Piedmont, Italy July 19 - 20, 2004

(all pictures are low res, for high res click here)

After a couple of incredible days in Portofino, our itinerary had us headed back into the Alps to the Piedmont region of Italy. This part of Italy is really known for 2 things, truffles and amazing wine. We based our trip to this region from the Hotel Lovera Palace in Cuneo . The hosts at this hotel were incredibly nice. They set up our reservations for wine tasting the next day and even printed a full itinerary with maps and brochures for us. It was very much appreciated. The restaurant at this hotel has a couple Michelin rated chefs, so the dinner we had there was out of this world.

Ok, our wine touring continued (video) the next day in the tiny village of Barolo home to wine of the same name.. A castle can be found in the center of the village (video) of which vineyards are surrounding it. It's pretty darn cool.

Our hotel had set up lunch reservations at the famous Marchesi winery, where we had a 6 course lunch that rivaled our incredible dinner from the night before. Each course was perfectly paired with a special type of Marchesi wine (our favorite was the PI CIT / veal ravioli pairing). The lunch also included a tour of the grounds and their wine cellar. - Note this next barrel is over 150 years old. . We were sorry to leave Marhesi, but we had additional reservations in the adjacent village of La Morra. We visited Rocche di Costamagna which is small but very highly acclaimed. We met with the owner, who spoke no English, but took us on a tour of the winery anyway. The owner spent the next 2.5 hours conversing with us (and we simply nodded and added our two cents when we could understand), and this visit was one of the great highlights of the trip. It was just the owner and Ellen and I sharing wine and learning about his family's heritage. It was a classic moment to be sure.

Our last stop for the honeymoon was Nice which is found in the French Riveria .