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.
We were visiting the Veneto region north of Venice earlier this spring, with Padua thrown in, and now we're back to see some more of what we missed farther south.
Our traditional stopping over place, two hours over the Grand St-Bernard Pass, is in Settimo Vitone near the foot of the Aosta Valley. We're stopped near Emma's Bar, actually in the 'Gonad' (Conad) supermarket carpark . . .
. . . looking up at the B+B L'Ospitalità del Castello tucked in behind the Old Castle on the left, with the 9th century pieve and baptistery on the right.
The Castello Vecchio hanging out over the rocks -- there was a restaurant ('La Casa di Dante') in a renovated part of it, but it's presently closed and up for sale.
We're on the Via Francigena long-distance pilgrims' path to Rome, passing right behind the building
The new castle and renovated B+B
The B+B has extremely friendly and helpful hosts, extremely low prices, and it's a working farm as well.
We've got our favorite room, the corner one.
The 9th century pieve from our balcony
The Pieve of San Lorenzo, or St Lawrence
We've stopped here probably eight or ten times but never when the thing is open to the public . . .
. . . though we have hopped the fence a few times to look round the back, etc.
Frescoes in the interior (from the information panel near the entrance)
The church just across the street, the Piazza Conte Rinaldo
We've never been able to find out much about this picturesque old place, except for the fact that it's called the Chiesa Madonna delle Grazie.
The track up behind the church
Round the back of the church
A fixer-upper sort of church
Looking down the hill at the valley of the Dora Baltea river, Settimo Vittone's lower village in the foreground, Quincinetto across the river
Breakfast in Settimo Vittone before moving out, 13 May 2017. More of our photos of the Ospitalità del Castello can be seen here.
Crossing the mighty Dora Baltea to the autostrada entrance near Quincinetto
And crossing the Dora Baltea again, south of Ivrea, on the autostrada E25
About 4 hours later, we're passing on the SR10 by Montagnana, the walled city, 40km southeast of Verona, 35 km south of Vicenza, and 40km southwest of Padua over the Parco Regionale del Colli Euganei, or Euganean Hills.
Fascinating Montagnana -- we'll be back tomorrow (and again four days after that)
We're on serious back roads at this point, passing through Megliadino San Fidenzio and turning due south to . . .
Megliadino San Vitale on the SP32, only 3.5km north of . . .
. . . the Locanda Ca' Vejo, our home away from home for the week.
The Ca' Vejo (presumably 'old house' in Venetian dialect) was adopted as a disused customs station out in this flat land of irrigation canals and ditches and renovated into a classy restaurant specializing in fish, with three rooms up in the old watchtower.
We'll go and announce ourselves.
The top room, and the best views. The rates were very reasonable.
This is Melvin the Doge's first sightseeing expedition with his new family, in succession to the sadly departed Squirrel.
So the roof's fairly secure, that's a plus.
There's plenty of room for Melvin to dash back and forth like a lunatic.
The restaurant of the Ca' Vejo
Our hosts were charming and very helpful with sightseeing tips
Tomorrow: Back to Montagnana