Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Italy: Spring 2012: Friday, May 18: Day 24: Cannara

Italy: Spring 2012: Friday, May 18: Day 24: Cannara

Another nice day....how long can this keep up?

Sometime before we woke up, people slipped into the kitchen and squeezed fresh orange juice and made things ready for our breakfast.  The only thing missing from this kitchen for my purposes is a drip coffee maker but I search around and rig up a reasonable facsimile using a funnel, a napkin and a teapot.

We enjoy our breakfast--Teresa, the owner of the house--had made a "pizza di Pasqua" (a kind of cheese bread) and Jennifer made a delicious ricotta tart as well.

After breakfast, we have an appointment to take a look at the villa we are renting next year to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and Diana's 70th birthday with all the boys, their wives and the grandchildren.  The Fattoria del Gelso is just outside Cannara, actually within walking distance to town.  I somehow get lost on the way there (not an easy feat in this small town) but we finally make it.  We are shown around by the local "keyholder" and find all is great....lots of bedrooms and baths, big living areas, great kitchen, lovely swimming pool.

Here are some links to photos of the Fattoria....




We even get some fresh fava beans from the caretaker who tends the garden and is the in-house pizza maker.

We then drive towards the hill town of Montefalco but make a stop to walk around Bevagna....another small town near Cannara.  We do some shopping (some farro and lentils) and admire the main piazza with two facing churches.

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Garibaldi is commemorated here (as in almost every Italian town) with a plaque on one the gates into town.

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Then we drive up the hill to the center of Montefalco, which--at 1500 feet--dominates the broad plain.  We stop to admire the view...Montefalco is known as the "balcony of Umbria"....

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and do some more shopping in the town...

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Time for lunch and we return to Bevagna to have lunch at Le Delizie del Borgo

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a trattoria run by a friend of the villa owners--Bill and Suzy Menard who also run Bella Italia, a Italian import store in Bethesda MD.  We eat outside...all the tables are filled with non-Italians. 

We strike up a conversation with the people at the table next to us, who turn out to be Russians who now live in Minneapolis, and are also Italophiles.

The food is very good...I have tagliatelle with mushrooms and a plate of tripe, while Diana has a very good plate of salumi and a bowl of zuppa di farro.  With a couple of glasses of local red wine, the lunch is very pleasant.

Back to Cannara for a rest and then another walk around town for me--although it is interrupted  
by a rain shower--a very disturbing omen.

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Later in the afternoon, we get back in the car searching for a local St. Francis connection, the Pala d'Arco--a roadside shrine marking the spot where St. Francis preached to the birds.  We find it easily...we had actually passed it twice during the day.

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On the way back, we stop to buy porchetta sandwiches for dinner and pick up some local Montefalco wine at the supermarket.  We eat at the palazzo and have a quiet evening listening to jazz and reading.

Tomorrow we will have lunch with friends in Vicchio (Tuscany) and then continue on to Modena.

Jim and Diana

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