Living in the French Alps right next to the border with Italy has always been a joy for us travel addicts, whatever the season! A quick weekend/night away or even a day trip is always a highlight and one of the many pleasures of being based in Europe.
…a feeling of safety and yet still offering that Italian warmth!
On our way through the village, we had noticed a typical Italian looking bistro set back from the road. After our hike we were parched and in need of some deliciously authentic Italian food. On entering through into the foyer, the mask signs were clearly visible, to make sure we popped ours on, and hand sanitiser to be used before the walk up the stairs into the restaurant. Once seated on the balcony on our table. we could take them off, of course- Any trip out of our seats meant the mask had to be put back on beforehand. There was an instant buzz, as to who the non-Italian speaking strangers were and an inquisitive local wanted to practice his English, he then relayed it all back to the rest of the balcony in Italian. Super friendly and passionate as they always are, we were given a warm welcome.
The food was delicious, fresh ricotta and mint ravioli was washed down with a glass of Barbarosa, As always in Italy the food was a great price, the pasta a mere €8, the wine €2.50 and a perfect Italian coffee for a €1. It felt great to be back in a country hit hard by the covid-19 pandemic and giving back.
Our next stop was into Aosta for a spot of shopping. To be honest we were not sure what to expect regarding restrictions and business. Although immediately we were met with strict rules of mask wearing in every shop and hand sanitiser before allowed to enter. Everyone walked down the streets swinging a mask from some part of the body or other. I relaxed into it and a great feeling of safety washed over me here, the Aosta region was again very badly hit and you can tell they were not taking any chances, to make sure they could stave off a second wave. Whilst common sense prevails with this current situation, the constant reminders were a welcoming sight and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon of wandering through the cobbled streets and eating gelato ensued, with some obligatory people-watching in the town square.
Our last stop was a locally known hypermarket to take home our favourite Italian goodies. Once again all masks were worn and sanitiser provided. Something that will become a complete normality as we welcome back our corporate travellers and incentive trips.
All in all we were able to enjoy a great trip to Italy as usual with a feeling of safety and yet still offering that Italian warmth, just without the many kisses!