Today we’re off to Orvieto. We had planned to leave for the 3 hour trip at around 10 a.m. Last night Cousin Tullio asked me what time we were planning to leave. (I knew what that was about.) A little after 9:30 a.m. I started loading the bags into the car. As I walked outside and rounded the corner, who was sitting their reading his paper? Yup, you guessed it. I was not at all surprised, because he always likes to say goodbye, but he told me he had been there since 8 a.m. I guess he wanted to make sure he didn’t miss us. What a guy!!!
And then it was time to say goodbye to Cousin Tullio. This is the most difficult part of the trip. After hugs and kisses and many thanks, we got into the car to head out. But our last words through the open window are always the same, “L’anno prossimo!” (“Next year!”) As I drove down the road to make the turn onto Via Roma, I watched him in my rear view mirror and thought, “Next year, Tullio, next year.”
And then we were off. After a bit we decided to stop at a roadside café for a coffee and a quick bite to hold us for the trip. We must have the map of the U.S. on our faces, because when I ordered my cappuccino, the guy said in English, “Where are you from?” Near Boston, I told him. “Boston, Somerville… I know Boston!” I told him in Italian that my grandparents were from Alfedena, and we instantly became pals. Before I knew it he was handing me a gigantic, chocolate croissant to go with my coffee. “It’s for you,” he said. Everybody is so nice here.
The trip to Orvieto was scenic and we arrived ready for action. We are staying at an agriturismo, which is a farm that allows B&B service. This one is difficult to find because it is set way up on top of a hill which looks across to Orvieto. But thanks to satellite navigation, we had no problems. After checking in and bringing the bags in, we made arrangements to have dinner at the farm that night. Then off we went for more adventure.
Orvieto is an old medieval town set high on a mountain with great charm and character. The Duomo (cathedral) is one of the best in Italy. We strolled and took in the sights, and of course stopped in a number of stores to check out the goods. As we were getting a gelato, we heard a woman singing opera through the open windows of a building. Only in Italy!
Tonight we opted to eat in the dining room at the farm, which is situated in the cantina. A good decision. Everything they cook is fresh, and the food was fabulous. And plenty of it. Main course was lamb, cooked to perfection. Jodi was in a food coma by the end. Simonetta, the chef, came out after the meal and remembered me from 4 years ago. Yikes! Good memory. She hasn’t changed a bit; still as pleasant as ever.