Vive Visitors

The first set of visitors were Colin’s Sister and his Dad George. We were actually on time to pick them up from Malpensa airport, which was a good start to their trip, based on our past reputation. It was great to see they had been able to make the trip. Less than two hours later and we were back in Treiso, showing them around the house.

Liz settled down to relax on the back patio

It wasn’t long before George’s years of working in the dangerous coal mining industry, alerted him to the lack of a bannister on the stairs down to the basement. It prompted the first of a few reminders during the visit that we had to make this safer…..especially for potential visits by kids in the future!!

We had planned to cook the main meals on the days they were with us at the house, so we spent the days visiting the surrounding areas and the nearby town of Alba. The visit also helped us both to become more familiar with our local area. The first stop as with all visitors we had received to date was to Alba, the Duomo and its lively street cafe life.

Dad relaxing in the sun with Daughter & Daughter-in-Law

Lunch was back in Treiso at the Profumi de Vino restaurant run by our friend Memo and his girlfriend Sara. Good food great weather and a really enjoyable, relaxing time had by all. Then it was off to Cantina Rizzi for some wine tasting to get Dad and Liz up close and personal with the main industry of the region….wine production. The next venue was Neviglie, the village across the valley at the back of our home for a visit to the memorial remembering local people who had fought as partisans against the nazis and Italian fascists in the second World War.

The memorial in Neviglie

Back to the house and after a dusk viewing of the alps, and a glass of Moscato d’Asti on the upper balcony watching the sunset. After we settled down to dinner followed by a good old fashioned John Wayne Western in the basement den.

Sunday breakfast was followed by a car drive along the Strada Romantica. We had wanted to follow this scenic route for a while before they arrived, but as yet had not done it. Some of the route appeared difficult to follow and after a close call with another car on a blind bend we set off for a refreshment break at one of the main towns along the route called Strada Romantica.

One of our local information spots near the strada romantica

After some good cool drinks in the sun accompanied by a picnic we’d brought with us, we rounded it off with some excellent Italian Gelato and headed back to the house. After dinner we decided Linz should be introduced to the noble game of crib. Dad & Linz lost to Colin & Liz, but a good evening was had by all and Linz had added another game to her list.

The ladies planning our afternoon activities

The plan for Monday was to go on a trip up to Lago Maggiore, before taking Dad & Liz back to Malpensa airport for their journey home. The lake is in a fabulous location surrounded by the foothills of the Alps with the higher mountains rising up behind them.

Lake Maggiore....nice spot for some lunch together

Stresa is one of the main towns alongside the lake and we chose here to stop and enjoy some refreshments together. Then it was off to the airport in good time for them to catch their plane back to the UK.

The next visitors were our friends David & Laura. They arrived late Friday evening on 08/07/11. We had never thought of it, but it was Laura who asked us why the Italians had called an airport “Bad thought’ (Malpensa), we had to admit we didn’t know but would find out!!

The stay was a quick whistle stop so fairly early the next morning headed into Alba, for a walk through the main Saturday morning market, the Duomo, the main street of Vitorio Emanuele, a quick stop for liquid refreshment on a schorching hot day, then back to the house for lunch.


David & Laura sampling local wares....very refreshing

After lunch we set an ambitious agenda. First off to Barberesco for one of the recommended scenic walks.

Stunning views of the local vineyards greeted our walk in the country

After the walk down, along and back up one of the nearby valleys, past the renowned Marchesi di Gresy wine producing estate, it was off into the village itself for a wine tasting. After sampling 5 of the local wines we headed back to the house for a rest and to get ready for dinner.

Rest time in the shade, before completing our walk

It was becoming a bit of a habit to start a Saturday evening on the upper balcony with a glass of Moscato d’Asti (low alcohol sweet sparkling wine from a local producer), watching the sunset. So it seemed natural to keep this going with David & Laura.

Dinner had been booked at La Ciau di Tornavento, a very well known restaurant in our village. Nadia, Marco, Mauriglio, Annette and Luca all made us very welcome as usual, and ensured David & Laura remembered their first meal at the restaurant.  As well as arranging a ‘sampling’ menu, Nadia instructed Luca to provide the best wines for each of the varied courses. Including the prosecco at the start of the meal, we were subjected to 7 different types of wine, with the traditional shot of grappa to complete the night. Good job we were walking!! It was a fabulous night all round.

We love spending time with friends.....good company

Recalling the day now makes us all sound like we may have a drink problem, but the measures were small and the wines taken with food over a very civilised 4 hour meal duration. So not really a problem, especially as we could all have a nice lie in the next morning!!

Next morning we all chilled in the sunshine, before we prepared a barbecue meal on the patio prior to starting the journey back to the airport. As we had done with Dad & Liz, we decided to go to the airport via Lago Maggiore. This time we opted to visit the lakeside town of Arona, for a walk and some gelato.

Lake Maggiore was how about some ice cream?

All too quickly it was time to take them to catch their plane. We really enjoyed hosting our family and friends over two weekends, and hoped they had enjoyed their time as well. We looked forward to more of the same in the future. First though it was back to the house to finish packing for our mammoth 5 month trip to the Pacific and the Rugby World Cup

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