Ciao Italia Part I: The beginning of the Italy adventure (Montefalco, Umbria)

Rome Piazza Navona

Hello my dear readers or should I say Ciao.  Here is the post on my travels in Italy as promised.

This is my second time in Italy. The first time was during my honeymoon two years ago, where my husband, J, and I did the big cities (Milan, Bologna, Florence, Venice, Rome).

So this time, I was in no hurry to cover the ‘must sees’ and  ‘must dos’ but to take my time exploring the smaller towns and (slightly) less travelled areas.

Italy35

We  travelled to the central region, Umbria and Tuscany before we made our way to Rome and the Campania region.

Even though Italy is a single country, each region and every town can be so vastly different – from the food (they eat so regionally in Italy) to the people (the way they talk. In Naples, they are always engaged in boisterous conversations).

The overwhelming one thing that was present in all the regions that we have visited is the genuine warmth of the Italians, the kind that makes you feel at home immediately.

street in rome

***

The Italian adventure began when we touched down at Fiumicino Airport in Rome. We picked up our rental car at the airport and drove down to our first stop in Umbria, Montefalco, a small wine producing town situated on a hilltop.

The drive was pretty easy 2.5 hr journey on the highway. We stayed at an agriturismo just slightly out of of the Montefalco town. First up on the agenda was to fill our rumbling tummies with some rustic and traditional Umbrian lunch. I had a homemade pasta with ragu that was homely and comforting and shared some salumi and a typical vegetable soup.

We then headed to visit a local family-run olive grove and vineyard, Romanelli Agricola. Anna took us on a little tour around the farm and explained the running and production of their olive oil and wine, how they believe in the organic methods of farming. During the afternoon when we were there, they were in the midst of harvesting the olives and it was still pretty much a manual and labour intensive process. Their vineyard produced 100% Sagrantino wine which is the grape that is grown in this region.

DSC_2519

montelfalco olive grove

After the tour, we did a tasting of their olive oil and wine. The olive oil has intense flavours with spicy after notes; a very lovely and distinct olive oil that would be perfect on a bruschetta. My favourite wine was their sweet wine, the Sagrantino Passito DOCG. It has been aged in oak for about 3 years and it shows in the final product – it taste like port, a mellow, raisin flavour, sweet (but not too sweet) wine that would be perfect with cheese. We bought a few bottles of olive oil and wine to bring home.

vineyard umbria

vineyard montefalco

We spent the evening walking along the small and narrow paths of Montefalco town. This hill town has commonly referred to “the balcony of Umbria” and sure enough, we were rewarded with the most lovely views of the Umbrian countryside where you can see as far as the other Umbrian towns like Spoleto, Spello, Assisi and Trevi on a clear day.

There was nothing better than to stand by to watch the sun fade away into the plains and quiet towns.

Even as I fought the onslaught of jet lag, I felt at peace. And in that moment, I knew I was in green heart of Italy – Umbria.

umbrian countryside

umbrian countryside

montefalco town

Stay
Agriturismo Camiano Piccolo
Via Camiano Piccolo, 06036 Montefalco

Visit
Olive grove and vineyard
Romanelli Agricola
San Clemente 129 A, 06036 Montefalco, Italy
Tel: 0742371245
Call to make arrangements before heading there so that they will make arrangements for someone to take you around for a tour.

Piazza del Commune
Piazza del Comune, Montefalco, Italy
Take a walk through the narrow streets to the main piazza in Montefalco for a drink.

montefalco mornings

Montefalco town

 

 

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About jothetartqueen

My first love is eating. A very close second is my love for baking and cooking. I passionately believe that the best form of appreciation of something is almost always through the creation of it. This passion took me on a whirlwind, unforgettable ride through the patisserie diploma course at Le Cordon Bleu (Sydney). Join me on my discovery for the love of food – through the kitchen, through the markets, through experimenting, tasting and loving.
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6 Responses to Ciao Italia Part I: The beginning of the Italy adventure (Montefalco, Umbria)

  1. Your photos are exquisite! What a wonderful treat to linger a bit in the smaller, less traveled towns in Italy and not feel like you have to rush around to see the big sites. I’m completely envious that you’ve been twice. It is on my must-travel list! I hope you are well rested from your trip and possibly savoring some of the wonderful olive oil you mentioned.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos with us!
    Allison

  2. Stunning photos Jo! This is a part of the world that I absolutely adore and you’re so right about how welcoming and warm-hearted the locals are. What a wonderful start to your Italian Adventure – I can’t wait to see more!

  3. VisitSiena says:

    Ciao !! I like Umbria so much :)

  4. Thank you for taking us along with you :D
    Umbria is so gorgeous and bursting with culture!

    Cheers
    CCU

    P.S Unfortunately, I have lost around 1000 subscribers on my blog, and I have no idea how, so if you were subscribed, would you be able to resubscribe? Thank you!

  5. LB says:

    Lovely!! My friend spent her 50th birthday in Umbria and I was olive green with envy :-) As always, I enjoy your photography.

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