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Report 1104: Perfect Piemonte and Bella Bologna: A Succulent Journey for the Senses and Soul

By Palma from California, Fall 2006

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Page 4 of 18: Acqui Terme, and Dinner at Da Fausto

photo by server

Dinner at "Da Fausto"

I woke up at 6 and made my way to the espresso pot ready for me in our room to watch the sun rise. By 6:30, I was outside watching the early morning light, and walking around taking photos. The morning misty fog dissolved on the hills, replaced by the bright sun rising above the horizon. I read and journalized under the fig tree, drank coffee, and went back to the room to shower before breakfast.

What an amazing first breakfast we had! There was freshly squeezed orange juice; a platter of fresh peaches, three kinds of berries, figs and currants; granola and yogurt; goat cheese, salami, fresh tomatoes and basil. There were two heart-shaped loaves of freshly baked bread, one sweet with fruit on top, butter, and homemade preserves. We were bursting, when Diana offered omelttes, and we convinced her to save them for another morning.

We were just about ready to head into Acqui for market day, when Diana’s sweet neighbor, Franco, came up the driveway in his tractor with a surprise. Her new supply of clay had been dropped off at the bottom of the hill. Franco brought the heavy load up to the door or her studio, to save her from having to load and unload it into the car in several trips. What a sweetie.

Brad and I walked through both the “old market” and the “new market” in different parts of Acqui. I bought a great copper pizza pan, and some cute dishtowels. We parked in the center of town, and explored Acqui’s main shopping street. It is quite a charming, and sophisticated town. We stopped in a caffe for a cold drink, and then returned to a few more shops. I bought a beautiful, glitzy black top, from “Oggi”, a lovely clothing store. We wandered around the two main piazzas, had some coffee, and returned to our room for another lovely 2-hour nap. We dressed for dinner, shared a bottle of wine on the terrace, and left for dinner at “Da Fausto”, a Baur favorite.

Da Fausto was just on the other side of Acqui Terme, a charming stone building with brick interior walls and ceiling. Part of the décor had contemporary splatter painted walls, and splatter painted seat cushions, a tasteful mix of old and new. Fausto was a gracious and friendly host, and we were given VIP treatment as friends of the Baurs. We started with an assortment of breads and grissini, fried dough and Piemontese cured meat called carne cruda. It is prosciutto-like tenderloin in the center surrounded by salami.

Our primi were agnolotti with butter and sage for me, and eggplant ravioli with tomatoes for Brad. Next came four perfectly cooked rib lamb chops with sautéed porcini for me, and a grilled steak with garlic and potatoes for Brad. I drank half a liter of Gavi, and Brad had half a liter of the house red wine. Dessert was a perfect semifreddo with chocolate for Brad, without for me, and coffee. Fausto returned to our table with complementary grappa for Brad. After photos and more chatting, he brought us a bottle of wine to deliver to Diana and Micha. As we were walking out the front door, Fausto, came back and asked if we would like to see his wine cellar? We were honored, and he was very proud of his collection. This delightful evening and terrific food was 70 Euro.

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