We are roughly half way through the trip now so today is usually a wind down day. Everyone chose to head into the nearby town of Umbertide, a small but charming town about 20-30 minutes northeast of where we are staying on the banks of the Tiber River.
Each Wednesday the local farmer’s market is in Umbertide. It’s a collection of actual farmers and their local produce, food vendors and vendors selling everything from table linens to shoes to undergarments. Of course my first stop was to the porchetta vendor whose stand features a roasted pig filled with herbs set on a slab of marble whereupon the pig is slowly consumed one slice at time – I am not sure why the pigs always look so happy! The delicious and succulent slices are placed on a French roll and then topped with pieces of the crunchy and fatty skin. It is delicious and not a bad way to start this day.
I lost the ladies immediately as they were in shopping paradise. I was in photo paradise and strolled around and captured images of these happy people all so proud of their crops and wares. Again, some of the same vendors were in their same spots as they have been for the 12 years I have been coming.
With the shopping winding down – me and four of the ladies were off to the antique warehouse and yard - Lacole’ the Larry, Gloria and Tiffany either stuck around Umbertide and Joan and Phillip headed back for some alone time at the country houses.
Lacole’ is a fabulous place if you are interested in old stone sinks, fireplaces, tiles, beams, and antique furniture and accessories. If not it can be the most boring two hours during the trip. So its great with the cars how everyone can do their own thing! My group of ladies – for the most part all interior designers and of course Isabel with her store – were all thrilled to be here and they scattered like seeds in the wind.
I have been visiting this family’s operation for the last 12 years too and they have come from a little open air stone yard along the highway to this amazing facility they now have. The materials and collections they have assembled is truly astounding and their pieces have been featured in Architectural Digest, I have used their roof tiles, fireplaces, and doors on Candelaria Design homes.
With Lacole’ complete we were all starving so we proceeded back towards the country homes with a quick stop in Citta di Costello, another small town in the area. The girls were hungry so we proceeded to the town center – centro and found a little trattoria / art gallery and the girls found a comfy table under a large umbrella on the street to unwind and re-nourish. I kept on with my camera and explored the nearby church, the little winding streets and piazzas.
When I returned the girls were just being served, I grabbed a gelato and a coffee latte’ and joined them. They were playing some amazing music that was sort of choral versions of hit cover music. It was beautiful and I tried to purchase a copy from the bar but it was their only copy that they apparently had just purchased and she wasn’t ready to part with it – needed Tiffany to bargain with her!
Meanwhile, the pasta machine was set up along with flour and eggs and we were off to make homemade pasta. This time it was raviolis and tagliatelle. Meanwhile, Elizabeth had a delicious tomato sauce simmering on the stove, made from carrots, celery, onions and of course tomatoes. Elizabeth made Isabel a delicious roasted eggplant dish as a substitute for the pasta and that was accompanied by local sausages sautéed with grapes. It was all fabulous!. This was then all topped off with roasted pears in a chianti wine reduction with lemon zest and pepper topped with marscapone cream…..ok the best dessert I think I have ever had.
We enjoyed the dinner, drank plenty of the wine purchased on our wine tour, and just hanging out in the country home. Another great day in Umbria.