Kris and I had a great afternoon yesterday in Lucca, walking the wall and visiting the churches. And today we are in Alba, much farther inland and our trip here this morning involved a glorious trip up A6 with the Alps to the West and the flatlands and rolling hills of Piemonte to the East.
Yesterday in Lucca, in the church of San Giovanni, we did what we were supposed to do: visit the ruins under the church. Some time in the 1960s or so they discovered that underneath this (otherwise unremarkable) church was four layers of ruins — a Roman bath, a 3-4th Century church, an 8th Century church, and some 12th Century remains of an updated church. To think the first church was the age of Augustine and Athanasius. What remains was a mosaic floor, no words that I saw, no real pictures, but simple design. The 8th century showed remains of a bishop’s chair. Quite remarkable. The entire city of Lucca sits atop similar ruins. Think of it.
Today we have been in Alba, visiting wine country of the Barolo valley. We had a wonderful visit with some fresh fruit and vegetable shop owners, a Guili and Guivanna, who treated us like a king and queen. They made us a proscuitto crudo with mozarella bufala and basil sandwich for lunch, and tossed in small bottle of wine.
Tomorrow we go back to the last village of the Cinque Terra.
On drivers: all I can say is plenty of drivers here think 100 mph is just fine for a speed, and they don’t at all mind reaching such speeds in the many tunnels. The driving here is full of tunnels. Only way to get from one spot to the other. The motorcyclists obey no laws, but haven’t seen one of them in a ditch or anything.