We had less than 10 days to get ready for Christine's summer tax exile, and we also had guests to entertain. A busy time in prospect for us all!
Our first set of visitors were Dennis and Antonia. It was Antonia's first visit to this part of Piemonte, so we started with all the usual places.
Here are Dennis and Antonia standing in front of the Bollente, recently restored
And here are the remains of the aqueduct which used to being drinking water to the Roman city.
The weather doesn't look very good, but actually, it was just winding itself up to burn off the morning haze. You can get an idea of how strong the sun was from the shadows in this shot of them sitting by the pool.
And here they are in front of the modern (no doubt fascist era) fountain; you can see the sky beginning to clear. As I write, forecastfox tells me the temperature in Bruno at 7am is 20 degrees.
Here are Dennis and his mother in front of the Addolorata
Next to arrive were Serge and Isabelle. Because of their midday arrival at Linate, we decided to have a picnic beside Lake Maggiore.
Here is the panorama to the South East
Next day we took the train to Asti, for lunch at MHasta. As
ever, fantastic, the highligt for me being the tagliatelle with
chestnuts and sage. So simple, but so delicious! We started our visit
with S Pietro.
This part of the complex dates from the 12th Century. I had always wondered why the street next to the complex was named for the knights of Malta. It turns out the S Pietro was a Priory of the knights of St John. Here is a detail of the strange bas-relief over the door. Despite a good deal of sharpening, I cannot make out what it symbolises.
Here are Christine and Isabelle standing in front of an ornate window whose "carvings" are actually made of brick:
We were lucky enough to find S Secondo open. Here is the 18th
And here is a detail of the carvings.
This polyptych of the Adoration of the Magi is by Gandolfino
da Roreto (15th to 16th Century).
After lunch we visited the crypt of S Anastasia, which is now Asti's archaeological museum. This is the actual crypt:
And here is a collection of the (mainly Roman) capitals recovered during work in the town:
Also in the museum was this old altar front
We visited Fenestrelle, the frontier fortress which claims to be the biggest in Europe. It guarded the passage through the Val Chisone, one of the approaches to Turin. This is the valley, seen from about one-third of the way up the 2.3 kilometre wall.
The officers' mess housed several prisoners taken by Napoleon in his conquest of Italy.