We completed Vineyards to the Sea recently. Don and Cindy stayed on for Best of Piedmont while we welcomed Jack, Ed and Jeanne to Italia. Here you can see the CycleItalia van posing in front of some publicity for the Strade Coppi and Castellania, just up the road.
A special treat this year was meeting Egidio Coppi, a distant cousin of the famous cycling brothers, who had the keys to an old workshop filled with Coppi memorabilia. He's quite the ladies man as you can see here, telling stories of the amorous Serse Coppi, who would take Egidio along when he was around 10 years old, just to help him charm the ladies, who of course were also interested to meet the brother (also a racing cyclist) of the famous Campionissimo.
Heather poses in front of a gorgeous artwork - this is the first time in more than a decade of coming here that we've seen this collection. Che fortuna!
When it was time to big Egidio farewell and meet up with our friend Piero Coppi, Egidio insisted on one more photo, this time with the bike from our rental fleet named after the Campionissimo. (l-r Don, Egidio, Larry, Jack and Cindy) Each of our bicycles is named after an Italian Giro d'Italia champion.
FINALLY, we arrived at the monument and reliquary above the town, kept up by first-cousin Piero. He's always happy to see us, greeting us with chilled water and wine, plus the special "Coppi cookies" from the region. After showing off the tombs and other memorabilia, it was time for lunch so we jumped back on the bikes and followed Piero down the hill to his favorite eatery, Osteria del Poeta Pescatore. Despite our wimpy protests, Piero (as always) insisted on paying. We resumed our ride, heading back to the hotel to clean up and get ready for a visit to Novi Ligure and the Museo di Campionissimi this afternoon.