We took Myra on a tour through Umbria, which is the region just to the east of Tuscany. It’s just as beautiful as Tuscany and not quite as tourist laden, although it’s being discovered more and more. Umbria is called the “Green Heart of Italy” because its landscape it so vividly green and hilly. We went to Todi, a little town south of Perugia, to have lunch, then drove to Deruta to see the gorgeous ceramics they are famous for.
We had lunch at Pane e Vino in Todi, a great slow food restaurant. We had a fantastic Sagrantino wine from Montefalco. This wine is extremely difficult to find in the US because not much of it is made. It’s from a very small growing area, only about 1,600 acres surrounding the town of Montefalco, and only made by about 50 producers. If you ever run across one, try it. It’s wonderful wine and it was a perfect complement to our lunch in Todi.
After lunch we visited Deruta, where we used to buy ceramics when we had our store. We took Myra to one of our suppliers and she got to see how the ceramics are made and painted. The Gialletti brothers, Antonio and Carlo, are carrying on a business started by their father and grandfather in 1959. We haven’t done business with them in over five years, but they were just as glad to see us as when we came there on buying trips. This is why we love Italy so much – relationships are not just about business.
Myra cooked dinner for us when we got back home. We went to the market and got some paper thin chicken, expertly sliced by the butcher, some veggies, and some bread. Oh, and some fresh porcini mushrooms. She made a fabulous sauteed chicken with a porcini mushroom sauce with sauteed veggies. It was the best meal ever cooked in this kitchen and we felt privileged to not only have a wonderful friend visiting us, but have her preparing a feast for us as well.
It was a wonderful day. Low-key, not touristy, no schedule to keep – just touring around Umbria on a beautiful November day. After the hectic pace we had been keeping with Myra, we needed an easy day. The scenery was great, the weather was great, the company was great, and the food was great. All in all, a pretty good day.