Christmas and New Year 2006/7

Developments in the house

There had been some improvements in the house.  First of all, the builders had cleared the chimney

The flames work well even when you leave them alone

The builders had also finished the garage, here from the back

And here is the brand new electric door

And here is the swimming pool in its winter suit


We had two lunches in Asti, both notable for the quality of the Piedmontese antipasti.  Here are the New Year group on the way from the station to MHasta

As a bonus, we finally got to visit the beautiful baptistry in the San Pietro complex, which has been in ristauro almost as long as our house.

The walls are adorned with tombstones of notable clerics, such as Francesco Faschio

There was also a 12th Century tombstone

Aqui Terme

We also went to Acqui to see the remains of the Roman aquaduct (I was driving, so no chance of a photo, but you can find one here)

There are still hot springs

and a cathedral dedicated to St Gui.

The first builder was perhaps the Guy in question

as the inscription names Wido as the builder.  The cathedral is lamentably baroque, but contains both a decent mediaeval crypt

And a rather beautiful 15th Century Madonna of Monserrat


We revisited Alba to relive one of Anne and Roger's memorable lunches, and to see the villages of La Morra and Barolo.

Amusingly, we (inevitably) found a market on this Christmas Eve sunday, where I bought three bottles of Dolcetto from a producer who turns out to be a neighbour.

Here we are at Lamorra, where it was getting dark, and we couldn't find a degustatione open

Looking across to Grinzano

Although it was really too dark for photos by the time we got to Barolo, at least we found someone to sell us a dozen of Barbera, as well as a couple of bottles of the expensive stuff.


Egyptian Museum

We took the New Year team to Turin to see the Egytpology museum.  The statues are still staggering the second time around

Maybe this one inside was only 12 feet tall?

Only six feet tall, but much wider

Lastly, pure basalt, and a good 8 feet tall

On a smaller scale, here was a rather decent box in the section on the development of writing and painting


Turin, of course, has more to see than just the Egyptians to celebrate.  Some of the palaces could have given the architects of Keble the idea of "doing" a style in brick.  Here si the Palazzo Carignano, with Guarini showing his imagination in red brick.

Victorio Emmanuele II was born in this building, which at first made us think it could be a hospital.  More classically here is the Palazzo Reale

And the Piazza Castello as dusk fell.

Turin rather easily won the Christmas Decoration stakes


Here is the panorama we took on the way to Acqui

Yes, those really are the Alps you can see in the distance.  Here they are (in zoom) from the church terrace in Bruno



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