There is a small town just outside Camelli called Calosso.
Calosso conducts several wonderful annual events and this week we went there for the single best event that we have ever attended in our region!
It involved a 2 hour walk (10km) from Calosso town to the La Canova winery where we had dinner.
At 5pm we arrived at the Calosso Commune where we registered for the event and received a t-shirt and a glass of moscato. By 6pm a strong crowd of at least 100 had gathered and the group set off a few minutes later. The route was clever. It provided a relaxing walk which had just the right amount of ascents and descents to make it enjoyable.
We had a halfway stop at a winery where we were treated to fresh fruit, water and wine before we continued on.
The La Canova winery is on a spectacular ridge with views out over rolling hills of vines and hilltop towns. The final rise to this spot was the hardest of the walk but the fresh fruit, water and wine that awaited us there too was worth it.
While we waited for slower walkers to arrive, we appreciated the views, admired the winery's extensive rosemary hedge and chatted to the resident donkey and goat.
Eventually we were all invited into the cantine for dinner. The cantine at La Canova is extensive and beautifully combines history with modernity. Along the back wall there are huge stainless steel vats, on another rows of oak barrels and on others old historical farm pieces such as carts and signage. In the centre of the cantine long trestle tables were adorned in orange tablecloths. A band was playing upbeat jazzy music and we were instantly rejuvenated.
After finding our reserved spots at a centre table, we sat to watch the remaining 200 walkers and non-walkers arrive and settle.
Within a few minutes we were drinking wine and eating dinner, which consisted of carpionata multipla, ravioli al raga, formaggi, insalata e torta di nocciole con crema di cioccolato. The courses were brought to us on large platters or bowls and dished out by Pro Loco people who proved to be highly skilled! They used spoons and forks as tongs using one hand while they held the platter or bowl with the other hand. Food was plentiful and several helpings of each course could be had.
During dinner the band played Italian folk songs and the 200-strong crowd sang, some taking the microphone and getting involved like only Italians can. After dinner, the band played more rhythm music which we simply couldn't resist and before long we were up dancing too!
The atmosphere was...welcoming...inclusive...intimate...emotional...incredible... It so inspired Stu that he turned to me and said "Being part of this makes you wonder why there is any hate in the world"...
Above: Setting off on the walk
Above: Near the halfway point where we were given fresh fruit, water and wine
Anove: Nearing the end
Above: Two hot but happy walkers
Above: The walkers arrive at the winery
Above: Two happy diners