Day Tripping from Lago d’Orta

Lago d’Orta

We have been back in Monforte now for more than a week and have settled into the routine – T at school; Jo and I have started Italian classes (more on that later); coffee in the piazza, and excursions to explore new towns.

It is really ‘routine’ in the best possible sense, in that we are beginning to settle into living the Italian village life – the vegetable stallholder at the Monday market now recognises us and throws in a bunch of parsley, the lady at the Pasticceria is keeping close tabs on the progress of T’s Italian and our fantastic neighbours have just dropped over some freshly poached pears for us to try!

Omegna, Lago d’Orta

However, if I don’t complete the post from Lago d’Orta, knowing how way leads onto way, I doubt I shall come back (paraphrasing my favourite poet, Robert Frost). As you may have gathered, we thought Lago d’Orta and the surrounding areas were superb and there were many standout day trip destinations.

But, in the interests of time and space, we thought we would give a whistlestop pictorial tour of our top three spots for those of you that might venture to these parts one day (or those that would like a vicarious visit). Continue reading


A Trip to the Italian Lakes

Lago d’Orta

We have just returned from a four day trip to Italy’s northern lakes. We will pen a short post or two about some of the side trips over the course of this week but as a quick intro…

Jo and I had been to Lago di Como previously but Lago d’Orta was recommended by a few people as being worth a visit. Continue reading

Do Donkeys Race…?

Palio degli Asini, Alba 2011

On the first Sunday in October is the big event in Alba’s calendar. A medieval festival culminating in the Palio degli Asini, kicks off Alba’s month-long truffle festival.

The Palio is raced in the piazza where the weekly market is held and involves the various ‘borgo’ (suburb or neighbourhood) of Alba racing donkeys around a short, oval course.

The history of the race stems from the parochial (and historic) rivalry between Alba and Asti. Apparently the two towns have fought since the beginning of time and although legend has become interwoven with fact, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

However, as Counting to Dieci has never let the facts get in the way of a good story, we are running with the most fun version of the legend… Continue reading