Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Scouting: Umbria

Our Umbrian hosts Federico Bibi and Jennifer McIlvane had a delicious and adventurous itinerary planned for us. Any thoughts of slowing down and staying in one place were put to rest as we immediatly headed out to visit several significant cultural sites. Federico for many years represented internationally the culinary heritage of Umbria. Jennifer, Federico's wife, is a chef and expat from Philadelphia. Together you could not ask for more in the way of thoughtful and knowledgeable guides and Umbria was ours.

Federico showed us around the Terre Margaratelli vineyard and winery where we sampled Federico's latest experiments. Federico is marketing director for the Terre Margaratelli winery.

We visited Fattoria Luchetti where we took a look at the enormous chianina beef and picked up some fresh items for a dinner party at the villa later that evening.

Chianina cow

Jennifer and Federico at Fattoria Luchetti

Back at the Trampetti Villa Dave turned some steaks cooking on the open hearth at a dinner party that included Federico, Jennifer and Italian friends

The next day it was time for more adventures. First up was a look around the olive trees at the Trampetti estate.

In the orchard

Federico checks out olives destined for Trampetti extra virgin olive oil. Trampetti is one of the best olive oil producers in Italy

Dave enjoys the view from the villa

Jennifer, Federico and Jim

Next stop was Porcetta di Costano known as the best porcetta truck in town where we ordered the specialty and drove up the hill to enjoy the view from the beautiful hill town of Collepino.

Dave savors an impossibly good porcetta sandwich

We climbed Mount Subasio high above the nearby town of Assisi. In the cloud tops we could see nothing and slowly descended the mountain where we visited a peaceful, contemplative monastery founded by St Francis of Assisi.

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