There Goes the Neighborhood

Acqui Terme means Thermal Waters in Italian. Due to it's natural hot springs, the town has been on the Italian tourist map since Caesar was a baby. Part of the ancient Roman aquaduct still stands.

Dang. They’ve found us already. A recent series of articles in the well known London based publication The Independent , chronicles the wonders of our undiscovered part of Italy. Up until now only Italian tourists could be found luxuriating in the spas of Acqui, filling the restaurants and sipping the world's greatest wine in the enotecas. Sometimes Chris and I are mistaken for one of the occasional Swiss sightseers, climbing down from their frigid mountains seeking warmer climes. And every once in a while a lost German wanders through Acqui Terme, but not many. We are officially the first American homeowners in the area, making us the only native English speaking couple to set up housekeeping here to my knowledge. But I don’t think that will last for long.

It will start with the intrepid British. They are so good at poking their noses everywhere on the planet. We know of one Brit that has bought in the area recently. At first his plans were to use his house here as just a holiday place. But I heard in the market today that he likes the area so much he now plans to move here permanently. I can’t blame him but I’m not happy about it.
The drive from Acqui to the legendary truffle town of Alba means navigating the thrilling switchback roads with glimpses (when you dare) of the magnificant countryside.

I selfishly wanna say – tick-tock the game is locked and nobody else that speaks English of any accent can move here. This is MY area of Italy, I found it first - go away! Go to overpriced and overrun Tuscany. We Italians (heehee) call Tuscany 'Chianti-Shire' as there are almost as many Brits as there are Italians there now.

I love the coffee culture. I have progressed from an espresso drinker to a hardcore espressor user.

I guess I’m not being realistic. The 2006 Olympics turned a giant spotlight on the many delights of The Piemonte. And it's true that: if you market it, they will come. But I have devised a plan to thwart the arrival of the dreaded tour buses.

I said I wanted the LARGE pizza! Food, glorious Italian food - I'm in heaven

I’m going to start writing articles on how BAD it is here. I will moan over the lack of English spoken (true) and berate the quality of the wine (false). I will scare them with talk of the crazy Italian drivers (true) and bad food (false). I will tell the skiers the Alps are too far, nearly 2 hours away. I will tell the sun-worshipers the Alps are too close, only 2 hours away. I’ll make sure they know Acqui gets really cold in the winter (true) and really hot in the summer (also true). I won’t mention the incredibly long and beautiful springs with amazing fields of wild red poppies everywhere. Nor will I mention the lingering fall with it’s cool mornings and warm afternoons. I will instead write with genuine heart-felt terror of driving in the blinding fog of November.

Dinner with friends. Casual setting, lively conversation, always way too much fantastic food. Note the large bottles of homemade wine. Everybody makes their own!

The boardwalk along the Mediterranean Sea near Portofino is a breathtaking afternoon stroll. Only an hour and a half from my front door.

Mostly I won’t mention the ease with which we have made friends here. You will not hear from me how incredibly generous the local people are; with gifts from their gardens, dinner invitations in their homes and their patience with our mutilation of their beautiful language. No, it’s just horrible here. You will hate it. Tell everybody - DON’T COME.