Kürzlich haben wir wieder einmal zusammen mit unserer Tochter und ihrem Mann eine kleine Reise in das nahe Piemont/Italien unternommen. Alleine schon die Anfahrt dem Langensee entlang nach all diesen Monaten des zu Hause seins haben wir einfach als prächtig empfunden und die Tage in dieser wunderschönen Gegend als wunderschön. Die Ruhe, Gastfreundschaft und auch ganz besonders die kulinarische Seite haben wir ganz einfach genossen!

Wir haben die Umgebung von Santo Stefano Belbo, nicht weit von Asti entfernt, und deren Weinberge ein bisschen zu Fuss erkundet und auch gesehen, dass die Hänge teilweise sehr steil sind und die Arbeit dort hart ist, und trotzdem gibt es überall auch Blumen.

We have recently undertaken a short trip to the near Piemonte, region in Italy, together with our daughter and her husband. We once again very much enjoyed to travel along the Lake Maggiore and through the pretty Italian towns after all these past months at home. The quietness in Santo Stefano Belbo, the hospitality and, of course, the culinary delights there are just of another league!

Undertaking some short trips on foot near our hotel, which is not far from Asti, and have seen that the hills which are all covered with vineyards are really quite steep and to work there has to be demanding. Despite this the small villages were ornamented with lots of flowers.

Recentemente abbiamo fatto un piccolo viaggio nel vicino Piemonte/Italia con nostra figlia e suo marito. Dopo tutti questi mesi di permanenza a casa, abbiamo trovato il viaggio lungo il solo Lago Maggiore semplicemente magnifico e le giornate in questa bella regione meravigliose. Abbiamo semplicemente apprezzato la pace, l’ospitalità e soprattutto il lato culinario!
Abbiamo esplorato un po’ a piedi i dintorni di Santo Stefano Belbo, non lontano da Asti, e i suoi vigneti e abbiamo anche visto che i pendii sono in parte molto ripidi e il lavoro lì è duro, eppure ci sono anche fiori ovunque.

Den Ausflug in eine Weinkellerei in Canelli, die uns an eine unterirdische Kathedrale erinnerte, fanden wir besonders interessant und er tat auch unserer Seele gut. Giuseppe Contratto hat 1867 begonnen die Moscato Traube zu verarbeiten und einen der ersten Spumante Italiens herzustellen. Es war um das Jahr 1910, als dieser Wein auch international bekannt wurde und Contratto z.B. den Vatikan oder das Königshaus der Savoyen belieferte. Der Spumante wurde auch an das Königshaus in England geliefert.

Uns wurde auch gesagt, dass die Arbeitsweise und Rezepte noch praktisch unverändert geblieben sind, d.h. man legt nach wie vor sehr viel Wert auf die Arbeit und Verständnis der Mitarbeiter. Während des Reifungsprozesses wird der Wein in geneigten Gestellen aufbewahrt und jeden Tag ein bisschen gedreht, damit die Hefe und der Zucker in den speziellen Zapfen gelangen und somit entfernt werden können.

Am Schluss haben wir verschiedene dieser speziellen Spumante degustieren können und es wurden uns dazu viele kleine Köstlichkeiten aus der Umgebung serviert.

Ansonsten haben wir nicht viel unternommen, auch nicht gelesen, aber sehr viel miteinander gesprochen und unser Hotel, ein ehemaliges Kloster, seinen wunderschönen uralten Park, den Tennisplatz und die Wellnessmöglichkeiten genutzt und genossen! 

The excursion to a famous wine cellar in Canelli, which remined us of an underground cathedral, was not only interesting, but did a lot of good to our souls! Giuseppe Contratto started in 1867 to elaborate the Moscato grape and to produce the first one of the first Italian Spumante. It was around 1910 when this wine became also known internationally

And Contratto provided the Vatican and the Royal House of the Savoy. The Spumante was even delivered to the Royal House in England.

We have been told that the method of working and the Recipes have more or less remained unchanged. This means that much value is still given to the work and understanding of the companies’ staff. During the maturation process the wine is put into inclined frames so that sugar and yeast finish in the pivot, so that it can later be eliminated and substituted.

At the end of this tour we have, of course, be able to taste various qualities of this outstanding Spumante and also been spoilt with various of their delicious treats, of course, from the region.

Otherwise we haven’t done much sightseeing nor read any books, but we have talked a lot together and with people around, as well as used  the big and marvellous park full of very old trees, part of the hotel, which used to be a monastery, for walks as well as the tennis court for some game and the various wellness pools!

Abbiamo trovato particolarmente interessante l’escursione in una cantina di Canelli, che ci ha ricordato una cattedrale sotterranea, e ci ha anche fatto bene all’anima. Giuseppe Contratto iniziò a lavorare l’uva Moscato nel 1867 e produsse uno dei primi spumanti in Italia. Fu intorno al 1910 che questo vino divenne noto a livello internazionale e Contratto rifornì ad esempio il Vaticano o la Casa Reale di Savoia. Lo Spumante è stato fornito anche alla casa reale in Inghilterra.
Ci è stato anche detto che i metodi di lavoro e le ricette sono rimasti praticamente invariati, vale a dire che si dà ancora molta importanza al lavoro e alla comprensione dei dipendenti. Durante il processo di invecchiamento, il vino viene tenuto in rastrelliere inclinate e girato un po’ ogni giorno in modo che il lievito e lo zucchero possano entrare nell’apposito tappo e quindi essere rimossi.
Alla fine, abbiamo potuto assaggiare diversi di questi spumanti speciali e ci sono state servite molte piccole delizie della zona.
A parte questo, non abbiamo fatto molto, non abbiamo letto, ma abbiamo parlato molto e usato e apprezzato il nostro hotel, un ex monastero, il suo bellissimo parco antico, il campo da tennis e le strutture per il benessere!


Zum Glück haben wir diese kurze Auszeit gehabt, denn kaum waren wir wieder zu Hause haben Hagelstürme unseren Gemüsegarten, Blumen und Fruchtbäume zerfetzt und auch unser natürlicher Schattenspender Gingko Biloba Baum ist beinahe total entlaubt worden. Zusätzlich wurde auch unser Haus teilweise geflutet und gewiss Fussböden müssen ersetzt werden. An Aufräumarbeit fehlt es uns deshalb nicht und Gemüse und Früchte müssen wir jetzt ja noch einkaufen!!

Nun frage ich mich, ob ich vielleicht den Roman Catch-22 von Joseph Heller,der von Absurditäten spricht, noch einmal lesen sollte um zu überlegen, ob z.B. die weltweiten Umweltkatastrophen, als absurd oder als sinnvoll erachtet werden sollten!

Fortunately, we have been able to have this time out, because three days after our return we had some very bad weather with hailstorms, which destroyed all our vegetables, flowers or the fruit on the trees. Even the leaves of our “shade giver”, the big Gingko Biloba tree were all shredded and the water that flooded the house made replacement of floors necessary. So, we don’t lack clean-up work and we also have to take up shopping healthy things!

At the moment, however, I wonder, whether I should reread the great novel about absurdities “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller, and whether the worldwide ecological disasters are absurd or, if they have maybe a deeper sense!

Per fortuna abbiamo avuto questa breve pausa, perché non appena siamo tornati a casa, la grandine ha distrutto il nostro orto, i fiori e gli alberi da frutto, e il nostro albero da ombra naturale Gingko Biloba è stato quasi completamente defogliato. Inoltre, la nostra casa è stata parzialmente allagata e certi pavimenti devono essere sostituiti. Non ci mancano quindi i lavori di pulizia e dobbiamo ancora comprare verdura e frutta!

Mi chiedo, se devo rileggere il bellissimo libro Catch-22 di Joseph Heller, sulle assurdità e se le catastrophe ambientali mondiali sono da considerare piùttosto assurde o se hanno un senso più profondo!

40 replies »

  1. Thank for sharing the beauty of Piemont with us, Martina! Scenery, drinks and food are a treat fo steh soul indeed.
    I’m so sorry about about the hailstorm and your garden. At least you are safe and your house is not damaged. I’ll dive into Catch-22 again, thanks for this reminder.
    The outskirts of Bonn in the Rhine Valley (my former home for the past 40 years) are demolished by the masses of water coming down. Friends of mine have lost everything within minutes, 130 people dead, more than 1000 people missing, no electricity, no drinking water, we are all devastated by the catastrophe. 😢
    Take care. All the best from North Norfolk,
    The Fab Four of Cley

    Liked by 5 people

    • You are right, Dina, food helps us for body and soul and at least we are still alive!
      It’s really terrible what happened in the mentioned German regions, Belgium and Holland. I think, in the meantime, we should know what has to be done and have just to put it into practice so as not to despair!
      I wish you a good reread of Catch-22 a lovely day to all of you and many thanks for your words.:)

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Non so se hai visto le coltivazioni di vite in Liguria o in Valtellina, le piantumazioni sono quasi in verticale.
    C’è purtroppo anche l’aspetto negativo delle viti (perlopiù alloctone) che non trattengono il terreno in caso di eventi atmosferici di forte impatto.


    • Si,Paolo,in Valtelina ho già visto questi vigneti quasi verticali! Ho già pensato in Piemonte ai possibili disastri che potrebbero succedere per via di questa ripidità e la siccità!
      Tante grazie per le tue parole e buona giornata:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Soothing, I would describe your post, Martina. To be able to be out and about in such wonderful company, and around such tranquil places.
    I particularly enjoyed your history of Moscato grapes 🙂 We have a similar wine in Romania, the Muscat.

    Feels like I should say Saluti! 🙂

    Pat xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Das tut mir sehr leid, dass ihr auch Opfer dieser Unwetter geworden seid. Aber deine Gedanken dazu sind sehr interessant und ich kann sie nachvollziehen. Auf jeden Fall wirkt die Auszeit im Piemont nach deinen Erzählungen so erholsam und einfach schön.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rosaliene, “Without dark clouds in our lives, we would never know the joy of sunshine.” We really enjoyed our few days in the Piemonte, which is not so far from our home! The hailstorm was the sheer contrary of the situation you described in your last post! Many thanks and stay well:)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to travel again, especially with family. Italy is a land filled with sunshine, hills of green and distant horizons. Ricordo la calorosa accoglienza che ricevemmo in Italia molti anni fa. Sono felice che tu mi abbia ricordato quei momenti speciali.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ist es nicht wirklich schoen, liebe Martina, wenn man nach all dem Gebundensein ans Zuhause auch wieder einmal auf (kleine) Reisen gehen kann? Wir haben damit im vergangenen Herbst angefangen, zunaechst mit Halbtagsausfluegen in benachbarte Parks, und dann mit laengeren Touren. Und jetzt, nachdem wir beide unseren zweimaligen Impfschutz haben, auch mit mehrtaegigen Reisen and die Kueste und sogar unsere dreiwoechige Reise nach Kalifornien und zurueck. Ganz besonders Letztere hat Mary seelisch gut getan, weil sie so nach fast zwei Jahren ihre Kinder wiedersehen konnte.
    Es tu mir sehr leid, von den Schaeden in Eurem Garten und am Haus zu lesen. Ich kann es gut nachvollziehen, wie das Gefuehl ist, denn wir hatten hier mit dem extremen Winterwetter im Februar schlimme Schaeden in unserem Garten. Zu unserem grossen Glueck aber nicht am/im Haus.
    Liebe Gruesse, mach’s gut, und bleib’ gesund,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ja, lieber Pit, diese kürzeren oder längeren Ausflüge bewirken Unglaubliches, aber wir wollen es aus bekannten Gründen auch nicht übertreiben! Ich verstehe absolut, dass deine Frau endlich ihre Kinder sehen wollte. Ich weiss gar nicht, wie ich das so lange ausgehalten hätte ohne sie!
      Von Kalifornien wirst du uns ja noch einiges erzählen!
      Ich glaube, dass wir bald alle in irgend einer Weise von der verrückten Umweltsituation betroffen sein werden und versuchen müssen, damit, so gut es geht, klarzukommen.
      Macht’s auch gut und vielen Dank für deine lieben Worte.
      Cari saluti Martina

      Liked by 1 person

      • Natuerlich, liebe Martina, werde ich ueber die Reise nach Kalifornien noch erzaehlen. Aber zuerst kommt jetzt einmal unsere Kurzreise nach San Angelo dran, nachdem ich ja endlich mit dem Bericht ueber Rockport/Fulton fertig geworden bin.
        Das Vorbereiten der Berichte ueber den Trip nach San Angelo wird eine ganze Zeit dauern, weil ich von da enorm viele Bilder mitgebracht habe, die ich erst einmal sichten (und bearbeiten) muss. Dazu kommt, dass wegen einer falschen Kameraeinstellung viele absolut blaustichig geworden sind. Auch das muss korrigert werden. Zum Glueck scheint es aber so, dass ich das – wenn ich mich einmal in das Programm eingearbeitet habe – in einem “Batch Prozess” geht.
        Liebe Gruesse,


      • Nur mit Ruhe, lieber Pit!:) Ich weiss jetzt wenigstens, dass San Angelo in Texas ist. In Sachen Bildbearbeitung wünsche ich dir alles Gute, leider wäre ich dir keine Hilfe!
        Liebe Grüsse Martina

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ich lasse es auch ruhig angehen. liebe Martina, denn:

        Gott schuf die Zeit, alle Eile ist vom Teufel! 😉

        Liebe Gruesse,


  7. A small trip, it’s better than no trip, plus you and your husband, had fun, good for both of you.
    Sorry to hear about your garden, weather has being harsh all around the globe, looks like Global Warming its not a fairy tale, as some propose, here in the Calfornias we had rain twice this month, Monsoon weather, that’s common on Mainland Northwest Mexico, and Arizona, but not in the California’s coast, usually it never rain around this time of the year, now even there’s floods all over the World:

    About Joseph Heller, Catch 22 I read it somewhere in the late 60’s my father passed it to me after he read it.

    Later saw the movie who was filmed not in Sicily, but in Northwest Mexico, at place named San Carlos, in the state of Sonora, a beautiful place I had visited many times, since a child, when there was nothing there, but the sea, and the desert hills, ironically, filming that movie there, brought all the development.

    Best regards to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know, I have the impression that things on this plant are getting really upside down and you are completely right the short trip of a few days together with my beloved one was like balsam on my soul! In this way it’s easier to support all the works, which have to be done in the house because of the flood! I know, we all have this kind of crazy wheather, which in many places is much worse!
      Catch-22 came to my mind because of the absolutely absurd things which happened during the second world war to Jossarian and other soldiers! I didn’t know that the film was produced in Mexico and brought even development to the region! Mannyyy thanks.
      Stay well ! I sometimes also think of Bob and his wife.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Yes weather it’s crazy all over, here too, no major disaster so far, but doesn’t look like your typical July.
    About Bob, he doesn’t answer his phone anymore, so I have no idea how he, and his wife are doing.



    • I am very sure, dear Julie, that you can imagine this Italian surrounding and its food offers, which seem to be of a special league !😀 But it was especially their hospitality which made us feel so well! All the very best and many thanks for your visit in „my house“

      Liked by 2 people

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