General News

4. Arrived in Alban

Morning has broken at Lake Como and we have wandered down for breakfast. Paula is looking after us and she is just lovely. She has been our source of information while here having spent nearly 40 years in the area.


Breakfast is a simple affair, but eggs that are so yellow, tomatoes that are so red, house baked heavy bread, coffee so good that I leave out the pinch of sugar I normally put in and a home made sweet custard pie to finish on. Just so beautiful both the place and the food.

Breakfast guests include wasps, bees and swans all of whom seem to respect the peace of the place. Paula sets a place for the bees and the wasps where its quieter hoping they will dine alone….

After brekky we jumped in the car to drive from Italy, through a finger of Switzerland and back into Italy. As soon as we got in the car the rain started. It lasted for hours as we drove. Just bucketing. Around the Lake areas the land is so steep that the rain quickly forms fast running streams running down the slopes. Luckily the Fiat is a diesel so it just ploughed through all the water. The Switz border is in a forest area just before a long tunnel through a mountain. I stopped and wound down the window to talk to the border security and show passports, get stamped, do vehicle checks etc. The guard just looked surprised when I spoke to him and waved me through. As we left Switzerland I think the border was in the center of a shopping district!!!!

Can you just pop over to Switzerland and get me some cheese dear?

Anyhow, all rough driving in pouring rain. Stopped at one point for a cute dancing waters display and a pizza and an espresso.


Stopped at Alba for bread, cheese, tomato, avocado, wine and salumi. The salumi shop closes in the middle of the day and re opens at 4pm. We met the nicest guy and had a great chat about his family members in Australia and the meat, wine and cheese he sold despite neither of us speaking the others language. Similarly, the lady selling fruit and veg next door.


With the heavy rain fading we arrive at 430pm at the hazelnut farm come vineyard which is home for the next 4 days.



Winding down after the drive….

A vespailed peach tree

Hazelnuts nearly ready and yummy plums the size of grapes

This place is so beautiful. Corn, chickens, cherries, pomegranate, peaches, plums, tomotoes, pumpkins, egg plants, pumpkins, zucchini, sunflowers and every few moments I find something new. The vineyard produces Nebbiolo and Barbera and the winemaker here is young and smart. The 8 euro wines he is producing with a jam jar label on them are very good. Such an idyllyic place. The family owned it as a weekender but decided to do it up and make it accomodation. A huge job, but what a result!

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