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Pasticceria Nando Orvieto

Instead of an oversize bunny rabbit leaving a basket of candied eggs, citizens of Orvieto wake up on Easter morning to a breakfast of Pizza di Pasqua (it’s not really a pizza, but it’s not exactly a cake either).

Pizza di Pasqua is a yeast-filled bread (similar to Christmas pannettone) that’s served during the holy days of Pasqua (Easter Sunday) and Pasquetta (Easter Monday).

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Bar & Pasticceria Montanucci Orvieto

A cherished tradition typical of central Italy (Umbria, Lazio and Le Marche), Pizza di Pasqua comes in both dolci (sweet) and al formaggio (cheese) versions.

Folks in Orvieto take great pride in their Pizza di Pasqua, so you can imagine there’s lots of fighting discussion about who has the best recipe (there are as many as there are cooks). For the past 14 years, Palazzo del Gusto Orvieto has sponsored a bake-off to decide whose is the yummiest. Both professionals and amateurs are invited to compete for the coveted culinary distinction of “Best Pizza di Pasqua di Orvieto”.

 

IMG_1795Exuberant baker Gaetana Olini has been preparing the Easter specialty for decades and let’s us in on her secret for making a great one.

“You must have patience and allow the pizza to rise in a warm spot for at least 18 hours”, she warns. “It’s in this way that you can be sure it will turn out very soft and airy.”

Gaetana P di pasqua

Pizza di Pasqua: It isn’t Easter in Umbria without it.

 

IMG_1792A RECIPE FOR PIZZA DI PASQUA…

INGREDIENTS

4 yeast cubes (from the refrigerated section, not the powdered kind!)

1 kg of flour 00

250 grams of sugar

1 cup olive oil

6 eggs

300 ml of water

300 ml of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or one package)

1 lemon zest

1 small glass of anisette liqueur and ‘rosolio di cannella’ (cinnamon liqueur)

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PREPARATION

Dissolve 2 cubes of yeast in 250 ml of warm water.

Meanwhile, in a large plastic bowl put 300 grams of flour.

Add the yeast mixture into the flour and mix with a fork until all the water is absorbed into the dough (be careful not to let it get hard). Add flour gradually making sure the dough remains soft!

Cover with a cloth and put in a warm space (inside a shut-off oven is best) and let the dough rise (about 1 hour).

Melt the remaining 2 cubes of yeast in 300 ml of warm milk. Remove the bowl from the oven and add the eggs, sugar, olive oil, lemon zest and milk with yeast. Blend with an electric mixer, adding more flour gradually, by hand.

Pour in two glasses of the liqueur and the vanilla.

At some point, if you did everything right, you will see that you will be forced to stop mixing because the dough will stick to the whips and it won’t be possible to continue. At this point use your hands to knead the dough, still continuing to add flour until you find that the dough comes off easily from your hands. But beware, it must not become a nice smooth ball! It must always remain soft and wet!

Grease two baking pans (large and tall) and put a quantity of dough that must not exceed one quarter of the height of the container to allow the dough to rise more than twice its size. It’s ready when the dough reaches the edge of the container.

Put in a preheated oven at 100C, then increase the temperature to 180C. The pan should be placed on a lower rack but not resting on the bottom of the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes.

Pasticceria Nando, Via dei Sette Martiri, 68, Orvieto Scalo

Bar Montanucci, Corso Cavour, 23, Orvieto

Palazzo del Gusto Orvieto, Via Ripa Serancia I, 16, Orvieto TR

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Orogami collages

Friends  Massimo Aloisio and Tiziana O. Aloisio are the dynamic duo behind  OROGAMI, an exquiste jewellery store located on Via del Duomo. What makes their work especially unique (as well as beautiful) is the fact that, along with great craftsmanship and technique, their designs contain elements of both art and architecture. Pieces are not only made of gold, silver, colorful and precious stones – each collection contains high symbolism and deep meaning: The Seed is the symbol of life; The Labryinth expresses life’s journey; Attica draws inspiration from ancient archaeological finds. Their most astounding work is found in a gold medallion reproducing the intricate details of the rose window of the Duomo di Orvieto. Although many mistake their shop’s name for the art of Japanese papermaking, it’s actually a blend of the Italian word for gold (oro) with the ancient Greek word for wedding (gamos). The two together form “Orogami” which means “union of gold”. Massimo and Tiziana are truly the ‘golden couple’, demonstrated in both their work and their personal life! I’m as ‘good as gold’ to be able to call them ‘amici’. http://orogami.it Like! Share! Visit! 

 

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Famous Orvietani

ASCANIO VITOZZI (1539–1615) was an Italian soldier, architect and military engineer (and the son of Ercole lord of Montevitozzo). He was instrumental in the design and building of Palazzo Reale in Torino, where he lived until his death…Also, my vicolo is named for him! BONAVENTURA CERRETTI (1872- 1933) was made Cardinal-Priest of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere in Rome by Pope Pius XI, where he is buried. In 1930, he was painted by his friend, Swiss-born American artist Adolfo Müller-Ury (1862-1947), the portrait is believed to hang in the Palazzo Municipale di Orvieto. LUIGI BARZINI, JR., the journalist/writer/politician most famous for his 1964 book “The Italians” was NOT born in Orvieto, but his fascist-sympathizer-journalist father, Luigi Barzini Sr. (1908-1984) was. The last, is an “Orvietana” by adoption only. Like! Share! Visit! 

‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬‪#‎famousnativeOrivetans‬ ‪#‎Italy‬

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Slavic Montanucci

Coffee bars in Italy are its life’s blood. For over 100 years, Bar Montanucci has been pouring caffeine-addicted Orvietani their morning cappuccinos (in my case, caffe latte) as well as offering fresh, handmade pastries, cakes and…..wait for it…chocolate! At lunch choose from fresh salads, sandwhiches and pasta. After lunchtime, the case transforms into a gelato counter, and in the evenings you can order cocktails with small plates. The terraced patio is a great place to hang-out on warm, summer days and nights, too. Like! Share! Visit!

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candy

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‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬ ‪#‎barmontanucci‬ ‪#‎coffeebarsinitaly‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬

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duomo-di-orvieto-1

…And what a church it is! The Duomo (cathedral) of Orvieto is nothing less than breathtaking. Built by order of Pope Urban IV to house the Corpal of the Miracle of Bolsena, the Duomo broke ground in 1290 and was completed in 1591. The Gothic facade features a large rose window, golden mosaics and huge bronze doors. Inside the black and white basalt and travertine interiors you’ll find alabaster windows, ancient frescoes and, the ‘pièce de résistance’, the Chapel of the Madonna di San Brizio. This chapal contains one of the most important and beautiful Renaissance masterpieces in the world, “Judgement Day” by Luca Signorelli. Like! Share! Visit! 

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#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬ ‪#‎duomoorvieto‬‪#‎Italytravel‬ ‪#‎iloveorvieto‬

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baffo The typical cuisine of Orvieto tends to lean heavily on ‘meat’: Cinghiale (wild boar) and its cousin, maiale (pork), as well as dishes made of pigeon or dove (yes, I said pigeon). These ancient recipes also make room for our vegetarian friends. Umbrichelli is Orvieto’s pasta, often served with porcini mushrooms or ‘tartufo’ (black truffles). My favorite dish, Guanciale/Baffo (pork cheek) in a sage-tomato sauce, can be found at Trattoria del Moro Aronne where owner Cristian Manca provides great service and doubles as the entertainment. You’ll always ‘mangia bene’ in Orvieto! Like! Share! Visit! 

cristian

umbrichelli tartufo

#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎trattoriadelmoroaronne‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬ ‪#‎orvieto‬

— in Orvieto.

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Grease
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Some might say that Orvieto is a sleepy little town with not much going on…but there’s one group of citizens that would beg to differ. Compagnia Mastro Titta, under the direction of Paola Cecconi, is a community theatre group comprised of 54 ‘kids’ (ages 10 to 83) that presents musicals and comedies that are anything but ‘amateur’. Recent sold-out productions include: Sister Act 2, Mamma Mia, Grease, Flashdance and Hello Dolly. Check the calendar at Teatro Mancinelli (see Day #5) for upcoming shows! Bravi, Bravi!  Like! Share! Visit!

Mamma Mia

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‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎compagniamastrotitta‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬ ‪#‎musicalsorvieto‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬

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