How about a paseggiata (short walk) in the mountains followed by lunch at the Rifugio went the invitation from the parents of one of George’s friends. What a great idea we thought as we envisaged a sunday stroll through the countryside with bright sunshine and great views!!! Well with an 8 am start (which I am sure is earlier than a working day) we set out. Luckily we had been offered a lift, as we had no idea where we were going, the visibility was nil due to a low cloud base and we seemed to be driving up hill quite a way through the dense cloud and across some country tracks before reaching the start point and a meeting a large group of equally minded people. It transpired that we had been invited to join the local Club Alpino Italia (CAI) monthly family walk in the mountains. Introductions over, we then embarked on the walk up through the woods onto the top plateau of Monte Piselli. The plan of reaching the summit was soon changed due to the weather which by now had turned from thick cloud and drizzle to rain. George and his friend Francesco seemed not to notice the weather as they played and built ometti (cairns) under the careful guidance of Francesco’s father, a member of the local CAI club who clearly saw the opportunity for cheap labour. Although views were in short supply we were entertained by stories, descriptions and explanations of the local area by various members of the group (all to be recounted later when some poor unfortunate friends next visit – so be warned). Well, as promised the walk ended with lunch and in true Italian style it was a long, wholesome affair with course after course of different breads, salami’s, cheeses, polenta, pasta, pudding and of course the obligatory red wine to wash it all down. But all was not done as we then had to have the roasted chestnuts with a different accompanying wine to draw the meal to a close. 3 1/2 hours later and feeling like a beachball it was time to head down the mountain and collapse in the warmth of the house, well it would be warm but the heating doesn’t arrive until tomorrow. We now looking forward to the next mountain excursion but hoping for a little more sun.