04 December 2005

December Olympic Valley Update!


(www.altavista.com free online translation)
Last weekend we took a tour up the Chisone valley to have a look at the progress of the venues and see our friends that are hosting some of you from abroad. It was exciting to see how much the valley has changed in the last few months and all the new improvements. I was struck especially in Pragelato with all the tents for the events that are up in place.
After all this time of talking about the Olympics it is finally becoming real!

We were not the only ones having a look around. Sestriere was abuzz as if we have only seen it when it is open and in the season. We also ran into other friends in Sansicario doing exactly what we were, sight seeing. It was a beautiful day and you could just feel the anticipation of something great going to happen. The whole area has been a beehive of activity for awhile, and now it is nice to see things dropping into place. All we need is more help from Mother Nature.
Yesterday was Santa Bibbiana and apparently it is a little like ground hogs day
, in that whatever the weather is like that day it will be like that for 40 days. So after a bit of an overcast day and a bit of drizzle in Pinerolo, by the time we started coming up our road it was snowing hard. We are not getting the dumps of Colorado I have been hearing about, but if you look at the view from our balcony this morning, Serre Marchetto view, you will see we are getting some snow, adding to the excitement.

This week they unveiled the Olympic medal design (looks a bit like a cd to me), we went to a town meeting in Pinerolo where they showed some great footage of all the arenas with games being played and a full explanation of how the game of curling works, designs for handicap ramps for the full first time appearance of sledge (sled) curling at the Olympics, and plans for all the events surrounding the lead up to the Olympics.

The torch arrives in Italy on the 8th of December. Sounds like there is going to be quite the party in Pinerolo when the torch arrives in February. They are having a grand opening of our new tunnels, roads, and road works very shortly here whenever they can get some important political figures here for the opening. Fabrizio has been promised to be one of the first thru the tunnel with our Bella Baita logo on our car doors as a thank you from the road workers and bosses that stayed with us when they first started the project 2 1/2 years ago.

Last night on the news they announced that Andrea Bocelli and Sting will be 2 of the head liners for the free entertainment in Piazza San Carlo in downtown Torino where the entertainment will start every evening at 10 pm. There are plans for entertainment at every Olympic venue as well. I know in Pragelato they are planning on a tent just for Gofri( pronounced Go free) which is Val Chisone's specialty of thin crispy waffles which can have any number of savory or sweet fillings, Proscuitto crudo & cheese, marmalade and nutella are a few of the local favorites.

Just down the road from us in Villar Perosa (the hometown of the late Gianni Agnelli of Fiat family dynasty and person who brought the Olympics here), they erected a huge tent where there is going to be round the clock entertainment, food and huge TV screenings of all the events. I do not think anybody is going to sleep much during those 16 days! So rest up, have great holidays and you will be hearing from us again as we keep you up to date on all the happenings here!

Tanti Auguri! (Many good wishes!)
Marla & Fabrizio

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