Arrivederci! The curtain falls on eight months in Piemonte


serralunga sunrise smSo what began with a farce: ‘Don Pasquale’ at Turin’s La Regio…culminated, tragically so with a mesmerizing performance of ‘La Traviata’ on late Sunday afternoon.
And no, the interim wasn’t all ice-cream & chocolates but a privileged insight into another world; a world free of traffic lights, bungalows and political correctness but full of charm, colour and one or two clowns.
I leave the final words to Davide Rosso in his Cerretta vineyard at the time of the 2009 Nebbiolo harvest (see video), and to Alessandro Monchiero of Bra’s Antica Caffe Boglione (, whose words underpin a ‘must visit’ eatery with a ‘fast’ friendly service, great ingredients (be they food, wine or beer) and a ‘slow food’ approach to life…

‘Smile using all five senses.
That which you do smiling you do better.
That which you do together is tastier.
Good company is not necessarily the best.
Cultivate friends, cultivate passion, cultivate ideas.
Don’t be afraid of feeling empty, of solitude, of silence.
Time is not money. It’s worth more than that. Time is to be enjoyed for what it brings, not filled up for the sake of it.
Celebrate beauty. Create beauty. Defend beauty.
Beauty is never too much & it’s contagious.
Beauty is never sweet and often it’s naughty.
Doubt all, except that which pleases you but not does not satisfy you.
Believe in all, but not in haste.
Give yourself time to be convinced.
Curiosity is a mild rush that distills the finest thoughts.
Everyone has something to teach you, but not everybody is worth listening to.
Stop occasionally to think what might be, to explore different avenues.
What you wish for or not, that which might happen, more often or not…happens’

(Caffe Boglione, via Cavour 12, Bra; lunedi 14 June 2009)
And so concludes Act One of my Italian adventure.
serralunga castle chiesa smAct Two commences in January 2010 as I return to Serralunga d’Alba (left) for another two years at least, along with my family. Why? To extend my roots ever deeper into Italy’s pancia (belly) in the quest for understanding & yet more fine wines.


(P.s. those interested in attending a four-night Barbaresco, Barolo and Opera tour of Piemonte in May 2010 should tune into for more info over the next couple of weeks!)