Bobbio and Italy’s Rice Fields

We’ve been back home for a month now, after covering almost 1500 miles (2400 km) this summer. Only to end up falling down a step and spraining my ankle, and now I’m laid low with an icky cold! So I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s healthier for me keep traveling all the time! : But since my energy level is pretty low, I thought a fun post was in order. So I’m here to give you a sneak peek tour of some of our meanderings!

Our summer Travels

1st stop: Bobbio in Emilia Romagna

We got to visit the delightful small town of Bobbio while visiting friends near Piacenza. It’s full of age-old charm, with narrow cobblestone streets and ancient buildings. In 2019 was voted Italy’s most beautiful villag. And it is easy to see why!

Devil’s bridge at sunset ©SignoraSheila
Bobbio by night by Francesco Ungaro
View of Bobbio from bridge by Matteo Russo from Flickr, CC BY 2.0
Bobbio on the Trebbia river by Raffaele Pagani
Bobbio bridge byKirk K
Bridge by Non mi svegliate

One of the town’s main attractions is the long picturesque Devil’s Bridge. A name stemming from the old superstition that the devil was often behind the construction of bridges, because they joined two places that God wanted to remain separate.

Nonetheless, Bobbio was an important center in Roman days, when the bridge was built, and later also became an important hub of Western monasticism during the Middle Ages.

Complete with a castle, cathedral, and very old library, its location in the Appenine mountains make it an ideal place to visit. Cool in summer, it offers hiking plus canoeing and swimming in the Trebbia River. Or skiing and other sports in winter.

A tiny place, but so pretty, and well worth a visit!

2nd stop: Casale Monferrato and the rice fields of Piedmont

Casale Monferrato in Piedmont is often considered one of Italy’s hidden gems. A beautiful, mostly agricultural area lying at the foot of the Alps, it’s replete with a Medieval castle and cathedral, and ancient buildings.

But what I found most interesting were the rice fields along the Po River. Flooded during growing season, the area looks like a big sea, crisscrossed with roads. With the distant town in the 1st image becomes an island totally surrounded by water. And undoubtedly a damp, uncomfortable place to live. But I hope we get to return and perhaps visit the fields!

Images of Monferrato: Poppies (TL) by Idéfix | Others ©SignoraSheila

We stayed with new friends in the tiny hamlet of Pozzengo. There’s not much to it, but it was a peaceful and blessed interlude – even though their daughter, son-in-law, and 6 grandchildren were staying there! What wonderfully well-behaved kids!

We were also amazed at the hazel nut farms, most of which go into the making of Italy’s famous Nutella in the region’s factory! And it was interesting to see our hosts’ son training his dog to hunt for Piedmont’s expensive truffles, which grow in both white and black varieties.

Semi-retirement and changes

We decided against Italy’s draconian green pass, so Hubby could no longer teach in schools. Which makes us semi-retired. We plan to request pensions next year. In the meantime, we’ll get by with our support base and private English lessons.

I enjoy having him home more. Although I do find it a challenge to keep up and get things done. So once again, it’s a time of change and adaptation. But it’s all good, and we’re counting God’s blessings! And I hope you also have many blessings to count!!

7 thoughts on “Bobbio and Italy’s Rice Fields

  1. I’m truly sorry for your fall and sprained ankle, my friend, but so glad you got to go on this remarkable trip and enjoy places I can only dream of–so incredibly beautiful. And I’m happy to hear Hubby is home with you more–they do take getting used to when they’re around more, don’t they? But what a sweet time of sharing and making memories now together. Italy is definitely on my bucket list, Sheila–all because of you!


    1. Thanks so much, Dayle, but my ankle is now well! Yes, we saw beautiful sights, but even better made wonderful new friends and finally got to see old ones! Hubby & I are loving all the time together, but takes adjustment and organization to keep up with everything. I really do hope you get to come over some day, dear friend!!


  2. Sheila, I’m sorry about your fall. Thank you for the beautiful photos and descriptions of Italian spots. Keith just retired in September. It is indeed a time of adjustments and a new chapter/season in life. It’s a chance to enjoy each other like never before. I’m so glad that God gave you a wonderful man. May the Lord bless you and Mario richly. Karen


    1. Thank you Karen! My ankle is nearly well, now I just need to defeat this cold! I’m glad you & Keith are enjoying retirement together, and that you too have a wonderful man. I think these will be good years! Blessings to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

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