We woke up in Milan anticipating our trip to the Castle in Sinio. We got on the road about 11 after programming the GPS and with a backup Google map I’d printed and additional instructions for finding the highway from the hotel people. We were scheduled for a hot air balloon ride over the Barolo region at 5:15. It was a 2 hour trip so we had plenty of time.
Getting out of Milan proved harrowing . The Round Abouts seem like good ideas until you get in one and the GPS voice tells you to take the fourth exit when there are just streets that aren’t exits. So we traveled through Milan, taking the wrong round about exits and getting more lost. We discovered the parts of Milan that are not considered tourist destinations. We made sure our doors were locked. Suddenly, though, the highway appeared before us and we were off. The highways are in excellent condition and are well marked.
After traveling about an hour I noticed that the GPS showed our destination as being 5 hours away. I had misprogrammed the address. So we relied on the Google map. More Round Abouts and more missed exits and toll booths with Italian only instructions. After driving about 3 hours I pulled over and called the Castello. Denise, the owner from whom Linda and I took a cooking class a couple of years ago, informed us that we had overshot our destination and were an hour away. She instructed us how to find them and we got back on the road. We retraced our steps and reentered toll booths we’d already passed through but by then we were old hands at working the toll booths. As we got closer, the scenery turned into the gorgeous views we had been anticipating for the past year as we planned this trip.
Another hour and we called the Castello again. And again. And again as we missed turns again and again. When we finally arrived at the castle the second time, well after 6, having driven right by thinking the sign pointed up the hill, Denise and David, the hotel clerk, greeted us with much needed glasses of prosecco.
We missed our balloon ride but we are finally here.