A Walk in Nizza

Exploring history, food, and culture between the Belbo river and the vineyard hills of Monferrato

November 11, 2016
by Dave

Bicycle show in Nizza Monferrato

The San Carlo Fair is the major “off season” event in Nizza Monferrato – and in recent years, cultural or historical events have been proposed side-by-side with the traditional animals and tools market and vicarious celebrations.
This year in particular, the Foro Boario meeting hall hosted a small exhibition of bicycles – once both a working tool and a sports and leisure activity.
We took advantage of a rainy lunch-break to go and catch a few shots without the interference of other visitors.

Tourist Tip: if you are planning a visit to an exhibition, consider going there at lunch hours – most of the other visitors will be somewhere eating, and you’ll have the exhibition all to yourself.

October 30, 2016
by Dave

Looking for the Templar Knights in Southern Piedmont

We spent a beautiful Sunday exploring the mysteries of the Templar knights in Southern Piedmont, thanks to a very nice tour offered by Alto Monferrato Gusto & Tour – a purveyor of fine typical local foods that also designs and delivers quirky, unique and flexible tours of the hidden beauties of the Piedmontese countryside.
We spent the morning in wonderful Saliceto, once the seat of a Templar house and now a quiet and quaint village on the Appennine, in the Cuneo province. A perfect pit-stop for hiking and mushroom-hunting.
We explored medieval and renaissance churches, and visited the castle.
And saw lots of cats.
A great experience (and cheap!), that we will certainly repeat in the future (there’s more tours being planned).
Here are just some of the photos of our day (click on pictures to enlarge).



October 28, 2016
by Dave

Soft Trekking project in Monferrato needs help

Mgftourism is an association that is trying to promote responsible, eco-friendly tourism in the Monferrato wine country of Italy (where I live), by organizing soft trekking and photo tours. And they need help!


They are participating in a campaign called “Io Agisco” promoted by the local administration – they get likes, and based on the likes rating they’ll get support from the local authorities.
So, if you like trekking, photo tourism etc., please consider the idea of signing up as fans and give them a like. There’s only a few days left.
Thank you.


October 19, 2016
by Dave

Basic Apps for the Traveller

guest-post-iconWe have been quiet for a while, and today we restart our transmissions with a special guest post.

I’m an old-fashioned traveller. I usually pack a good tour guide, a notebook and a novel set in the place I’m visiting. But these are the days of the smartphone, and as that guy said, there’s an app for everything.

So I asked my friend Alessandro Girola, writer, blogger, traveller and the man behind Quantum Marketing, to give me the list of the apps that he carries on his smartphone when he’s on the road. And he was so kind he said yes.
So, here’s a short list of app for your travels.

And because there’s an awful lot of apps out there, and we couldn’t list al, please suggest your faves in the comments.
Cheers! Continue Reading →

A stroll around the walls of Incisa Scapaccino

September 22, 2016 by Dave | 8 Comments

Incisa Scapaccino is a small village about five kms out of Nizza Monferrato, in the Belbo Valley, Piedmont, Northern Italy. A small industrial and agricultural center, Incisa hides one of the most fascinating and cozy Medieval centers in the area: Borgo Villa, the town’s historical center, is an undiscovered gem.

This morning, despite the overcast day, we took a stroll around the walls of Borgo Villa.
Here are some of the shots we took.
Click on the images to see a larger version.

This gallery contains 16 photos

September 20, 2016
by Dave

Not your usual coffee: Bavareisa, Bicerin and Marocchino

Everybody knows Italy is the place to be if you like coffee. Italian tradition offers dozens of different variations on the common espresso. In Piedmont, three are typical – and here’s some information, and a few recipes.
Of the three, the most famous is called bicerin (sometimes written Bicerìn), and is closely connected with the other two.

jarmoluk / Pixabay

The Bicerin (pronounced [bitʃeˈriŋ] in Piedmontese dialect, literally “small glass”) is a historical hot drink served in Piedmontese bars and cafés.
The drink was first mentioned in Torino e i Torinesi, a book by Alberto Viriglio, published in 1898. In 2001, the drink was recognised as traditional Piedmontese drink, its new status published in the official literatuire of the regional council. Continue Reading →

September 13, 2016
by Dave

Hiking, first steps and common sense (a Guest Post)

While I like walking in the hills and enjoy the peace and tranquillity, I cannot call myself an expert, or a veteran of hiking.
guest-post-iconFor this reason, when I decided I’d like to do a basic introduction to one of the best ways to enjoy the countryside, I asked my friend Gianluca Santini for a guest post. Gianluca is an old friend, and he writes one of the best Italian blogs about hiking and walking in nature, Un Passo alla Volta, and its title, One Step at a Time nicely illustrates Gianluca’s attitude towards hiking. And you should check it out, using a translating service if necessary: it features a wealth of information and some wonderful itineraries in beautiful Sardinia (and other places too!)
Gianluca’s been so kind, he wrote a nice piece intended for anyone that was ever interested in hiking but maybe got a little wary, as it might seem much more complicated and daunting and expensive than it seems.
But it’s not, and here’s Gianluca’s post.
Enjoy! Continue Reading →

September 8, 2016
by Dave

Buy great travel books for cheap and help the National Parks Service

Here is just a quick heads-up for the opportunity to both bring home a lot of great books, and to help the National Parks Service on its 100th Anniversary.

The fine folks of Humble Bundle have teamed up with Lonely Planet to offer up to 17 travel books and guides for a tiny tiny offer.
For one buck, you get five great titles – and then you can upgrade.


Follow this link, and check out this offer.
There are still a few days before it closes.

September 6, 2016
by Dave

Italy in the Fall: practical advice

In the first part of this post, we’ve seen a few good reasons to visit the Italian countryside in the fall. And as some have pointed out in the comments, a long permanence in the countryside – in any season – might not be the ideal choice for everybody.
And of course it’s all right: some of us are urban animals, and love to visit strange new cities, and do a lot of street photography, or go shopping, or hit the night spots.
Some of us are not.
The Italian countryside in the fall is ideal for long walks, for enjoying the contact with Nature, and for hearty dinners in dimly-lit local taverns.

stevepb / Pixabay

stevepb / Pixabay

So, let’s check some practical issues. Continue Reading →