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Friday, September 14, 2012

Another interesting experience...

Thursday 13th September

Fine and Sunny – Top temperature 29°

Could hardly believe that we woke to find clear blue skies; very different from yesterday. There had been quite a heavy drenching of rain overnight and cleared out the dark clouds that threatened yesterday. Time to move further north and we set the GPS to the address for our accommodation for one night in LU, Monferrato.

Our accommodation in Camaiore which I expected would be hard to find was surprisingly one of the easiest so far, however today we had another challenge – A detour 4 kms from our accommodation, We could see the hill but no way to get there. By this stage Graham was driving and after two attempts down dead end roads and a few point turns on two occasions we went back to the fork in the road. The GPS simply can't deal with detours of this kind and we don't manage so well with detours that don't go anywhere. After driving around in circles for about 45 minutes, we quickly flagged down a fellow whose English was sufficient to set us on track - in the opposite direction to that on the detour sign.

This journey has taken us to many places where most tourists would never go to or see.  We are getting used to finding our way around the narrow streets and lanes of tiny villages and occasionally this has meant with some assistance from willing locals with very limited English. What fun!
We arrived at Palazzo Paleologi to find a note on the gate – check in time 3pm; it was 1.50pm. We had some fruit and biscuits in the car, so after a light lunch set off toward what we thought was the main road on foot. A very ‘hilly area’ to explore but we found nothing open in fact the whole place was deserted. We’d done it again – arrived at siesta time. We walked back to our accommodation and were able to book in a little earlier than 3pm.
Time to catch our breath, catch up on emails and facebook, read and  enjoy coffee. We are both quite glad that we could only book for one night here. “Palazzo Paleologi Resort offers elegant, spacious accommodation with self-catering facilities, and a fine restaurant. It is in the ancient village of Lu Monferrato, 20 kilometres north of Alessandria.”

The write up says this about Palazzo Paleologi Resort:
“Since in the 15th century the Paleologi Marquis, who held the largest part of the territory of present-day Piedmont, chose the current location of the Palazzo Paleologi at Lu in Monferrato to erect their dwelling, you can be sure that today you will enjoy that prime choice by staying in a context truly rich in history and charm.
At one hour from Milan, Turin and Genoa and a half-hour from Alessandria, Casale and Valenza, the rooms and vacation apartments, the Palazzo Paleologi restaurant, were designed to recreate the historical dwelling of Monferrato with a careful renovation designed in collaboration with the Office of Monuments and Fine Arts in Turin.
Completed with the utmost care, the historical residence has kept intact the original typologies and materials as much as possible, thanks to the use of methodologies attentive to the environment and to the well-being of the guests. Where possible, the dictates of bio-architecture were followed, with the use of natural plasters based on lime, water-based paints, and treatments of brickwork and parquet derived from natural products.

Today the philosophy of the historic Palazzo Paleologi is Slow Living: The slow life, to rediscover the rhythms of the past and the charm of Piedmont traditions in an atmosphere of calm and relaxation, ideal for those who are looking for a sensorial venue, in contact with the true life of a town, for an experience to remember.”     http://www.palazzopaleologi.com/en/

Lu is certainly situated on a hilltop with the resort perched right on the top. There are great views into the valley and surrounding areas of mostly farming.

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