Anne's Blog

Rural Umbria, Rural Treasures: Truly Knowing Italy

Date: September 14, 2017 - categories: , , - 1 Comment

Now Andrea and her papa’ Edoardo – from Sao Paolo Brazil – feel they’ve truly come to know Italy. As Signor Edoardo told me, “I feel I only know a country if i can know the people” and meeting our farm friends fulfilled Edoardo’s goal – and beyond what he had imagined.

Our “Rural Life Revisited” experience started with a chance encounter at Ristorante Da Giovannino where a few “locals” had dogs in the back of pick-up trucks, on their way to train them. Some dogs were truffle dogs, others ere used for pheasant hunting and some others were trained to hunt hare.

Italo was there, too, but without his prized truffle dogs. Introducing him to Andrea and Signor Edoardo, I mentioned that Italo’s son cultvated saffron. Edoardo lit up. He asked if he could buy some for his paella.

So off we all went to Italo’s restored stone farmhouse, with a stop first to see his prized hunting dogs near the entrance.

Signor Edoardo, Italo and Andrea: a stop to admire Italo’s prize-winning dogs


Centuries ago, Italo’s own farmhouse was once the mill where the flour was ground. Adjacent to his house are the homes of his children. Son Loris was not there but his wife Letizia invited us into their kitchen where she showed us photos of the saffron cultivation and jars of varying sizes of saffron.

Photos of saffron fields, saffron cultivation



Edoardo chose a jar with saffron for a meal for twenty persons and I chose a smaller size, Letizia carefully weighing our precious purchases.

Letizia carefully weighs our saffron


Letizia, Edoardo, Andrea and Italo: Brazil and Umbria connect over saffron


After our visit with Italo and family, we stopped to see Quinto, over ninety and still sprightly. He told us tales of his arduous life on the land and proudly showed us the outdoor oven the family uses now for breads, roast goose and more: the modern replacement to that outdoor wood-burning oven which I remembered Quinto’s wife loading up with kindling on bread-baking day.



Not far from Quinto’s house, we found Peppe (nearly eighty-five) in his vineyard picking grapes:


….and of course, we had to see the crates of grapes ready for Peppe’s wine-making:


You simply can’t leave Peppe’s farm without a stop to admire his prosciutti:


Edoardo wanted a photo together with his new friend, Peppe, before we left – and his admiration for the years of hard work of this Umbrian contadino was evident:


After our rural visits, time for a rural feast, cooked up by farm friend Chiarina (her husband Marino was helping relatives harvest their grapes that day)

To start off, a generous antipasto:


After our antipasto, ah, what lasagne!


The chicken raised by Chiarina and her husband Marino was our second course – buonissimo!


…….and after that, garden salad with their olive oil, logicamente


Gran finale? A “Chiarina cake”:


Mille grazie to each of our Umbrian rural friends for opening homes and hearts to us. Signor Edoardo and his daughter Andrea are now returning home to Brazil not just with Umbrian saffon but with treasured memories of the people.

Read more about Umbria’s treasure: the rural people
Click here to see – and read about – the rural people, rural banquets
Click here for more on the “Rural Life Revisited” experience
Read more about Peppe, Peppa and other rural friends here
Meet our farm friends, givers of the greatest gifts
Click here to read about “memorable moments” or our rural visits
Read about – and see – our first years on the land in Umbria
Read more about treasured rural friends
Read more about indefatigable Peppe
Click here to read about an “Auntie Annie” rural tour
You really can’t miss a rural banquet cooked by Chiarina
Read about the “regal welcome” Chiarina and Marino give to their guests
Read about our rural friends – and their “green gold,” olive oil
Read about why a visit with our rural friends makes any Umbrian stay unforgettable
Click here to see how a visit to rural friends can make your stay “the experience of a lifetime”
Click here to read about a treasured Umbrian rural winter tradition
Click here for many more insights on our rural friends
Read about Chiarina and Marino – and the use of broom
Read about making wine with Peppa
Click here to read about – and see – why rural visits offer “unforgettable moments”

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