You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Arriving in Lu Monferrato for a visit to the Cantina Sociale
Bustling downtown Lu
The Cantina Sociale is still closed for lunch, and we're hoping against hope that the wonderful little La Trinità is still serving. But it's not.
We're talking a brief walk round the neighborhood for old time's sake.
This is the back end of the Palazzo Paleologi hotel and restaurant, built by the Marquesses of Monferrato in the 14th century, now evidently about half restored. We stayed here in November 2014, and have been back to Lu for a look-in at the Cantina Sociale regularly since.
That was our apartment, on the ground floor, back in 2014. It still looks very nice indeed.
And that's the renovated courtyard, with the restaurant 'Antico Monastero' up on the first floor on the left.
The church of San Nazario just over the way
The Cantina Sociale di Lu has re-opened its doors for the afternoon trade.
The Barbera and Grignolino wines here are as good as they get and are VERY INEXPENSIVE.
The wine gentleman is in the back preparing our order.
One is inclined to wonder whether they take boarders.
The road from Lu back to Vignale
Breakfast the next morning at the Casa nel Vento
Now, with a bootful of Grignolino from Lu, we need to start for home.
The Coop near Casale, for the rest of the Italian stuff that no one could live without, I'm told.
Back up the Val d'Aosta with its castles and monasteries peeking down from every rocky ledge
Near the village of Pont St Martin on the border between the regions of Val d'Aosta and Piemonte
Approaching Bard, behind that big impediment
Fort Bard coming up
Fort Bard from the autostrada -- we spent some time exploring this thing a few months ago.
The Castello di Verrès
Having bypassed Aosta in the newish tunnel, this is Étroubles on the way up to the Grand St Bernard pass.
Through tiny St-Oyen
We'll let them get through here first.
And that one, too.
A little mid-May snow
Above St-Rheny, the galleries begin.
Entering the douane at the Grand St-Bernard tunnel (and paying the reasonable customs fee on our carload of wine)
The tunnel ticket-booth (we have a super-saver annual pass)
Passing Sembrancher in Switzerland, near the ski resort of Verbier
The Philfruits kiosk -- sold direct from the producer
Avalanche and rockfall protections
Out of the mountains at Martigny, and home to Ollon