Saturday April 16
Orvieto is one of those hill towns in Umbria that I have always wanted to see and today is the day. Perched high on a hilltop, Orvieto is an awesome sight when approaching by train. Unfortunately I was unable to get any good photos of that vista from my vantage point on a moving train. Once there, of course I walked the winding streets till I reached the highest point and these are some of the amazing and spectacular views I had. Incredibly beautiful and tranquil!
The immense Duomo, which dates back to the 13th-17th century, was breathtaking with its mosaics, huge bronze doors and Gothic architecture. It was the focal point in the piazza, and from there I wandered among the little streets which had many ceramic shops, as this area has always been well-known for these hand-painted works of art.
After browsing through quite a few, I came back to the first shop, where I had met Chiara Giacomini, the owner who had spoken with pride of the four generations of her family involved in this ceramiche artistiche work. I bought several beautiful pieces which actually were designed by her daughter. I also met her son Giulio, who explained that he attended art school for five years prior to him becoming the skilled craftsman that he is today. After the post office experience, I was happy to arrange to have the ceramics shipped home.
I stopped for lunch at L’Antica Piazzetta, and decided to try a regional specialty, fettucini with porcini mushrooms, and it was delicious. I opted for an outdoor table, and as a special side offering, one of the waiters sliced the thinnest prosciutto from a prepared side of pork in front of me. I am not that fond of prosciutto, but after aging for 24 months, this was incredibly delicious. This is one of the experiences that makes being in Italy so wonderful. You just do not find these kinds of places with these special touches anywhere but here.
Just magnificent. What a trip!
In my youth we did have such places. They were displaced by the MacDonald’s and Burger Kings. We also had diners and my son and I used to search them out for the experience. The last “treasure” we found was in Bradenton, Florida. It was around 1980 and the cook was famous. She was a large black lady and I thought she was the owner for several years. She was treated with great respect by the other employees and owner and by locals as well. She did not speak to any of us! But the food was worth coming for over and over.
My son, as you know, has his difficulties but still persists in finding places to eat that have what we called “personality.” There are very few out there anymore and I suspect that younger generations would avoid them as being too different. You might find a few rare places here if you get away from big cities with big markets. Not enough business to temp Mc D’s but still enough to support a local family.
But the view from here will never match the view from Umbria!
Looks like you’re having a great time there in Italy. How Spectacular the view. Good for you. It’s so nice to travel and get a new perspective on things.
It looks wonderful, and I know it is. I know you are having a wonderful time. Keep sending pictures. Olga
I am blessed to have many long-time very close friends, none more cherished or deserving of this adventure than you Margie! You know how I love Italian food, so chow down for me girlfriend!!