A Month in Umbria
22 Sep 2008

How do I even begin to tell the story of our 4 weeks in Umbria?

 Mg 4693-1619 Todi just before sunset
Rome & Florence were easy, by comparison. First, they were shorter... just a few days each. And, we did lots of the normal things... see the amazing architecture, visit the museums, eat lots of yummy food. In Umbria, I suppose, we did a lot of that too.
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scenes from around our Villa, a few km outside of Narni But we did it all over Umbria... we put about 4,800 kilometers on our rental car. And we saw things that we would never see if we had only spent a week.
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We saw the Dunarobba petrified forest, full of million year old Sequoia-like trees, that was discovered by a mining company. We rafted down a river (learning quite a bit of "rafting Italian" in the process), crossing under 1st century Roman bridges. We kept being amazed each time drove by yet another ancient town on a hilltop. We found small, local wineries with amazing bottles of Sagrantino for less than 10€. We picked figs from the fig tree right out our bedroom door.
 Mg 4450-1376  Mg 4441-1367 Mg 4438-1364  Mg 4460-1386 Mg 4454-1380  Mg 4444-1370 Mg 4448-1374 around Norcia
We took a cooking class on a hillside outside Assisi, and toasted with homemade Prosecco and limoncino. We shaved fresh summer truffles from the local norcineria over freshly made manfricoli from the local pasta shop. We soaked up the sun on a beach in Le Marche, and visited the towns of Cam's great grandmother and grandfather. We watched Prince Caspian, in Italian, in the village square in Narni(a).
 Mg 4703-1629  Mg 4889-145 Mg 4890-146  Mg 4864-121 Mg 4895-151  Mg 4859-116 Mg 4885-141 Narni  Mg 4848-105 Mg 4852-109  Mg 3801-762 Mg 3826-787  Mg 4802-59 Mg 4034-981  Mg 4009-957-1 Mg 3824-785 More from around the villa  Mg 4776-33 Mg 4313-1245  Mg 4335-1267 Mg 4773-30-1  Mg 4771-28 Mg 4362-1294 Figs, from the villa  Mg 4743-33  Mg 3751-712 Mg 4748-38 Porchetta!  Mg 4586-1512 Mg 4622-1548  Mg 4629-1555 Mg 4612-1538  Mg 4528-1454  Mg 4552-1478 Mg 4564-1490  Mg 4603-1529 Mg 4632-1558 Cooking class at Alla Madonna del Piatto
We hiked up and got drenched by a man-made waterfall... one that gets "turned off" at night. We sipped espresso a the geographic center of Italy. We walked across an ancient Roman bridge. We drove on roads that sheep might have had a hard time navigating. We got to ride in a tow truck. We toured Narni's underground, and stood in chambers and cells that were used during the Inquisition. We saw the crypt of St. Francis. We feasted on gelato at the sagra della gelato and steak at the sagra della bistecca.
 Mg 3958-906 Mg 3931-886  Mg 4179-1118  Mg 4160-1100 Mg 4157-1098  Mg 4164-1103 Mg 4231-1169  Mg 4166-1105 Sagra della Gelato in Massa Martana and Sagra della Bistecca in Cortona  Mg 4688-1614 Mg 4679-1605  Mg 4668-1594 Mg 4649-1575  Mg 4642-1568 Mg 4666-1592  Mg 4639-1565 Mg 4647-1573  Mg 4663-1589 Mg 4634-1560 Scenes from around Assisi  Mg 4284-1216 Mg 3983-931  Mg 4013-961 Mg 4294-1226  Mg 4002-950 Mg 3963-911 Typical Umbrian Fare  Mg 4711-1 Mg 4712-2  Mg 4734-24  Mg 4730-20 Mg 4705-2 Paolo Bea Winery
We sat and looked at the view of the green heart of Italy, and read a book or three. We ate from porchetta trucks. We went for runs in 85F along the country roads and hills, giving thanks for each shady spot and the soaking pool back at the villa. We had more gelato. We shopped in the local markets. We had a fantastic tour of our favorite winery.
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We sat on the steps and watched the world go by. In other words, we had a great time. I recommend everyone find a way to do this at least once in your lifetime. I know I promised a recipe with this post... but I think this post is a long enough as it is! So, a recipe, featuring my new favorite Italian ingredient, will be along next time. Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint... there is only one photo of it in this post...

(In case you were wondering, I am an Amazon affiliate, and purchases from links in this post to Amazon may earn me a nickel or two... so thanks!).

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