Subject: Torino, Piemonte, Asti, Alba, etc.
Hello Callie - and Mark, A quick line to say Yes, Yes - do enjoy Alba and the surrounding towns and villages. It is a wonderful part of the world and refreshingly un-touristy, compared with many other parts of the country. I have spent time also in Cuneo, not a tourist centre at all but a very pleasant place to use as a base for touring the area, and somewhere you definitely feel just part of everyday life in Piemonte. A special part of the day was sampling a different bar/coffee shop for a morning espresso, a bite to eat to keep the energy levels up, and an aperitivo in the evening. So many of these quite tiny places have their own pastrycook to supply the nibbles and the quality of the pastries is super. There are also several good restaurants, and if you are likely to be in that part of the world, Callie, I will check out my records when I can find a moment, and pass the names on to you. Alba, of course, has the grand Truffle Festival in October and there are similar festivals all over the region. Cuneo's speciality is chestnuts and their Chestnut Festival is also held in October and is good fun, with festivities every evening, giant roasting pans for the chestnuts, banquets featuring chestnuts in every imaginable - and a few previously unimaginable - mode. Torino, I found to be a delightful surprise. There is a guide book that sets out self conducted walking tours of the town, that gives you a great way to see the attractions and to learn something of the history. I found it at the booksellers/newsagency at the central station in Torino but haven't seen it elsewhere. And the wines of the region are, of course, superb. Happy planning! Joan, Melbourne, Australia