Woke to a bright clear day--so clear in fact that we could see snow on the mountains. We drove the short distance over to Albugnano, where the 12th century Abbey of Vezzolano is just outside the town. As we entered the parking area we wondered if the Abbey was open--there were no cars, and a backhoe and crew were busily digging up the walkway. We walked down, and found the doors of the church locked. Chiuso, (closed), the bane of Italy tourism.
Larry found a doorbell at a side gate, and after a few minutes a woman came to unlock the door. Just inside is a marvelous carving of scenes from the life of Mary, and underneath are portraits of her ancestors. In the cloister to the side of the church are remains of frescos, including a rather macabre one of visions of death. On the other side was an exhibit of other Romanesque churches in the area, which made us eager to find some of them. I love how small they generally are, enclosing a community and built with simple artistry.
Your choice of bathrooms in a little outbuilding outside. The ladies room had a seat, yay.
Back up the road to Albugnano, where we found tiny 11nth century St. Pietro just inside the town cemetery.
We continued up the road into the Centro, following the sign for a" vista panoramica." We parked in a small lot, and enjoyed the view down and across to where the Alps were clearly visible. We walked uphill, and found a pretty little park with benches and a few picnic tables, and the view was even better. Lovely spot, and with the help of my camera lens we could even see to the Superga above Torino.
We had arranged to meet Toni and some friends for lunch, so drove over to Murisengo. We had an excellent lunch at Cafe della Fontana (via Umberto I , 97) where Michela the owner served me some damn fine gnocchi, in a sauce of local gorgonzola. Nice people, good cooking. We had fun meeting Jenny and Kim, Australians who retired, sold everything, and have been traveling the world ever since.
After lunch, we walked with Toni through Villadeati, the village where another of her rentals is located. A Fascist-era wall slogan, and just below a memorial to the village men who were killed in a German reprisal were sobering reminders of the more recent past in Italy.
Drove some pretty roads in the area, and then headed back to Cocconato. Nice evening of a simple dinner, good wine, and a book.