Bruno, June 2007

This was a trip to re-provision Christine, and show the St Agnes Coffee Club the treasures of the Piedmont.

No, that's not a treasure, that's my wife!


Swimming lessons going ..... swimmingly

MC, Ursula, Clemens

Drying off

Drying off

Lunch at MHasta -  superb as usual

Lunch at MHasta

San Pietro complex from a new angle

S Pietro Complex

The mysterious relief over the side door to the baptistry from the cloister


Count Federico Cotti de Ceres, last of his line, who founded Asti's (?first) public hospital.  Not much about him on wikipedia.

A benefactor

While Christine took the shoppers round Serravalle, I took Piet to see Aqui Terme.  Here is the pulpit of the Duomo.

Pulpit, Duomo, Acqui Terme

And here the town branch of the bollente, which allegedly produces 560 litres (per hour) of water at 74.5 degrees (too hot for your elbow).


The other branch comes up at the old Roman baths, and their whereabouts remain shrouded in mystery, since the signposts just peter out ... unlike the bollente.
Next day, Turin ... here in the Piazza Castello, behind the Palazzo Madama (whose front resembles a rather overdecorated wedding cake).

Torino, Piazza Castello, Palazzo Madama (rear view)

And here the much more restrained Palazzo Reale.

Turin, Palazzo Reale

In the background, you can see the cupola of the Duomo.  It was to see this cupola  (designed by Guarino Guarini, for the chapel of the Shroud) that Piet had wanted to come to Turin.  But it was burned down in a fire five years ago, and is now (like so much in Italy), in restauro.  Here is the somewhat less noteworthy dome of S Lorenzo (I suppose the Savoys must have intermarried with the Medici at some point).

Turin, S Lorenzo, Cupola

Monument to the Green Count (the savoys were only Counts in those days), who took part in crusading action on the coast of Turkey, and was responsible for restoring one John V Paleologus to the throne of Byzantium.

Conte Verde

By the time this monument was set up in 1853, the Savoys were kings.

Turin, Palazzo Carignano

And this is the palace in which Vittorio Emanule II was born.  After whom the city named this gallery - a double win, because it protects from the summer sun, as well as the winter rain.

Turin, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

After a long walk south from the old city centre, we discovered to our annoyance that the restaurant which Christine wanted to go to was closed (whether permanently or just for the day, no one knew), and we had to find an alternate.  An interesting location, because the owner had taken all the photographs with which the walls were decorated.  But would you ask Antonio Carluccio to take your portrait?  No.  Nuff said.

Turin, Restaurant

This sign records the fact that nitro-glycerine was discovered in the house in front of which it is fixed. Considering the volatility of nitro-glycerine, it is quite remarkable that the house was there long enough for them to put up a notice. The sign also notes that nitro-glycerine has "multiple uses".
Explosive sign

Next day, Nizza for the market, but first a glass of Moscato.

Nizza, Caffe

Then lunch at the Due G, and a little difference of opinion about who is entitled to the last of the Grappa

Gimme da grappa!

The buffet in Cuneo station, where we went on our last day, was quite retro.  We just missed the train which runs under the Col de Tende, through France, and back into Italy, coming down to Ventimiglia.  So long wait, drinks ....
Cuneo, buffet

The train was too fast (and spent too much time in the tunnel) for photos to be easy.  Next time, I shall have to grit my teeth and take a car.

Brigue or Bosio or Tende

We discovered that the train for the return journey allowed passender to stand beside the driver.  I think the town above is La Brigue, and I was able to get the camera out of the window, thus avoiding the kind of random rorschach filter which affected the downhill view of our journey:


At San Dalmazzo, a monument to the deported

S Dalmazzo

And on the way home, a quick visit to Neive, to see the countryside, grab a sandwich, and sample the moscato.

Neive, sandwich break

S Michele, and the wine bar where the moscato is served.

Neive, S Michele

Last evening of the holiday, we decided to visit the village feastday at Alice Bel Colle.  Here the preparations for the concert.

Alice, S Giovanni Battista

Here Clemens sampling the Farinata, a kind of damper made with chick-pea flour.

Alice Bel Colle, Farinata

From the castle mound, you can see at least 50 kilometres all round.  Unfortunately, I had left the tripod in Amsterdam.  Oh well, there is always next year!

Alice Bel Colle, S Giovanni by night

The people in this picture may well have seen things as fuzzily as my camera!

Alice Bel Colle, Revellers