Sunday, May 15, 2016


We are now in Sestri Levante at Grande Hotel dei Castelli on the hills overlooking Fairytale Bay and Bay of Silence on the Italian Riviera, and this is the view from our breakfast terrace. And this is our breakfast!

I had their millefeuille confection at dinner the evening before (one of the best I have tasted, and I know my millefeuilles), but resisted another for breakfast while Steve did not, and others shared one between them. I had forgotten that this Back Roads Tour is called an 'Indulgent' experience and they're not kidding. No wonder I am giving the Wine Bank visit at dusk today a miss - more wine and nibbles, and then MORE dinner????? Yikes!!!! Michael and I are struggling a little with all this indulgence, while Zenga and Steve are lapping it all up... typically with extra virgin olive oil.
So today we farewelled the Mediterranean coast and headed northwards into the Piedmont region. We had such spectacular weather today that we could see the Alps clearly, and all its peaks!
En route to Trente (also called Trentino) we stopped for mid-morning espresso in Millessimmo where there was an antiques car convention and we saw one of three remaining fortress bridges from medieval times (12th century) before driving to Barolo for lunch (panini and caramelised hazelnuts for dessert), then visiting a truffle farm where we met Lucca and his pooch, Willy, and went hunting for black and white truffles. Willy and his truffle-tuned snout found five examples of this gastronomic gold in the spectacular vineyard hills and secluded convents where we went hiking as a group.  At the conclusion, naturally, we partook of truffles, cheeses, bread and wine. Like I said before, haven't been hungry.... since about 20 minutes ago! I'm sorry I haven't got pictures here of Lucca and Willy, but I forgot my camera on the coach in all my excitement...
We are now staying overnight at Pollenzo, a UNESCO heritage town of 850 inhabitants, and the hotel feels like a convent. It's part of the Gastronomic University, the first of its kind in the world, and the centre of the global SLOW FOOD movement. We get to sleep in a little tomorrow as we depart only at 9.45am. We are all so excited, as this can be a marathon of packing, unpacking, showering, eating, and seeing and doing... so a little time up our sleeves is welcome. That said, I think we are spending the next two days in Lake Maggiore where I suspect we will be able to chill a bit, as we did for two days in our Tuscan villa.

1 comment:

  1. Looks fab!!
    And so do you. Glad you're having a ball.
    Love Hel xx