I normally get lost, a lot. I tend to swap east and west, which is quite bad, for a geologist.
For this reason, and despite the wonderful books on natural navigation I’ve been reading these days, I normally carry a compass on my hikes in the hills, and a map of the city I’m visiting when i go on urban explorations.
And I know there are APPs out there to solve my orienteering problems, but I’m old fashioned like that, and I prefer a nicely folded map and a pocket compass.
So, let’s start with the map.
If you are in Nizza Monferrato, you can get a free city map at the Tourist Information Office.
The Office is in Piazza Garibaldi (you can’t miss it), under the red brick arches of the Foro Boario (Cattle Market).
They are open morning and afternoon through the week, and in the morning on Sundays. They also have a number of fliers and cards for hotels, restaurants, B&Bs etc.
The Nizza Monferrato map is updated to the year 2014 (fair enough) and quite clear. It folds nicely in a pocket-sized bundle, and is quite good to plan your explorations.
I know I’ll use it to plan mine.
It’s been produced by a company called Geoplan – and you can check it out online, download it, or get their mapping APP, in case you are interested.
As for the compass, I carry a cheap military-style lensatic compass – basically because it is the compass I have at hand: I don’t do azimuth/bearing readings or such stuff, and in general I stick to country roads and hiking paths, but when I am out in the fields it is good to have a reference.
Not just to know where I am going, but also to plan some of my hikes – because knowing that a certain old church or historical building faces in a certain direction, can give me a good idea about when to go there and take some good photos.
The basic idea, anyway, is to travel light, and to know where one’s going (even if, sometimes, getting lost is part of the fun).