The start of our week cycle adventure in Piedmonte. The group came together with the arrival of the jet lagged James-Martin couple. We met them at the station then walked to the hotel. Both were too tired to even contemplate adding grumpiness.

I and the DeBoo team had arrived by slow train from Florence the day before.

The town is steeped in military history having a large fort on the outskirts constructed during the time of Napolean and some rather wide avenues, which the locals explain were specifically engineered for large troop movements. I guess this is the napoleonic equivalent of the extremely wide highway in Singapore from the airport, which the local taxi drivers boast was again engineered for military purposes. Specifically it can, in the twinkling of an eye, be cleared of all those trees in large tubs , and become a runway for the Singapore Air Force! One can only wonder what long straight avenue in Canberra, would be so altered, should Tony Abbott learn of this.

This weekend is a the Italian equivalent of the Aussie long weekend. August is the big European summer holiday month but this weekend almost everything is closed.

The train from Florence to Alessandra went to Pisa then followed the coast to Genoa and the Cinque Terra – to which we shall return.

On our first night in Alessandra was an amazing sudden electrical storm – the type that totally brings hail and the temperature plummets. We were out promenading and were drenched. The weather contributed to one of my BEST travel pictures. See if you agree?

This is the better of the two below!