There are so many perfect days here, I hate to declare any one more perfect than another. However, this one was in the top five. First of all, the weather was divine. Beautiful, blue skies that seemed to never end, about 68 degrees, very low humidity – you know the kind of day. Just perfect. Then there was the fact that we had no agenda. We got up and took a long walk this morning and talked about what we could do today. So many options. Wonderful options. Take the train somewhere we’ve never been? Visit somewhere we’ve been, but see something different? Drive somewhere? Hang out in Anghiari?
We decided to go to Citta di Castello. Somewhere we’ve been, but have wanted to go back to. It’s nearby, only about a 25 minute drive, and it has some great restaurants. It was an easy choice and sometimes those are the best.
I looked up a restaurant on my Slow Food app (I know y’all must be tired of hearing about that!) and found a couple of choices in Citta. Citta is not a huge town, but it’s pretty big compared to Sansepolcro and certainly Anghiari. We took at chance on a parking lot and wandered into the old city and found our way to the restaurant. Only to find it closed. I not only consulted the app, I looked up the website for the restaurant and it clearly said they were open. I was a little confused, however, because the website directions gave its location right off a big piazza and the address in my slow food app took us to a little winding alley, not near a piazza. We decided to walk around a bit and find another place. As we came upon the big piazza in town, Piazza Matteotti, I looked to my left and saw the restaurant. Same name, different place. They moved since my app was published (and they don’t do updates, for some reason) and still have the old place where they make fresh pasta. Kind of a little market. I was so happy that we stumbled upon this and got to try this place.
And it was very lucky for us that we did. This was one of the best restaurants we’ve eaten at. OK, maybe saying that is like saying it was the perfect day. There are so many great restaurants that the one you’re eating at right then is the best. Trattoria Lea was packed. It was a local crowd – that’s always a good sign. It seemed a little more upscale than the typical trattoria. We thought it was going to be expensive, but we were prepared and OK with that. Turns out, it was only slightly more than any other trattoria. We had a great bottle of Grechetto (a crisp white wine that you can’t find in Atlanta – I’ve tried) for 12 euro. We were planning to have a glass each, but when we saw that on the wine list for only 12, we decided to get the whole bottle.
We had bruschetta with truffles to start. Wow – it was so good. Drenched in wonderful olive oil and sprinkled with black truffles – just enough to get that fabulous taste without being overpowering. It left your mouth very happy.
Steve had pasta arabiatta and I had gnocchi with fresh porcini mushrooms. Both were plates of joy. I also ordered some sausage because, well, I just love it.
I also ordered an arugula salad. It was so much food that we couldn’t eat it all, although we gave it a valiant effort. Then after we surrendered our plates, we were brought digestivos. Both blasting cold – limoncello and some other kind of sweet, herby thing. Great meal. Great place.
After lunch we walked around Citta a little. It’s a really pretty city with lots of interesting shops. Of course, since it was after lunch, they were all closed. It was pretty much a ghost town as we strolled through the crooked, cobbled streets. We stopped in the City Hall and oohed and aahed and then into the Duomo which is one of the best around, in my opinion.
I’ve mentioned this before on previous posts, but outside the city hall is a basket mounted to the front of the building. It’s where they put the severed heads of foes, villains, and others deemed equally reprehensible. I guess if you’re going to sever someone’s head, you might as well make a spectacle out of it. Gotta love the middles ages.
After our stroll through town, we did a little shopping. First at our favorite home store, Casa. Because I’m a loyal and valued customer, they gave me a discount coupon for my birthday. And for those of you who think Christmas arrives too early in the US, check out this display that was up and running on October 8.We got lots of loot for our apartment and came home just in time to have happy hour out on the terrace. It was a glorious day from top to bottom and I hope to have many more just like it over the next two weeks.