Asti - staying with cuginiSeptember 21, 2016 in Italy
Thats staying with "cousins". There, "now you learnt some Italian".
Pio and Idelma had no idea I was going to turn up on their door-step. My sister had given them call in the week prior to make sure they were home (they have a place in the mountains they spend a quite a bit of time at). They have quite a large house with a bell at the front gate. I rang the bell and when Pio appeared at the top of the steps I asked him if he knew who I was (we had only ever met once 10 years ago when Anne and I stayed a couple of nights). He looked a bit taken back (I'm dressed in my bike gear and haven't had a shave for a while) and I could see he was trying to make up his mind on what to do - two choices. 1. just turn around go back inside and pretend the bell had never rung (and maybe call the police - Pio and Idelma are at least in their late 70's), or 2. Ask who I was. Before he got any more concerned I let him know,. It took maybe 15 or 20 seconds to register, but then he just ran back inside telling Idelma the "Australian is here", leaving me still outside the gate. I'm still not sure they knew what I wsx doing there, just kept saying "motociclo" and shaking their heads.
These really are friendly and sprightly people. I stayed for 2 nights and in that time they wouldn't let me do a thing. No helping in the kitchen, no cleaning up the table, did my washing - the lot. Pio drove me around sightseeing both days including to Ottiglio, the town where my mum comes from. Asti city is beautiful and the country-side (and wines) are a match for anything you will find in Tuscany. There were still grapes on the vine waiting to be harvested. Pio, like all Italians, is an interesting driver. Apart from the car (Fiat Punto - what else) he also rides a scooter. I'm not sure my heart could stand the stress of watching him on the scooter in traffic.
Again, it's a pity I wasn't partaking in wine drinking as I was offered about 2 dozen times over the couse of 2 days. The last time they had any tea in the house was 10 years ago so we had to make a dash to the local shops. Pio is a retired restaurant owner so the meals were something special.
Pio is an avid hunter and in many parts of Europe you will see hunters walking around country roads with rifles and shotguns slung over their shoulders - including Pio. He hunts 2 or 3 times a week, depending on the season, with the speciality being wild bore. He took me to the area's "club house" where after a weekends shoot 10 or 25 huntets will gather to cook eat and drink. This place has its own cold room butchery and and commercial stoves etc.
It was a great stay for a couple days and without me really being part of it, it was organised that I go and stay with some other cousins, in Turin, for 3 nights. My journy was being planned for me but these people are relatives and too nice to refuse. Anyway I was getting used to being looked after hand and foot.
Next stop Turin.Read more