Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Roots Tour

Today a friend from Assisi and I took to the road; it was miserable and rainy in Assisi when I picked her up, but she had checked the weather and said the weather to the North was going to be better, so we opted to go to Gubbio, where my grandparents were born, and where there is one of my favorite restaurants ever, Il Panaro.  The weather held, and we had a great drive, and then stopped at Il Panaro, which looks like a dive bar in the middle of nowhere. 
My cousins from Gubbio had taken Dr. C. and I there years ago, and said it was typical Umbrian food with the food coming from the farm of the owner.  Everything I have ever had there has been exceptional.  Today we stared with a farro minestrone, and the I had gnocchi with rabbit ragu and my friend Dee had tagliatelle with goose ragu---we walked out like two sausages, stuffed and happy.  

gnochhi with rabbit ragu

tagliatelle with goose ragu
We traveled on to Gubbio and walked around the town, I am still in a rehab mode with my left leg, so was not up for walking up Mt. Ignino, but we did drive up to see the views and the basilica. 

Gubbio still retains its medieval character; with cobbled streets, and beautiful vistas.  Its most famous visitor was St. Francis who came to help the townsfolk, when there was a wolf terrorizing the town. St. Francis talked with the wolf, they shook hands and the wolf was never seen again in Gubbio.  

 Gubbio has no train station so there are not a lot of tourists here, except during the Festa dei cieri May 15 when the town swells to over 100,000 people cramming the streets and alleyways.  It’s like a mosh pit at a rock concert. 

We got a little off the beaten track, and we ended up in Padule, which is actually the little burg that my nonni were born in. We went by the house that my grandmother was born in and it was gone, replaced by a very modern home on the property---I told my kids I didn’t take a photo since I prefer to remember it as it was when I first saw it 15 years ago.  
Here are a few more snaps from our day.
Like any hill town there is a lot of climbing to be done

Not everything here is "un-touristy"

Each hilltown has its own ceramic or majoliche

And you wondered where all the shoemakers went--as we passed by you could hear "tap, tap, tap"--established in 1341

Wishing you a bella giornata from Spello.

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