We've moved up to the Alps, way up. My hosts have a place in a region called Stroppo in a tiny village called Morinesio about 5000 feet up in the Italian Alps close to the French border.
We drove for 1 1/2 hours from Alba, stopping along the way for the best bread, the best meat, the best cheeses, the best dessert and drove up and up to a hamlet on the side of the mountain that has a population of about 30, when they're all here, as many come here just for vacation. This below taken from the balcony of the house:
I don't know about you but the view from my condo in Cambridge isn't quite like that.
John and I went out to photograph and drove up the valley until we couldn't go anymore. As we headed north there was snow on the ground and in the late fall the trees were golden.
The region is popular for hiking, cross country skiing and mountain biking. The locals grow potatoes, wild boar is hunted and, of course, it is visually stunning.
The valley has an untouched quality to it. The locals have worked hard to preserve it and keep snowmobiliers out and are actively resisting a developer who wants to bring in a downhill ski area.
Actually, John and Donna's house is for sale. This site will give you details: Stroppo. Right now, I am sitting at the large dining room table as I write this. This is quite simply a wonderful home and an extraordinary place to live.
John and I are headed off to Noli today, along the coast of the Mediterranean, to spend a couple of days. From there we'll take an overnight to get back up to Paris for Paris Photo.