"Italians were eating with a knife and fork when the French were still eating each other."
We departed Rome, flying by a few more of Rome's many, many sights. We headed north into Umbria, the heartland of Italy, famous for its wines, olives and produce.
First stop: Orvieto, a lovely hill town, famous for the fact that in 1536, a priest from Prague who didn't believe in the transformation (i.e., bread and wine becoming the body and blood of Christ), had a miracle occur. Depending on the version told to you, either the wine he was using for the service turned red and actually became blood or blood came out of the bread used for the hosts. The bishop was notified and eventually a Duomo (cathedral) was built to honor this feast which is still celebrated on the 8th Sunday after Easter.
The church is famous for its relics, its architecture, its “Last Judgment” frescoes by Frangelico and Signorelli. It's just beautiful.
Following the tour, we had an hour to shop. I landed on a beautiful cobalt blue serving platter, painted with lemons and featuring handles with sculpted lemons. I love it. The store, one of the highest end we
were to encounter on our trip, included “free” shipment to the U.S. The store, Giacomini – Ceramiche Artistiche -- was actually written up in Bon Appetite a few years back.
We had lunch at a quaint little place up one of the winding alleys called La Grotta Trattoria. Food was quite good.
We then walked down backstreets through Orvieto, taking in all this hillside town has to offer.
We boarded the bus and headed further into Umbria. On our way, Len shares San Sisto chocolates, a Perugia delicacy of chocolate, nougat and ground hazelnuts. Mmmmm good.
We went through Perugia (where Amanda Knox is on trial) to a northern “suburb” called Torgiano, in the Tiber Valley. The Hotel Le Tre Vaselle is a 17th-century country house with its own private vineyard - an opportunity to experience Italy's privileged country life. We checked into our rooms, then headed to a wine tasting. The family that owns the hotel has vineyards, olives and more. They are famous for the gourmet wines, balsamic vinegars and olive oils.
Dinner was in the Inn's dining room (Le Melograne) and was extremely gourmet. Very fancy and very tasty. We dined with Harold and Toni Refowich of Hazleton, PA; Bill
= TP PROFILE START =
Former TravelPod Member: spoonball
Joined: May 29th, 2007
From: Saint Louis lives in Saint Louis,MO and Bonita Springs,FL,United States
Favorite Book: Tuesdays with Morrie
Favorite Movie: The Way We Were
Favorite Music: iPod: pop, country, top 20, easy listening, Broadway
Hobbies: travel, golf, scrapbooking, photography, Billiken basketball, Golden Retrievers, iPhone word games, bridge
Languages: pitifully, just English
Bucket List: sleigh ride -- the real thing -- on an old fashioned sleigh behind a team of horses on freshly fallen snow
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