The next leg of our journey saw us bid a temporary farewell to France and head across the border into northern Italy. Our affinity with Mont Blanc continued and it seemed fitting that we should leave France via the Mont Blanc tunnel, an impressive feat of engineering which would take us 11 kilometres through the mountain and deposit us in Italy. 

Our first stop in Italy was Lake Orta, little sister to the more famous Lake Maggiore. We stayed at the peninsula town of Orta San Guilio, a charming, typically Italian village with narrow cobbled streets and a view across the lake to San Guilio island. 

We also visited the Sacro Monte di Orta, a collection of 20 Roman Catholic chapels dedicated to St Francis built between 1583 and 1788. 

Unfortunately during our visit two cars were broken into just a few meters from the Aire we had stayed at, this left us feeling uncomfortable about leaving the van to explore and so we decided it safest to move on. 
Our next stop was Lago di Mezzola, again a smaller sister lake just to the north of the more famous Lake Como. We spent a few days here relaxing and enjoying the hot weather and swimming in the lake.