Alba, 20th september 2012

These historical rooms, opened today to accomodate tourists, were once the of ces belonging to my grandfather, Andrea, a well-known Notary of the town of Alba, then to my father Italo and, most recently, to my sister Paola.

This, then, for many years has been our family home where I grew up and still live. Centuries ago, these buildings were part of a huge complex belonging to monks of the Domenican Order which includes Alba’s Classical Lycée school, known as ‘Il Govone’ where I myself was a pupil and the church of San Domenico where I got married in 1967. San Domenico is a gothic jewel of a church, restored thanks to contributions from both the town’s Famija Albeisa association and money donated directly from Alba’s townspeople. Today concerts and exhbitions can be enjoyed within its ancient walls.

’Handsome’ ('Bel' in italian) San Domenico, as it has always been known in town, and as my late mother Ida also affectionately called it, has always been the centre-piece of the view from my room. The idea of being able to share with others the beautiful view of San Domenico dominating his tiny square, to offer hospitality to visitors from all over the world who are in love with Beauty, just as I am, is one that is very dear to me.

My father also loved all that is beautiful and good in life. He was a true man of the Langa: generous, ironic, enthusiastic and passionate about his interests.

I like to think that, over the many years he worked here, his good humour and optimism permeated through and into the ancient walls of this house, and that something of his high spirits will remain with visitors even after they’ve left...

I am also glad that these rooms will open to visitors today, the 20th of September 2012, the very day that he would have celebrated his 100th birthday.

Estelia Ferrero