“Questa e’ una terra baciata dalla fortuna” (“This is a land kissed by good fortune”). So tells me Sergio Rivetto as he touches my shoulder as I was part of the family and points at his vineyards rolling down the hills of Sinio and Serralunga d’Alba, in the winemaking area of Langhe in Piedmont, Northwestern region in Italy. He says it in a way that is both thankful to God and at the same time proud for what people here have been able to achieve with it. It has just been named a World Heritage site protected by Unesco.
Johnny is young and restless, but he loves the outdoors and long walks in the woods. As soon as he gets off the car, he takes the least beaten path and enters the forest as if he had lived there forever. Yet, Johnny is only three years old and he is a beautiful lagotto dog, the preferred breed for truffle hunting in Piedmont. He was trained by his trufolao Luigi since he was a puppy, raised to know that every truffle he finds would get him Luigi’s affection and a small treat.
Travel is always an adventure. Sometimes it is about the destination, sometimes carefully planned in advance, but often the most interesting travel is about the journey itself, and it is the tour itself that takes a life of its own and decides where to take us next.