Day 1 Of The Italian Chronicles – da Carlo And Some Of The Medieval City Of Orvieto, Italy
It’s hard to figure out where to start these posts about my trip to Italy, so I figured, why not start at the beginning? Seems logical. Dr. Awesome and I left NYC on Friday, September 17 and flew Air Canada (ugh, you’ll hear more about that crap storm later on) to Rome. We landed the next day and met up with our friends Jason, Jill, Kevin and Jess at the rental car center. An hour and a half later, the awesome seven-seater (debatable) Ford Galaxy was ours for the week. I took the photo below from the sixth seat in the car. The seventh was taken up by luggage.
After an hour and a half car ride later (maybe a little more because we went around in circles for a bit) we landed at our beautiful villa in the countryside. This place is seriously out in the middle of nowhere. The directions told us that the paved road would eventually become dirt. This was true.
Since we all needed to stay up to get over the jet lag, we decided to venture into town for a nice lunch and some food shopping since everything would be closed on Sunday. Orvieto is situated on the top of a cliff side, so we drove all the way to the top. Hopefully, you can tell from this photo that I took from the moving car.
We walked up almost to the center of town, looking for a place off the beaten path to try.
While Jason and Jill went down one alley, Kevin went down another and found a place with some outdoor seating. We walked over and they said that they were closing, but then asked where we were from and we said, “NYC” and Carlo, the chef/proprietor of the place, says, “ok sit down!!!” His girlfriend, who is Belgian and speaks perfect English, was the waitress and asked if we’d like to start off with some antipasto. We all said yes and had some red and white house wine, which was amazing! Shortly after, plate after plate of cured meats, bruschetta and pate came out.
You’d think we’d be done after all that, but of course not. We all had pasta. Freshly made pasta, which, let me tell you, makes all the difference. I’m so spoiled from this trip that I’m going to have to make my own pasta from now on. Some of us ordered the fennel and cherry tomato sauce while the rest ordered the white truffle and porcini sauce.
We of course had to have some dessert, so we tried their tiramisu, which was cakeless and their cherry pie. The waitress also suggested a drink called Vin Santo, which is a dessert wine.
Since this was such an amazing meal and they were local, we asked where we would be able to buy some provisional stuff, like eggs, milk, Vin Santo, wine, etc. Carlo was so awesome that he sold us two jugs of the wine which were made with his grapes. He also sold us some Vin Santo, gave us two boxes of milk for free and then called the butcher that he uses and asked him to stay open for us to get some meat and eggs. Watching the interaction between him and his mother (yup, Italian mama was there of course) was hilarious. She was going to take us to the butcher when Carlo said “They’re from New York City! There’s like three streets in Orvieto!”
We said our goodbyes and made our way down to Paolo’s organic butcher shop, since we were kinda crimping his siesta. We got so much cured meat and sausages and a cheese that smelled and tasted like a barnyard. Little did we know that Paolo was also the caretaker of the villa. We were all surprised to see him cleaning the pool one day. I love Italy.
For dinner that night, we stayed at the villa and ate a bunch of cured meat and cheese that others brought and threw back a jug and a couple of bottles of wine. By the time we were done, it was past 10pm and were ready for bed.
Tomorrow, I’ll post photos of the villa and the amazing dinner that was cooked for us at the villa by a chef and his son.