If you read my blog “Travel Tips – Make a Local Friend”, you know that I met a lady from Italy (Cristina). Her husband was working on the Naval Academy for more than a month and she knew no one. We met online and spent many great days together, becoming good friends.
She invited me to come to her town in the Piemonte region and so we did! My husband and I flew into Torino, Italy (Turin) and Cristina picked us up. She actually lives in a tiny village called Diano d’Alba. The next 3 weeks were like a movie. My husband and I stayed in her 300-year old family wine-making house, overlooking the vineyards of Nebbiolo wines. We met the parents and brothers, went to parties, learned how to make gnocchi and tiramisu. The dad had a salumeria (meat store) and everyday we had fresh prosciutto. Oh my! They offered us the master bedroom – where we threw open the shutters to amazing views of the countryside.
Cristina is a wine writer so she gave us tours of all the local vineyards – Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, etc. She even took us to a private vintage party with a famous chef. We brought home lots of good wine that trip. (Another good reason to pack light.)
It really is the greatest trip we have ever had (and I have been on many). It cost us very little because we stayed with friends, we mostly ate at home with them, we borrowed their car, and had priceless experiences we never would have had being in a hotel.
We stay in touch on Facebook and Skype. I really miss them and hope to go back soon with Ellie.
Grazie 🙂 Cristina y Lorenzo!