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Mmm mmm Umbria!

Our last stop in Italy

sunny 29 °C

Florence (and therefore Tuscany) has always been my favorite spot in Italy. My first memories of Italy began there and I had so much fun as a student, and our good pals Hilary and Omar were married in a castello there some years later. So there have been some superb times had in Tuscany. Then after our great time in Cinque Terre, I thought that was my next favorite place. But can I not add Umbria as my new favorite region? It is too hard to choose, but Umbria brought us all sorts of delights over our last five days in Italy.

We stayed at a great agriturismo called Agriturismo Cioccoleta, just minutes outside of Orvieto in Bardano. The beauty of this place, despite its gorgeous farm full of grape vines, pumpkins, olive trees and more, despite its wonderful view of the town of Orvieto and despite the very large and well thought-out rooms and facilities, was Angela and her family. The made us feel like part of their family from our very first night. In fact, we were too tried to go out our first evening, so Angela let use her kitchen to make some pasta and we sat in the dining room where she was with her family. Her brother, his wife and children were visiting, so they had a big dinner in the agriturismo and shared with us wine from their own grapes, juicy tomatoes from their garden and even scrumptious sausage and salami from their pig! Here are some pics of the agriturismo.

There was a looong, bumpy road to the agriturismo
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Angela, her husband Alessandro and their darling little boy of two year, Federico were fantastic hosts. They gave us great tips about town of Orvieto, booked us some meals at delicious restaurants and gave great suggestions of things to see.

Federico kindly let Zavian use all his toys! Here are the two boys together.
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Zavian's first real swing! He loved it!
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Naim and Zavian in the agriturismo's vineyard.
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On our first night, then mentioned a small town of Civita. Angela and Alessandro gave us a few tidbits of information, such as it was a unique place, go at sunset, there are only a handful of residents that live there, but did not reveal too much and said it is better to go and be surprised. Our interest was peaked so on one of our evenings, we went. It truly was magical, and as it is only about 60 miles north of Rome, I would recommend it as an easy day trip. The surprise of Civita, is that this little tiny village teeters atop a vast canyon. It is an absolutely sight! There is only a footbridge that connects the town to its larger, sister town, Bagnoregio, and there are no cars in Civita. You enter the town through a cut in the rock made by the Etruscans 2500 years ago, and through an arch. There are no sights to see here, but beautiful little lanes and paths to explore, a small piazza and the amazing views. Much of this part of Umbria was formed by ancient volcanoes, and Orvieto itself is also set atop a volcano and very dramatic. I will let the pics talk for themselves!

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Outside Gepetto's house from the recent remake of Pinnochio!
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The rest of our time here was spent exploring Orvieto, eating the most amazing food and gorging on black truffles, sipping white Orvieto wine, and dodging the occasional rainfall. We also had a picnic on a little mountain park one afternoon and chatted with a local cheesemaker who runs an agriturismo for disabled people and their families- really cool!

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Angela and Alessandro were married in the duomo and the frescoes inside are beautiful!
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Enjoying some quiet time with baby asleep.
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Even better with vino and a truffle and pork sandwich from Cantina Foresi outside the duomo.
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Truffle pasta anyone? From the cave restaurant Le Grotte del Funaro.
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Zavian making friends with the waitstaff, as always! Here with Diana from Girrarosto Buongustaio.
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Another highlight from our time here was Zavian's 7 month birthday. Truthfully, he turned 7 months a week earlier, but we didn't have a printer, etc, so we are a little late. Oops!
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And the final milestone from Italy was Zavian's first tooth! We had a few bad nights with little Z, only to realize that he was teething, poor guy! First tooth in Italy, wonder where the next one will come in!

Mmm mmm Umbria. Oh how I will your truffles, your homemade umbrecelli pasta, your porchetta. Your wine is divine. We packed our bags and headed for the airport. What a great two weeks in Italy. Ci Vediamo Italia!

Now on to Asia!

Posted by jknazef 10:42 Archived in Italy Tagged orvieto umbria civita

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