helpful in spite of the lack of spoken English. One thing we did regret was not exploring earlier the two small shops that are situated further down the valley in Bognanco which were well stocked with local produce, cheap wine and spirits and all the daily edible holiday essentials.
Apart from the incredible desire to do nothing and just laze in the sun and enjoy the views there were some superb walks for the more active starting from very near the house, including footpaths over the mountains leading to Switzerland. These are medium difficulty and probably not ideal for sufferers of vertigo but they did provide some unbeatable views of mountain scenery.
Another highlight of the trip was a day trip on the Maggiore Express, which combines a boat cruise on Lake Maggiore from Italy to Switzeland and then a spectacular narrow gauge railway journey back to Domodosolla. Any bad points...none. We went with mum (77 yrs) and a friend (over 80 yrs) and found that the house was quite suitable for them although the steps down to the property and downstairs to the bedrooms need to be taken with care by people who have difficulty walking .
To summarize I would recommend Villa Bellevue without reservation to those who want a superb rental property in a quiet and beautiful location.
We had a great time staying in Montescheno in May of this year.
Stunning surroundings and the ultimate place to relax.
The apartment was really clean and well equiped (especially the kitchen!)
Beautiful views from every window and both balconies on the mountains and forests.
We visited the lakes, but merely relaxed on the spacious terrace in front of the apartment. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a quiet place in the middle of nature. Definitely want to return in the future.