Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Quick trip to Piedmont

PIEDMONT...and back.

We're settling in here in Napoli but are missing riding bicycles. We're working on getting some MTB's to bounce around on the roughly paved streets around here after ditching our original plan of bringing our own road and mountain bikes down here.

It came down to more trouble and expense than it was worth, but we STILL needed some cycling gear: clothing, helmets, pedals, SMP saddles, etc. so we decided to take a train up to Milano, rent a cheap car there and visit Piedmont Cycling Resort to pull some stuff out of storage to bring back with us for cycling once the bikes show up.

While we DID have to get up early to catch this 6:44 AM train out of Napoli, at this speed we were in Milano's central train station just a bit after 11 AM! We had a rental car and were zooming along the A4 autostrada to Hotel Ariotto by midday.

Amazingly the skies were sparkling clear and blue and it wasn't any colder than it's been here in Napoli.

We pulled our stuff out of storage and later enjoyed a classic Piemontese dinner: carne cruda, peperoni in bagna cauda, risotto castelmagno, brasato al barolo and torta cioccolato along with our favorite Ruche vino.

After a good night's sleep we made a late departure and took the long way back to Milano. Somehow, despite not riding any bikes we'd burned off last night's dinner and this morning's breakfast. We had plenty of time before our return train so why not stop for a nice lunch?

Out here on the flat plains of the Po river, there are ducks, frogs and rice and Trattoria Guallina cooks 'em all!

Slowfood let us in on this place and as usual we were happy they did!

Duck (oca in Italiano) salami, duck mortadella and duck prosciutto started us off along with a great bottle of wine.

After all, we're now in Pavia so why not enjoy wines from there?

Uncle Larry wanted something with truffle so he ordered this massive raviolo with a butter/truffle sauce. Inside was a ricotta and spinach mixture and a duck egg yolk, cooked perfectly!

After this all we could handle was a selection of cheeses, some local and some from as far away as Basilicata before an espresso finished things off and we were back in the car to the center of Milano.

We were back "home" in the historic center of Napoli by 9 PM..time to pop over (just 20 steps away more-or-less) to Pizzeria Petrucci and get a pizza marinara to share for dinner. 

And people wonder why we moved to Italy?

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