25 October 2009

The Big Day Out

Yesterday we forced ourselves to take a day off...

The sun was shining for the first time in 3 days so we decided to wander into town and investigate all the little shops.

Always considering Siesta, we headed off at 10am, which meant that we would get 2.5 hours of viewing in before they all closed on us.

First we found a little salumeria just around the corner from the end of our strada, where we looked at dozens of fat salami hanging on hooks from the ceiling.

Then we found a little Carni spesa (meat shop = butcher) a little further along the street. I went in to talk to the older couple behind the counter. Thankfully there were no other clienti in the shop so I was willing to share my Italian with them. I told them I had been living here for 3 weeks and I was from Australia; they told me all their relatives were living in Perth! They gave me a quick lesson on present and past tense related to eating marrone (chestnuts) which was really valuable and I told them that I would return to buy meat and cheese often. Stuart stayed outside, worried that they might try to communicate with him too..

Then we wandered into and out of several other small alimentari (grocery) shops. I'm not sure how they make money because there are heaps of them (4-5 between our place and the Canelli train station!) and each of them is only the size of a single garage!

Then we dropped into church (Sacred Heart) to see what times Mass is on Sundays before we continued into town, buying a cannoli at a pane shop and a coffee at a pasticceria.

The tourist bureau told us that the Tartufi festival on 8th Nov is held in Gancia's (Canelli's main wine maker's) premises and they have truffle dog displays and run buses to take people out to typical truffle areas to hunt...sounds like fun! And I'm sure Gancia will put on a few free drinks...hopefully!

This got us thinking about food and wine so we found it easy to talk ourselves into eating out for lunch. This was our first meal out since we arrived 3.5 weeks ago so we made it a good one and went to the Enoteca, an underground cellar near the train station. There are several Enotecas in the area and these restaurants showcase the local wines on behalf of the growers so the alcohol is really cheap. We had a lovely 2 hour stay there, during which we had primi, secondi and dolce courses (as well as several 'gifts' from the chef) and vino rosso and moscato!

We then walked home, through our little dark valley and up to our little elevated spot where the sun always shines...

A truly beautiful day that gave real purpose to what we're doing here...

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