Stresa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore. One hour from Milan. A charming town which gives access to the three islands in the Lake. The scenery is idealic - lovely town, lake and snow capped mountains (at least while we were there).
We visited at the end of March when most hotels were just opening. It was lovely and not too cold but not all attractions were open. Unfortunately we missed out on the 'Maggiore Express' which was only operating Thurs- Sun prior to full tourist season (8 May). The Maggiore Express runs from Domodossola (about 30 mins by train from Stresa) to the lake where you then pick up a ferry for the return to Stresa.
The three islands and their buildings were fabulous and we saw white peacocks for the first time.
There is an excellent website for Stresa which gives all the information you need for your stay including suggested sighteeing itineraries to suit your stay.
We were totally charmed by the town and its surrounds and would have liked to spend more time when the attractions were open. This area is extremely busy during the summer but during April or May would be ideal.