Alessandra-Acqui Terme-Albe

These first two days have turned out to be rather relentless in terms of cycling. Both were of a distance no more than 60km. A gentle Sunday perambulation for those that own a light weight carbon or even better, titanium framed contraption. We ride that most Sundays! One could be at the Cafe latte after tackling Norton Summit, 2 hours from a standing start! Snigger you may, but it took us on average 5hrs 30min day one and more than 6 and a half hours on the second. Not for want of trying. Day 1 we climbed up and down dale for 700m whilst on day 2 it was 1000m. A few panoramic shots will do more than words to demonstrate the endless rolling hills of vineyards, apple, plum and stone fruit orchards as well as acres and acres of hazelnut trees! Often we cycled along a saddle with picturesque valley on either side then more mountains!

The guide books supplied have in the main been excellent and becoming lost or mildly disorientated has occurred only a few times.

Acqui Terme is a hot springs town and the piazza has an ornate marble tower our of which the sulphurous greenish water gushes at a constant 75degrees centigrade.

The town of Alba is the capital of the truffle and the wonderful black variety is on display in glass cabinets on the street in front of the store with the price of a truffle I estimate at about 1 euro a gram or in other words 1000 euro a Kg!

At Alba after the exhaustion of our ride and with a well deserved air of achievement and smugness, we ate out at a nice restaurant and sampled the local food and wine, naturally with truffles and pasta in at least one dish.