So it’s been very busy since I arrived here at Carossa. I’m technically not at Carossa vineyard, but at a small farmhouse in per Coccia. We’re not far from Alba, Asti, and Cuneo. Since Paolo didn’t have much work for the next few weeks, I decided to come to this farm early and leave early to go back to Paolo’s when he does have more work.
Michael will be joining me on Saturday, and at the end of his stay, I’ll head back to Paolo and Anna’s.
Where I am staying currently, there are a lot of different projects. In the afternoon we use machetes (yea that’s right, MA-CHET-AY!) to chop the growths off of giant hazelnut branches in a near by nocciola orchard. The mornings are filled with small tasks, pruning here, watering there, sipping coffee as we feel like it. Pino, who owns the house and this land, teaches at a local high school. The high school is dedicated to winemaking, and they have all of the facilities required for winemaking in their basement. So he’s gone most mornings to teach and arrives back around 1 for lunch. After which he directs us to what he wants us to work on. Yesterday, we worked on weeding his garden and planting more: fennel, cabbage, celery, etc. It was lovely to be planting!
The man has more energy throughout the day than I could ever muster up in an hour. He wakes every morning around 7 to go teach, arrives home at one and immediately turns on this giant drill to start demolishing the housing attached to this one. (He’s working on it to build it into apartments.) He’ll stop when we’ve made lunch, eat, and in the blink of an eye his plate is empty and you hear him turn on the drill again. In the evenings he’ll either continue work on the house or teach another class at a local college. Pino is an energizer bunny if I’ve ever met one!
Last night he had to drive to Torino to drop his children off, so another WWOOFer and I went with so he could show us the city. I should add at this point that there is a WWOOFing couple here with me until Monday, and they are from SAN FRANCISCO! SO EXCITED. One of my favorite cities! (Realistically my favorite city.) Ok, back to Torino.
(Sorry! I forgot my memory card for my camera in my computer, so I have some really shoddy iPhone pictures to add to this post, which maybe I’ll have time later to do.)
We parked in Torino only to find a hoodlum looking person standing in front of the car. Pino says that parking is free, but you generally pay people standing there like that because they point out the open spaces to you, and mostly to bribe for them to leave your car alone. Apparently, Italy runs on bribes like America runs on Dunkin’.
We began to walk around Torino and saw three castles and one rose garden. The rose garden, Il Parco del Valentino, still had a few roses in it and of course I had to stop to smell them. That phrase comes from somewhere! We then walked around a medieval castle, Il Borgo Medieval, which was built in 1874 as a project to accurately capture medieval architecture for some fair. The architect did it so well, that when the fair was over, they left the castle there because it was considered the best example of that type of architecture. Not far from it is the Il Castello del Valentino, a baroque style castle. Torino apparently has some of the best examples of baroque architecture, if not the standard for which other baroque style buildings were erected after. Il Castello del Valentino is unlike any other castle I’ve seen in Italy. It’s half French château, a quarter Austrian château, and a quarter Italian, something! It’s beautiful.
Then we went into the center of Torinio, and wow. EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING is lit up. I can’t explain how beautiful the buildings and piazza’s are and my iPhone pictures (coming soon!) simply do not do it justice.
I’m going to throw this out there, and I might just be on a Torino high, but it might be my favorite city in Italy thus far. I love Firenze and Venezia, but there is just a vibe in Torino that I can definitely groove to. Firenze has the Tuscan vibe, and Venezia has the historical vibe, but Torino has this unique vibe that I cannot put my finger on. When I do, you’ll be the first to know. It’s like the Paris of Italy, even though I’ve never been to Paris!
This is going to have to be part one because I could ramble for hours about Torino and all the history Pino told us about. Now off to do some weeding and possibly walk the dog (horse) Arsenico.