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2023, Spring Northern Italy part 11


100+ Posts
April 11-25, 2023

Slept soundly at Mira Langhe this first night. Pulled the large curtains and watched the sun slowly burn off the famous Nebbia of Piemonte! We rarely miss a sunrise when traveling, it's never too early and never gets old for me.


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When my wife woke I tried to speak...it was then I realized my voice was going away, uh oh! Where did this head cold come from? into a hot shower!! Shortly thereafter walking down the hall for coffee I hear Anna greet someone with "Buondi"...ah Piemontese! Mira Langhe provides a great assortment for breakfast, even large omelette's are offered! As Anna offered me coffee she heard the frog in my throat, Uh Oh! She nicely recommended a couple of over the counter remedies. Fighting back my cough we finished breakfast then hopped in the car in search of a cure!

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Alba is only 10 - 15 minutes down the hill from Guarene, fine place to start the day. When we arrived we realized that they have a very popular Saturday Market! Alba has a population of around 30k, I think they were all at the Market. There was an enormous amount of fresh produce at the large covered pavilions on the edge of town. When we walked into the town center it was festive and the side streets simply elbow to elbow, table after table, display after display, if you enjoy large open air markets this is the place to be!

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Now where is that green Farmacia sign?? I do like their service, the pharmacists have always been incredibly helpful when we needed something. With my voice barely working I had some trouble describing my symptoms. I did use my translator app, but as people were in line with me the pressure was on to be clear and concise ;-) I was given MomenXsin which had a combo of ibuprofen/pseudophedrine and my favorite Benagol cough drops (Limone flavor!). These eventually did the trick!

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We casually walked around the market, they had pretty much everything you can think of. Can't remember buying anything other than a coffee, perhaps a snack at one of the many food tents? So much going on, it was sensory overload! I would like to revisit Alba to get a better feel and view of the town when not so busy!

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We had no scheduled plans this day, just wandering really. Chiara and Anna told us that nearby Cavour Grinzane would be a wonderful stop, so off to visit the Castello di Grinzane. There's a lot of history around this castle and small town starting about 1000 years ago with the Countess Adelaide di Susa. She married into the famous Savoy family.

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I believe the castle rotated around the Savoy heirs for centuries until the Cavour family moved in (They had close ties to the Savoy's). Most famous being Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour (birth 1810- death 1861). if you are Italian or an Italian history buff you certainly know this man. He would become mayor of Cavour at only 22 years old and hold the position for 17 years. He was such an influential politician that he would climb the ranks to be Prime Minister of Piemonte-Sardinia and eventually the first Prime Minister of the "Kingdom of Italy". He is credited with the unification of Italy alongside other notables such as the two Guiseppi's, Mazzini and Garibaldi. My limited knowledge has me believing that if any one of these men had not been in the right place at the right time the unification would have taken much much longer. Reading about this time in Italian history I'm reminded how intertwined the world really is, if interested research Garibaldi's days in New York and an offer from Abraham Lincoln to command a Union Army in the Civil War, history is cool!

Back to Camillo Benso, obviously a mover and shaker politically on the worlds stage, but he also influenced and modernized the production and economics of the wine industry in Piemonte! The self guided tour inside the castle is worth the admission, they even have a small cafe. Walking the castle grounds you are surrounded by well thought out displays educating you on what takes place in all 4 seasons to create a great, perhaps perfect wine! Great place to visit. Here are some pics...

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We needed to head back to Mira Langhe for our friends daughter's birthday party. We felt so honored to be included at this table. Everyone was so welcoming! Maurizio prepared wonderful authentic Piemontese food for the large group and of course served great wines. It was time for the birthday cake! I was stunned when presented with my very own birthday cake, apparently news of my recent birthday made the rounds! Maurizio and I share the same birth year, thus decorated with "1963 The Best"!! I didn't ask everyone for permission to post their pics, but here's the cake, me and Maurizio!

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We were invited outside for nightcaps...my voice was leaving me again as I was getting tired, but we were having so much fun and I figured maybe a little homemade Genepi could help?! To be continued...heading to a lake in the morning! Ciao!

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