Category Archives: Leisure

Gran Piemonte 2011

This 203 km cycle race began in Piasco and finished in Novi Ligure and touched the provinces of Asti, Alessandria and Cuneo. It also actually went past my house!!

The country lane in which I lived had been closed off for a couple of hours to allow the riders to past through the area. Although not as glamorous and the Giro d’Italia, there was still a great party atmosphere with all the support vehicles and police passing through before the riders appeared.

The riders all seemed pretty relaxed and were talking to each other non stop !! I’m sure it got more serious towards the end though. Eventually it was Daniel Moreno who was the best of the group that sprinted at the end with Mark Cavendish (UK) dropping out earlier on.

It truly was a loverly experience to brighten up the working day.

Sorry about the quality of the photo, it was taken with my Iphone, but it gives you a feel for what was going on.

The riders go past my house

Live music in Piemonte

For those of you who enjoy live music, Italy plays host to many summer music festivals that attract some of the best groups in the world.

I’m pleased to say that Piemonte is no exception. On July 14th the legendary Jethro Tull played an open air gig in Asti, the line up consisted of many of it’s original members and the tour continues throughout Italy during July.

Here in Piemonte we are lucky to have an excellent live music venue called Le Baladin Pub in Piozzo. I’ve seen many excellent bands here, some from the USA like Chris Cain and some from the UK like the excellent Matt Schofield. The gigs are all free, you just need to book a table to eat in advance and enjoy the food and music. It always amazes me the caliber of artists they are able to attract.

I’ve just returned from the Genova Guitar Festival where I had the pleasure of seeing the excellent Robben Ford. There’s something special about watching live music in Italy during the summer, maybe it’s the weather, the wine.. who knows. It’s just wonderful.

The Alba Jazz Festival 2011

The fantastic annual Alba Jazz festival is about to place and is being held between 9-12th of June. It will feature some of Italy’s finest jazz musicians and take place in some of the most beautiful places Alba has to offer.

The event starts on 9th June and features Rossario Bonaccorso and takes place in Piazza Savona at 21.00.

The 10th June sees the Felice Reggio trio, Dado Moroni and Bert Joris playing again at Piazza Savona starting at 19.30.

The 11th June sees the P-Funking Band starting at 18.00 in the historic centre of Alba and finally on 12th June we have “Aperitvo in Jazz” at 11.00 am in the historic centre of Alba followed by Gegè Munari and Flavio Boltro at 21.00 in Piazza Pertinace.

Even if jazz is not your thing it’s worth going as the atmosphere is great, plenty of people, beautiful weather and great wine. What a combination!

Giro d’Italia 2011 Stage 2 Alba

One of the joys of living in the Langhe region of Piemonte is the wonderful cycling opportunities available. The roads generally speaking are in great shape and the rolling hills and vineyards are just a joy to see. So it was quite fitting that Alba was host to the second stage of the Giro d’Italia on May 8th.

The stage itself was 244 km long and finished in Parma. There was a tremendous carnival atmosphere in the town with all the bars and restaurants buzzing. The stage itself was won by Alessandro Petacchi with Mark Cavendish also putting in a great performance.

The stage must of inspired the locals as there were just loads of people riding in the Langhe Hills, myself included. What a day, Alba really knows how to host an event of the stature. Well done.

Castino Flower Festival

Castino is a small beautiful village in The Langhe region of Piemonte that features wonderful cobbled streets and panoramic vineyard views.
Once a year on May 1st, Castino holds a flower festival that attracts several thousand people, in fact it’s best to park outside of the village and take one of the free buses available to take you to the event.

The festival is not only about flowers but about the local wine and food produced in the area. There is always a wonderful festive mood, great music and it’s also a great way to meet all the local people.

Most of the villages in The Langhe region have a festival each year and they all provide a wonderful day out with the emphasis usually on good food and wine. Well done Castino.