CHAPTER NINETEEN – OUR FINAL DAY IN ORTA SAN GIULIO … ARRIVEDERCI ITALY

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino: Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER NINETEEN – OUR FINAL DAY IN ORTA SAN GIULIO … ARRIVEDERCI ITALY DAYS EIGHTEEN, NINETEEN & TWENTY –  Market Day, Cloak On The Water, Island Of Silence, Going For A Stroll, Mary Gets Framed, I Think This Way Is Fastest, Another Trip To Venus, Channeling My Inner Anthony Bourdain, Kim Goes Down For The Count, A Risotto For The Ages, On To Stresa, Stormy Weather, Keep On Trucking, We Have Us A Convoy, Ooh It’s A Holiday (Inn), Beware Of The Giant Mosquitoes, Near Head-On, London Happy Hour, Near Head Off & Epilogue Gray skies should have alerted me about what to do on our … Read more…

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN – A SLICE OF HEAVEN IN ORTA SAN GIULIO

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino: Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER EIGHTEEN – A SLICE OF HEAVEN IN ORTA SAN GIULIO DAY SEVENTEEN – Where’s The Palace?, Venaria Disease, Quite A Hall, Going To The Chapel, Le Notre Gardens, What A View, Tracy Wipes Out, Chivalry Is Officially Dead, Ascending The Summit, Calling It A Day, Corkscrewed, Wine Shop To The Rescue, Going To A Garden Party and I Might Have Screwed Up … Again! One last breakfast with Federica, and we were on our way.  Il Gioiellino B&B became just the latest in a series of great lodging on this trip.  Federica was a terrific host, our room featured a comfortable bed and a good … Read more…

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN –  SURPRISE AT THE BASILICA

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino: Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER SEVENTEEN –  SURPRISE AT THE BASILICA DAY SIXTEEN – Get Me To The Tram On Time, Missed It By That Much, Going Superga-ga, “Are You OK Sir?”, Social Climber, Among The Tombs, Unexpected Private Tour, Somber Reminder, Directionally Challenged, Economically Challenged, You Can Never Have Enough Shrouds, Taking Sanctuary, The Magic Taxi and Our Final Fantastic Turin Dinner Sometimes the tour leader screws up.  Today would be one of those days, although the screw-up eventually led to an unexpected surprise.   Clean living, I guess. Once again, we met for breakfast in the lovely Il Gioiellino dining room.  Our plan for the day was to … Read more…

CHAPTER SIXTEEN – TOURING TURIN

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino: Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER SIXTEEN – TOURING TURIN DAY FIFTEEN – Breakfast With Venetians, Making It Reale, Fire In The Chapel, Horsing Around, Holy Shroud Batman, At The Movies, I Can Hear Music, Out Of Service, I Want My Mummy, I Can Hear Music (Part Due), Cab Shut Out, Slow Down Tom, My Dinner Of “Wows” and You Can’t Hold a Candle To This Decanting Method We gathered one floor down around 8 a.m.  Entering the dining room we were met with an array of breads, pastries and yogurt to help us get through our upcoming busy day.   A couple visiting from Venice joined us, and we had a … Read more…

CHAPTER FIFTEEN – TO EVERYTHING TURIN, TURIN, TURIN

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino:  Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER FIFTEEN – TO EVERYTHING TURIN, TURIN, TURIN DAY FOURTEEN:  Open This Palace!, Driving My Passengers Crazy, Not Your Average Hunting Lodge,  Going Stag, Are You Sure I Can Fit In Here, Terrific Turin, Lots Of Spokes People, Playing The Palace, Were You In Law & Order? and The Classy Maître D Our wonderful stay at Rocche Costamagna was coming to a close, but  not before a delicious last breakfast of fresh pastries, croissants, fruit, hardboiled eggs and a lot more.  It’s hard to believe we could eat as much as we did.  We bid arrivederci to Greg and Gloria as they were headed to Milan and then … Read more…

CHAPTER FOURTEEN – MAI TAI TOM’S INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino: Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER FOURTEEN – MAI TAI TOM’S INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR BOVIO – LA MORRA, ITALY Long before we left for Italy and knowing we would be there at the beginning of White Truffle Season, I decided we should end our four days dining at a very special restaurant.  Of course, never having been to Piemonte, what should that restaurant be?  After researching site upon site, I came to the conclusion there was only one choice … Bovio in La Morra.  To make sure we secured reservations, I made reservations seven months in advance.  Yes, you read that that correctly … seven months!  Some things you … Read more…

CHAPTER THIRTEEN – THE UPS AND DOWNS AND UPS OF PIEMONTE

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino: Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER THIRTEEN – THE UPS AND DOWNS AND UPS OF PIEMONTE DAY THIRTEEN – Up Up Up, Would You Like To See My Elevator?, I’m Not Going Back Up, A Slight Parking Error, “Master Of The Manta”, Exploring Fossano, Is There Anything To See Here?, This Will be Cool When It’s Finished, International Restaurant Of The Year, 40 Red Eggs and A Very Generous Umbrella Policy It was simply another gorgeous day in Piemonte paradise. Greg and Gloria slept in to get ready for their day of wine tasting. Meanwhile, Hope, Crosby and the two Lamours were on the Road to Saluzzo, located about 40 minutes … Read more…

CHAPTER TWELVE – THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SMELL OF VINO

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino: Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER TWELVE – THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SMELL OF VINO DAY TWELVE – Roll Out The Barolo, Right Out Of Disney, Snow In Piemonte, A Hill Of A Climb, This Might Have Been A Mistake, 18-Wheeler Dead Ahead, It’s A Movie Set, Guided Tours Only, No Bra, A Poplar Spot and That’s Using Your Brain The fog in the valley cleared early, and after a hearty breakfast at Rocche Costamagna, the caravan was ready to explore more picturesque Piemonte towns.  I had planned out our route before we left.     . First stop … Barolo, the capital of “The King of Wines.”  This village … Read more…

CHAPTER ELEVEN: DOGGING IT WHILE TRACKING TRUFFLES

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino: Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER ELEVEN: DOGGING IT WHILE TRACKING TRUFFLES DAY ELEVEN – Get Me To The Station On Time, Going To The Dogs, Don’t Tell Where We Are, The “Ronaldo Of Truffle Dogs,” Wandering The “Capital Of White Truffles”, Crushed In Barbaresco, Praying For A Wine Choice, One View Better Than The Next, Stamp My UNESCO Card Again, Terrace Time Picnic, Truffle Time & Dinner Amongst The Boxes Another gorgeous day in paradise … aka La Morra.  After gazing out at a beautiful sunrise, we gathered for a feast in the Rocche Costamagna breakfast room.  Soon we would be out in the wild for a little hunting expedition. … Read more…

CHAPTER TEN – FEELING AT HOME IN THE VINEYARDS OF PIEMONTE

We Still Didn’t Drink All The Vino: Mai Tai Tom’s 2018 Return To Italy CHAPTER TEN – FEELING AT HOME IN THE VINEYARDS OF PIEMONTE DAY TEN –  Death Of A Rental Car (2018 Edition), Maybe We Shouldn’t Have Left Them Alone In The Garage, Mary & Tracy’s Wild Ride, Can’t Get Enough Of That Sage, Exploring Neive, Introducing Greg & Gloria, A View To Kill For, Wine Time, Mary Gets The Boot, My Love Affair With White Truffles and Now Greg Gets The Boot We awoke early on this Tuesday morning filled with trepidation.  For the first time since 2005, the four of us would rent a car in Italy.  To quickly recap that rental nightmare, upon picking up … Read more…