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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

DickseeRomeoandJuliet

Romeo and Juliet

Chosy, an American woman living in Rome decided to dip back into the dating pool after a long hiatus from romance. She was curious to know if being a single woman in Italy was any less disappointing than in the U.S.

For her first foray back in the game, Chosy picked OKCupid’s free mobile App as the platform for finding an Italian mate online. Not knowing what to expect, she was pleasantly surprised by the number of responses she’d received. Within minutes of posting her profile, she had more than a half-dozen emails in her inbox from men who thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

“The girl of their dreams”, many declared. “It was totally amazing!”

The first man to write Chosy was an engineer from Milan – a widower whose wife had died in a tragic car accident. He had a teenage daughter named Cinzia. “He wrote with such emotion and passion of his love for me.”

They were lining up for Chosy.

“Another gentleman from Trieste was super keen on me. He was also a widower and an engineer, but his wife had died of cancer, not in a car crash, and his daughter’s name was Giulia, not Cinzia.”

Chosy gushes, “I’ve learned that the Latin Lover is still alive and well in Italy!”

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Casanova

SWIPE RIGHT

Taking a different tack, pretty brunette and yoga enthusiast Cuteyogi uses Tinder as a networking tool to find dates/employment opportunities in the Italian capital. She’s figured out a way to zero in on professionals in her field and then segue the hook-ups into spontaneous job interviews.

When Mark, an executive for an international organization in Rome was asked his opinion on Cuteyogi’s unique approach to finding a job and love at the same time, he had nothing but good things to say. “In this competitive job market”, Mark explains, “you’ve got to think outside the box. It’s really just taking Linkedin one step further.”

Paolo and Francesca - Dante's Divine Comedy

Paolo and Francesca – Dante’s Divine Comedy

MEETING YOUR MATCH

Mswrite, a slinky, blond editor and self-described cynic on sabbatical in the Eternal City hasn’t had much luck on Match.com. Paying a whopping 45£ ($68) for a month’s subscription, she’s highly skeptical that she’ll ever receive a return on her investment.

“Italian men these days don’t seem to want to put in the time and effort it takes to form a love connection.” She blames social media. “If someone can’t be bothered to use more than 140 characters (the average Tweet) to introduce themselves, I figure they don’t have the attention span to be in a long-term relationship.”

Rudolf Valentino

Rudolf Valentino

After several weeks of vetting potential suitors, Mswrite admits to being discouraged and befuddled. “Why in the world, in this day and age, are people still taking selfies in the mirror?” It makes her worry that these guys don’t have any friends to take the photo for them, or worse, that they’re not smart enough to know there’s a feature on their phone that turns the camera towards them.

As opinionated as Mswrite is, she resists the urge to offer advice. “Look, I don’t want to be a know-it-all and start dishing out dating advice or anything, but frankly, what some of these guys are presenting online is counterproductive – bordering on the repulsive.”

EnglishRose007, an exasperated Brit in her late 30s, totally agrees.

She too has come across some pretty shocking behavior on dating sites. “Do you know how many men will openingly and unapologetically admit to being married? One guy even posted a photo of himself with his arm around his wife – her face fuzzed-out, thankfully.” 

On the other hand, EnglishRose007 tries very hard to be forthright, representing herself accurately in her profile. “Of course, I post photos that are flattering, but not photoshopped to the point where I can be accused of a bait-and-switch.”

“Another thing”, she goes on to say, “I’m not a prude, but I don’t especially care for guys who pose full-frontal in a Speedo. Sure, I want to see what I’m getting, but some things are better left to the imagination.”

Mswrite confesses that she’s finally had enough and is cancelling her subscripton to Match.com. What was the straw that broke the camel’s back, I asked?

“A guy holding a dead shark over his bathtub. At that moment, I realized that being single was not so bad after all.”

Rupe and clouds

I can’t believe it’s been 31 days already! Time flies when you’re having fun! What a wonderful experience it’s been to sit down everyday and write about the people, places and things that make this city so special and unique. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who inspired, participated or supported me in sharing a little bit of Orvieto with the world, day-by-day. In 2013, I wrote an article for BrowsingItaly entitled, “Insiders Guide to Orvieto”, and I thought it might be a good way to wrap things up. Remember, August may be over, but you know me….I’ll never, ever stop shouting it from the terracotta rooftops…Orvieto, Italy Rocks! Like! Share! Visit!

http://www.browsingitaly.com/umbria/orvieto-insiders-guide/972/

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! 

 

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




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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MONTANUCCI 1

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

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Day #27 of “31 Days of Orvieto features another remarkable ARTISAN, Loretta Lovisa. Loretta painstakingly and lovingly creates (by hand, of course) ‘Merletto di Orvieto‘ (Lace of Orvieto). In producing this traditional and highly-intricate artisitc craft, Loretta uses micro-thin threads to weave delicate trimmings, centerpieces, clothing, etc. into works of art. What makes this lace particularly typical to Orvieto is both the technique and motifs: Images of leaves of ivy, vines, flowers, figures and animals found on the 14th century bas-reliefs of the Cathedral of Orvieto are integrated into these artisitc expressions. In Loretta’s dedication to this artform, she offers workshops in order to pass along the time-honored techiniques to the next generation of Orvietani. She hopes, and so do we, that Merletto di Oriveto will not die, but live on and on. Like! Share! Visit!handercheif purse wedding dress 

‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬ ‪#‎merlettodiorvieto‬ ‪#‎lorettalovisa‬ ‪#‎artisanofItlay‬

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