We were invited by the family of Barbara and Filippo Gautier di Confiengo to spend a weekend with them together with Dirki and Katie in their home in Piedmont. Dirki had formed a close friendship with their son Carlo. Last year, in a freak accident Carlo fell to his death. Since then Dirki has become “big brother” to Carlo’s four lovely sisters.
Filippo took us under his wing: leading us to the grand market on the outskirts of Torino and later in the day to San Martino Alfieri (Asti) for a tour of the Marchesi Alfieri Wine Estate.
We collected cheeses, artichokes, mussels, tomatoes, herbs and whatnots and Katie took charge of it all to relieve Mimi and her boyfriend Marco who had been spoiling us since our arrival while Mama Barbara was away in Warsaw for the eldest daughter Anna’s graduation. Congratulations, Anna!
With no rain for last 3 months, the land was bone dry with a taste of dust in the air. Our visit was short, just the weekend and when we left there was promise of rain to refresh the land.
We would like to visit again and stay for a longer time to emerse ourselves in the food and wine culture Piedmont is famous for and for the revival of traditional approaches to food what became the Slow Food Revolution – the appreciation of slow as opposed to fast food. It was promoted here and made famous by Carlo Petrini and others in the town of Bra, a ten minute’s drive from Piobesi.
A layer of sadness was always present, but the spirit of hospitality prevailed and we felt at home in its embrace.
Thank you, Barbara, Filippo, Maria, Marco, Sophie, Katie and Dirki!
With love as always,
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, Thursday Nov 3, 2011