Updated: Sep 2018

(return to blog)

Italian excursion

Combloux is a great stop off for a tour into Italy. This autumn we took an excursion to lake Garda and the HPB site in Stigliano, Tuscany. Tricia had found a small family owned restaurant and B&B, which proved to be the perfect place for us to stay : a lovely quiet location, well appointed room, good home cooking, and very caring hosts.

We enjoyed the lakeside walk into Peschiera and found we much prefered the local area to the relatively dissappointing tourist bustle around the historic sights of Verona.

Then: it was an easy 3 hour drive down, past Florence to Stigliano.

We had not visited Stigliano since shortly after it opened in 1991, which was the same year that we bought our apartments in Combloux that were also inspired by the development of the Holiday Property Bond.
Being fed up with the hit-and-miss standard of self-catering apartments, we wanted to emulate HPB's reliable and predictable standards of accommodation.

Anyhow, unsurprisingly the site had developed considerably and we could see it benefited the surrounding area. What did surprise us was the social events with a lovely group of like minded people. The Bond dinner, aperitives, barbecue, and outings.

A highlight of the week was for a small party from the HPB site to visit the opera in Sienna. The minibus left at 5:30 giving us plenty of time for sightseeing and a restaurant meal before the performance.

Sienna is a very small city which is full of tourists but virtually no traffic. Ideal for a leisurely stroll through the streets and the inevitable stop for an aperitive in the Campo.

We walked back with plenty of time for dinner in Enzo's restaurant which is just behind the church where the opera is held. We all fell for the pasta and brandy, cooked in a parmesan cheese.

At the end of a very sociable week on the HPB site, we drove up through spectacular scenery via Genova and the Mont Blanc tunnel, from where it is a few minutes back to our modest home in Combloux ... and we woke up to our familiar view of Mont Blanc from the north side.

Italy made a great change and we have fond memories of the superb opera, novel dining, and above all the super group of companions we found there.

But it also makes us appreciate anew how much more freedom, variety and convenience of access we have in the Combloux region.