Friday, April 26, 2019

A Drive in the Country

Rain was threatening today, Dr. C. and I had nothing planned so we decided to take a short drive to a little town called Rasiglia.  It has been dubbed the Venice of Umbria.  With only 40 inhabitants, it is a little jewel on the other side of nowhere....about a 30-minute drive from Spello, you are on back roads, thinking that you can't possibly be going the right direction, and then suddenly, there is a sign saying Rasiglia.

The town is fed by mountain springs.  As you approach you can see the river, but it's not until you climb up into the town that you hear the water flowing around various houses. 

As we walked through the town it appeared that many of the buildings were newer.  There was grave damage here during the 1997 earthquake and many thought that the town wouldn't survive.  This used to be a very busy industrial town, milling cloth, grain, wool, and tanning leather.  There are several exhibits in some of the buildings showing the industrial history of Rasiglia. 

There is something soothing about the sound of flowing water, and this little gem of a town certainly has that soulful feeling.  There are a lot of tourists coming to this tiny town, so go early and find a parking space. 

The town really can't support restaurants per se, but there are several food trucks selling porchetta, and other snacks, and there are agriturismos in the surrounding area.  This was worth the drive, which was beautiful when it's not raining.  Ciao for now.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

At Home in Spello


After 2 weeks on the road in Sicily and Bologna, my pal Phillis Carey and I drove into Spello and our first stop had to be Enoteca Properzio for lunch.

Casual Chef tasting Etrusco 

a taste of Umbria

Can't have salumi without Pecorino
We arrived and found that Chef Marco Gubiotti was opening a gelateria next door to the enoteca, and we were ready....we were told they were opening in 10 minutes, so we hiked up the hill to our apartment and unpacked, headed back down the hill to the gelateria and sampled.  Marco is a Starred Michelin chef who owns a gastronomia in neighboring Foligno.  He does private cooking classes at the enoteca, and opened Amendola 2 years ago next to the gastronomia, and they have opened in Spello, selling artiginal gelato. 

Chef Marco, opening day

Lots of flavors

What a fantastic addition to Spello!  People were lined up out the door to get a taste.  There are small tables outside, and soon to come umbrellas for the summertime.  I know this will be a huge success. 
After sampling gelato, we went back to the enoteca, and relaxed.  That means more wine to taste! 
Our next adventure was a trip to Trevi for lunch at La Cucina San Pietro in San Pettine where they specialize in truffles that are found on their land. 
Articoke starter with speck, truffles and fonduta

Crostone with black truffle and salami

Ricotta ravioli with sweet pea puree and truffles

Strangozzi with truffle, tomato and burrata

Chocolate cake for dessert

Beautiful property on a beautiful day

There is a tiny church on the property as well
We rolled out of there and headed back to Spello for a little rest.  It was Good Friday and there were some visitors in the town, but the hordes were coming.  All through the town there were beautifully depicted stations of the cross.  (These are not in order)

Wandering the streets of Spello is always interesting, finding frescoes and artwork and beautiful flower displays are part of the charm of this hill town, and why I love it here. 
Easter procession in Spello
On Saturday we took it easy, both of us had to pack, since Phillis was returning to the states and I was going to spend the night at the airport and pick up Dr. C. on Monday morning.  But, our eating wasn't done yet, on Sunday we had a reservation at another one of my favorite restaurants in the area, L'Alchimista.  Since it was Easter, I knew there would be crowds; driving up the streets of Spello, it was like parting the Red Sea with all the people who were here. 
Artichoke souffle

Lamb 3 ways

Roasted Veg

Roasted pigeon 3 ways

Colomba, traditional Easter bread


Deep cappuccino (my favorite dessert of all time)
After a double espresso, Phillis and I were on the road to the Rome airport.  Dr. C. arrived on Monday and we have been settling in here visiting with friends and our family. 

I think he's happy
Ciao for now!