Subject: Torino, Piemonte, Asti, Alba, etc.
Hello again Callie,

As a follow up to our off line exchange, I have some additional information on the Piemonte area and thought that it would be better to put it on line in case it is of use to other Ziners.

The little guide to Torino and the surrounding country that I found concise, neat and helpful was A Guide to Turin, Daniela Piazza, Editore, ISBN 88-7889-078-2.

It gives routes on foot, by bus and by car, and a useful map - brief descriptions only of attractions but a good starting point.

I was last there for the Jubilee Year (2000), and the Exposition of the Shroud was an amazing feature, with hordes of pilgrims from all over the world who had booked months in advance to come to pay homage.

I had actually seen the shroud years ago, on my first visit to Torino but thought that, since I was there, I should at least ask when the first available spot for a visit booking might be. The tour took around an hour, I think, from hazy memory.

They were a bit astounded at having a request for one lone visitor standing in front of the booking office, amidst all the large organised groups, asking for unbooked admission. The response was: Well, I suppose you can go in now. Just walk with one of the groups. So I adopted Pescia, I think, and wandered in. Admission free. One of those lovely reverse blips of travel that happen from time to time.

One of the restaurants in Cuneo that served wonderful food in a rather sterile, very brightly lit ambience was Osteria della Chiocciola, Via Fossano 1, Cuneo, Tel 0171/66277. I was there in truffle and game season, and my mouth is watering as I recall the great degustation menu, and delicious wines. Not expensive either.

Another, which opened while I was there and was obviously a trendy departure for Cuneo, was L' Ora Canonica, Via A. Diaz, 4 angolo via Savigliano, Cuneo 0171 601872. They apparently have a web site: but the e-gremlins are not allowing me into it at the moment. There is a bistro type section - or was when I was there - plus the full ristorante, and a bar for snacks also, I recall. It was a fun buzzy place and, at that stage anyway, the place to be in town.

There is quite a lot of Agriturismo in the area, although I haven't sampled it myself as I was staying with a friend.

Again, I can't test the webpage at present but you could try http://www.piemonteitinera.com and see if that gets you anywhere. My friend has sent me the following message re restaurants in Torino:

I've also picked out a few restaurants in Turin which I got form the Tutto Cittą but I have no idea what they would be like but usually if they are in this kind of magazine they should at least be fairly well known. Taverna degli Artisti (cucina Tradizionale e Innovativa) Via Rossini 14,Turin 011 8124286 Agrifoglio, Via Accademia Alberina 38/D 011 837064 La Smarrita, Corso Unione Sovietica 244, 011 3179657 /3179191 Ristorante della Rocca (Gestione La Smarrita), Via della Rocca 22/b 011 888533 Il Bagatto, Via Tarino 3, angolo Via Artisti, 011 8122284 Ristorante La Porta Rossa, Via Passalacqua 3/B (zona Piazza Statuto), 011 530816

Hope these can be of some use to you. If you have friends calling in in this area please give them my contacts as any friend of yours...etc. and I would be more than happy to help them out in any way they may need.

So there you have the local view. As I said in my earlier message to you, I had a great time when I was in Cuneo by myself for a few days, just catching a train each day from Cuneo - the first train that came along that was going somewhere I hadn't been. After that, we toured by car for several days, which meant that different places were accessible and could be accessed much more quickly - but I highly recommend the random train technique for a diversion, guide book in hand to read up as you travel, slowly, slowly on local trains.

Enough from me for now but my Cuneo friend would be more than happy to follow up any specific questions for you.

Happy planning, Joan Melbourne, Australia