Posts Tagged ‘Umbria’

torre del moro

Want a bird’s eye, panoramic view of Orvieto and its surrounding Umbrian countryside? Just climb the 271 steps (45m) to the top of Torre del Moro. The medieval tower sits at the ‘intersection’ of Corso Cavour and Via del Duomo and from it’s terrace you’ll see it all…but cover your ears at the hour, quarter- and half-hour, for the bells chime LOUDLY. Who needs a wristwatch when you live in Orvieto? Share! Like! Visit!

Bruzzese ‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬ ‪#‎travelwriter‬ ‪#‎Italytravel


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Paolo and Elizabeth needed help harvesting their olives. The window of opportunity was closing and with rain in the forecast, this was possibly their last chance for raccolta delle olive.

Temperatures have dropped considerably in Umbria and a chilly wind was blowing. However, being the good friend that I am, I didn’t hesitate to offer my assistance. After all, what are friends for if not to come to the rescue in times of need?

The promise of free olive oil and a homemade meal prepared by Paolo’s mother, Franca, had absolutely nothing to do with it.



by Toni DeBella

Read more about life in the Umbrian countryside in Elizabeth’s blog: My Village in Umbria 

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The Etruscan Chef by Lorenzo Polegri & Kim Brookmire is not just another book about food or cooking, although it tells of both. 

It’s a window into the past and present lives of Umbrians and their cuisine – a memoir of food and its genesis from their ancestors, the Etruscans.  Lorenzo writes, “We used to be Etruscans.  I don’t know if we still are, but we love to think so.” 

Chef Polegri presents us with a book that is written by a boy who is now a man.  After reading it from cover to cover, I feel as though I know him, and the people he introduced me to, just a little bit better.  The smiling faces of the vendors I see at the outdoor market every week now have names. Absorbing Lorenzo’s words, I will try to remember that a farmer toiled in a nearby field to bring these delicious and real foods to my table.  Grandparents, parents, children and friends: Through Lorenzo’s stories from his childhood, his teenage years, and now his adulthood, I see more clearly the strong and beautiful people of my adopted home, and for this I am grateful. 

The Etruscan Chef is a pleasurable and emotional glimpse into the soul of a life in Umbria, Italy.

Lorenzo & Kim

To learn more about Chef Polegri and his work go to www.ristorantezeppelin.it or find him on Facebook

by Toni DeBella

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I write about Italy because…

…the country of Italy is jam-packed with hundreds upon hundreds of small, intimate and profound stories.  Material and subjects fall into my lap – I don’t even have to look for them, they just appear at my doorstep.  What can I do? They are screaming to be written about…and I am a “wannabe” travel writer.

…”old” is interesting to me and so is “different”.

…I am uncontrollably compelled to chronicle my experiences and spew forth my points of view about what I love (and sometimes hate) about this country.  It’s a complicated relationship we have, Italy and me, and I need to talk about it.

…I am just arrogant and self-absorbed enough to believe that everyone within earshot or sitting at a computer wants to hear or read what I have to say.  I am the self-appointed, unofficial Ambassador of Orvieto, Umbria, and all parts in between and beyond.  I’ll write about Italy if I think you’ll read it.

I write about Italy because I can.


by Toni DeBella

Italy Roundtable’s One-Year Anniversary Invitation to Bloggers:

 “As we’re preparing for our one-year anniversary of the formation of the Italy Roundtable, we’d like you to pull up a chair (so to speak)! We invite you to choose one of the topics we’ve blogged about in the past year and write a post about it. We’ll highlight some of our favorites in our own Roundtable posts next month.” 

ArtTravAt Home in TuscanyBrigolanteItalofile, & WhyGo Italy

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AnnaMaria arrived in Agrigento yesterday and I received an email from her to say that her apartment was beautiful but that she was dead tired. I know just how she feels. It’s probably the way I feel each time I land in Rome – it feels like home. She and I met in 2009, just after I returned from my winter living in Orvieto. I was feeling completely lost and disconnected – not adjusting well to the reentry into American life. She is the antithesis of me: dark, slim, dignified and subdued (albeit with a biting wit and sarcastic sense of humor that she reveals only when she knows you well). What we have most in common is that we know where we really belong –Italy. Me in Umbria, she in Sicilia. We know that one day we will become permanent residents of this wild, crazy and spectacularly beautiful place. This we know for sure. It was such a lovely and warm evening in San Francisco, so after work I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner in her honor. I strolled up and down Union Street and stopped in front of Pane E Vino Trattoria. Through the window I could see they had a few small tables near the front where there is light so I could read my book. (I always have to bring something to do in case I get self-conscious about dining alone). The proprietor is Italian, all the waiters are Italian, the elderly couple next to me were Italian, the older couple on the other side of them were Italian (he immigrated to San Francisco in 1948 – I was eavesdropping). I recognized a guy from Milano I’d met a few times at my Italian conversation meet-up. I spoke to my Venetian waiter in Italian, but first I apologized for my sub-standard skills. Like most Italians, he was kind and said “No, no, you speak very well, Bella”. Gotta love those Italians! I sat there eating my delicious Melanzane alla Parmigiana and a perfectly grilled side of asparagus with a glass of Chianti, just listening to everyone around me speaking Italian. Couples, families, a man and his mother. I noticed on the wall above me a ceramic sculpture of the moon and sun. It made me think of my artist-friend who sculpts versions of this symbol in terracotta. That’s when I felt the tears well-up in my eyes. It’s not sadness, exactly, but not really nostalgia either. It’s hard to describe, but it always catches me off-guard. I’ve been back from my last trip for almost a month and thought I was past the culture-shock and let-down that grips me. I thought I was doing okay, but I guess I was deluded. Walking to my car, I thought about AnnaMaria again. Not one-single ounce of my being is jealous of her right now. On the contrary, I’m happy for her, proud of her, admire her for taking the leap-of-faith and going to Sicily for 2 months. I know what it takes to do that – the confidence to know what makes you happy and the courage to try to obtain it. I want for her what I want for myself; to find a way to stay in Italia forever. Complimenti, AnnaMaria!!! by Toni DeBella

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