Editor’s Choice: The Fall Edition Featuring Belles on Location in Italy for Real

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A Belles Trip happened last week…

… and before then I didn’t know much of anything about Domodossola, Italy.  Now I can pretty much drive to and from there blindfolded from a small Italian town you’ve probably never heard of called Vogogna.

Both places are in the eastern Piedmont of Italy, in the Ossola Valley of the Italian Alps near the Swiss border. Last week we had our first Belles Trip, where a few of us who have connected here at The Travel Belles, got together to meet for the first time in real life.

In Alba I think they were so excited to see the Travel Belles that they put on this parade.

The lovely and diverse women who one way or another have managed to find The Travel Belles surprise and amaze me daily. So I was thrilled beyond words to finally have the chance to meet and get to know the four of you who came to stay with me last week.

My time with Krista Bjorn and Kathy Ayer began at Malpensa Milan airport where we managed to find each other and escape in my rental car relatively unscathed. We spent several days together exploring the western Piedmont, sightseeing and sipping incredible wine around Alba, and tooling around the mountainous landscape of Alta Langa to the south in search of things like sheep cheese and sausage farms. Next, we moved on for one night at the enchanting Lake Orta  before making our way east to Vogogna.

Many Travel Belles take pictures of their food and beverages. This is Krista Bjorn at dinner our first night in Alba.

Katy Stewart and Kate Turner were next, arriving at the train station of Domodossola. Being less than a 15-minute drive from Vogogna, I could easily pick them up (this is the kind of detail we love knowing about the foreign countries we visit.). After a few more roundtrips I knew what to do immediately to correct from making the same wrong turn over and over.

Here are a few Domodossola facts (you knew this was going to be a juicy post, right?):

Kathy Ayer and Katy Stewart at lunch in Locarno, Switzerland. Yes, Travel Belles have been known to go to another country for lunch. Katy gets the award for being the biggest Belle trooper because she came almost directly on this trip from several months in South America.

Since I do have more than a few photos from that amazing day (and because my new in real life Travel Belle friends told me I should) a photo essay is coming up later this week from this journey, which involved going to the Swiss side of the station and hopping on a narrow-gauge train up into the Alps. Following several stops, including one in Locarno, Switzerland, there was a “Zenny,” yet exciting 3-hour ride back atop a ferry boat on what must of been one of the most beautiful early October afternoons ever.

When I think about it, traveling together in this way is related to the core reason I first started The Travel Belles. I was looking to create a place of connection for women such as myself (whatever that means, when I figure that one out, I’ll get back to you) that I found missing on the internet when searching for options.

The thing that I’ve discovered Travel Belles have in common is that we are women who like to travel well, both near and far, whatever that means given our current stage or circumstances in life,  however often that may be.

I for one may be planning and saving for my next trip, whether it will be a solo jaunt, a family vacation or a girls’ getaway, or maybe I am not.  Travel is something I love, but not how I define myself, or am defined by others; nor do I believe it is for many of us. Generally Travel Belles may not be full-time travelers or wannabee full-time travelers, but generally is the operative word. The women in my life, anyway, are rarely this or that; we are complex creatures, and that I believe, is a beautiful thing. (along with “getting out of town,” see tagline above.)

Kate Turner on the train from Domodossola to Locarno. She’s on her iPhone here, but let it be known that Kate was the least internet-obsessed of all of us.

For those of you curious about coming on a trip similar to the one we went on last week in the future, we’re figuring out how to best connect you with just that.  (And btw, you may also enjoy reading about our visit to Lago Maggiore and the Isola Bella Gardens) If you have an interest in either coming with me another time, or with another Travel Belle with expertise in a certain locale, or would simply like our help planning a trip all your own, please be sure to add your name to our mailing list. You will be the first to know about it when the plan we hatched is ready to go!

Have a great fall! Who knows? Maybe by this time next year, you’ll be well on your way to going on your own Travel Belle trip too.

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About the author

Margo Millure lives in Richmond, Virginia. She is a portrait photographer, writer and founder of Travel Belles. Learn more about her at www.MargoMillure.com.

22 thoughts on “Editor’s Choice: The Fall Edition Featuring Belles on Location in Italy for Real”

  1. I so wish I had been able to join you on this trip – but am looking forward to going next time! I’m glad you had such a wonderful time! I can’t wait to see your photo essay…

  2. I absolutely love this post. First, Italy – and Piedmont especially. I love Piemonte, and I have written a few posts about it on my blog. And second, the wonderful meeting of like-minded women who travel together and explore local gems and delicacies! To travel is so much fun, and doing so with your friends is even better. Lovely and very Chique!

  3. Happy memories! Oh, the drive to Domodossola… you improved so much on that route 😉 What a great trip, it was wonderful to meet you all and I’m looking forward to reading more about it – and to taking another trip, of course!

  4. I could weep that I missed this great opportunity to meet some of my favorite co- travel belles and a to discover a splendid part of Italy too. Hopefull,y next time.

  5. Oh how fun! I’m grinning so cheesily after reading this. 🙂 What a jolly trip with such great memories and WONDERFUL friendships forged. Love you all!!

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