Day 12: Silvio's home town and a stone bull.

Today's the day when the women go crazy as Silvio drives us home.

We started the day with a bus ride into the Piedmont region, passing under black mining gondolas stretched over the road.

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We stopped in Mondovi, where we met Lucy, a woman who grew up in Florida and moved to Italy, marrying an Italian man.  She showed us around town and then let us wander for a while to build up our appetite for the meal they were planning nearby.

Lunch, at a restaurant owned by another Rick Steves guide, consisted of wine tasting, including the famous Barolo wine, 7 antipasti courses, 2 additional courses, 3 desserts, and more wine.  Oh, my stomach!  Lucy described her life as an Italian wife and mother while we ate.  Living in a traditional area of Italy, she tries to greet people with the familiar "ciao," but gets "buon giorno Signora" in return, even by her neighbors.

After lunch, Silvio took a short detour to visit his home town of Carru.  Next to the parking lot there happens to be a large statue of a bull.  Perhaps in response to the wine and an attempt to wrest control in a society that seems stiff towards women, the females of the group decided to leap on top of the bull.  Silvio joined them in an apparent show of Italian male support, and I documented the uprising appropriately.  Let it be known that the creators of this web site fully support the notion that every woman in Italy should be able to be greeted by the word "ciao".

Silvio walked us into town and to his mother's flower shop.  She brought out soda for everyone to drink.

Eventually the local newspaper editor noticed the ruckus and came by.  I am sure he wanted to know everything about the uprising as well.

The editor proudly took us on a tour of the town, and we visited a beautiful church, a bank with a rearing statue of a horse, a retirement home, and a playground.

Finally, Silvio's mother gave each and every woman on the trip a red rose as a thank you for visiting (and perhaps as a badge of courage for their next conquer).  We all had a great time in Carru.

As the sun started setting, we pulled into Bossolasco, a hill town for a one-night stop.

We walked around in the evening air and the western sky grew golden.  We dined at the hotel, and only had 2 courses this time, accompanied by excellent Nebbiolo wine.  We retired for the evening, content with the day's journey.

The soul of Italy revolves around family.  It could not have been made clearer than by the events today.

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Last updated 11/12/2005 .  Email me at