Saturday 19 September 2015

The Great Gelati Challenge

I had sixty five days to break my record for gelati flavours eaten (not that I knew what last year's record was!) This was going to need diligent planning and determination, but I was ready for it.

To start with it was easy as Bar Gallo in Panicale sells gelati and so does La Pergola at Colgiordano, and our favourite Bar Alisè at Castiglione del Lago. The bar at Paciano, two more in the old town at C d L, Tavernelle and Città della Pieve were also quite near.

Then the time came when I would enter a gelateria and find no new flavours. Horror!!! Thanks to taking day trips into other areas, more opportunities opened up for me and the list grew.

According to my accountant I had gelato on 33 occasions. Well, I did have to have prosecco, Aperol Spritz or vino rosso sometimes!

Here are the gusti I ate:

Polvere de stelle - star dust (stunning!)
Siciliana cassata
Limone (lemon)
Caffè Viennese (Vienna coffee)
Amarena (sour black cherry)
Zuppa Inglese (trifle)
Le zangare (orange blossom)
Rose (rose petals)
Nocciola (hazelnut)
Cioccolato bianco (white chocolate)
Stracciatella (choc chip)
Melone (rockmelon)
Menthe (mint)
Pinguino (vanilla & choc stripe)
Panna cotta
Blood orange
Zaffarano (saffron)
Torte di mele (apple pie)
Yoghurt and berries
Fragola (strawberry)
Kinder (biscuit)
Ameliè ( fruity girgeous)
Maracuja (passionfruit)
Bitter dark rich chocolate
Mele verde (green apple)
Snowball (vanilla, choc coat & coconut)
Fior de latte (mozzarella!)
Creme (cream custard)
Caffè (coffee)
Ananas (pineapple)
Goiaba (guava)
Biscotino (vanilla & almond biscuits)
Mocchacino (coffee & choc)
Spagnola (black cherry)
Boero (chocolate & cherries)
Cioccarancia (choc orange)
Cannella (cinnamon)
Cremalini (custard & rich chocolate)
Baci bianco (white Baci)
Sottobosco (forest floor / berries)
Pesca arancia (peach & orange)
Baba (rum)
Miele e nocce (honey & nuts)
Pinoli 100% (pine nuts)
Puffo ( blue!!)
Morgan il Pirata (delicious!)
Fig of India (prickly pear)
Carioca (choc & nuts)
Raspberry cheesecake
Vaniglia (vanilla)
Cioccolata fondante (choc fondant)
Torrone (nougat)
Caramello (caramel)
Bisco-Krok (vanilla with biscuits)
Gianduia (choc hazelnut)
Duetto (pistacchio & hazelnut with choc crunch)
Liquirizia (licorice)

Our favourite gelateria - Bar Alisè at Castiglione del Lago

My favourites - polvere de stelle, rose, blood orange, le zangare, mele verde, nocciola ...

So, how many different flavours did I eat?     66.     

Aldo, the migratory gallo

Kel has a new friend, 'Aldo the migratory gallo'. On Tuesday morning Aldo waved farewell to his home village of Panicale and with tears in his eyes, set off on his migration south.

The train trip to Rome was very exciting for a rooster, having no ears he didn't feel the ear popping effect of speed through long tunnels.

As he was in such respected company he enjoyed the benefits of being upgraded at the hotel. Here he took up the family habit of journal writing.

As it was his first trip to Rome he had to visit the Trevi Fountain then he enjoyed the excitement of Trastevere. He thought that eating peanuts with a silver spoon was a strange habit.

The big migration flight south actually went west first, via London, then on to Dubai and Sydney. It was very dusty in Dubai and the migratory rooster was glad he was flying Qantas. He was told that the food was excellent but he wasn't allowed to try any.

At Sydney airport I was asked if the rooster being photographed was special, I said " Yes, he's Italian!"

Thanks to Qantas his wings weren't too tired, and he did sleep all the way home on the train to Benalla. 45 hours is a long time to fly for a rooster.

So 'Aldo the migratory gallo' has taken up residence at Villa Nuffka and awaits more travel adventures. He is looking forward to being a mascot for the Travellers Inc. Benalla and hopes that one day he will see a well as lovely as the one he remembers back home.

An evening in Rome

We arrived back in Rome mid afternoon. We were staying in our favourite little family run hotel (where we ask for our room by number) and were delighted to be upgraded to their only suite. A huge room and a big balcony, we decided to enjoy the sounds of Rome from our balcony for a few hours before heading out to throw our coins in the Trevi Fountain.
We never leave Rome without throwing coins in the fountain - this would be the only piece of superstition in which I indulge.

The Trevi Fountain has been in the process of restoration for more than 12 months and so they have it fenced off and a small imitation fountain with a photo behind to act as a temporary fountain for coin tossing. Of course, there are still silly people who will throw their coins over the barricade and into the empty fountain! 
The point of tossing a coin is to guarantee your return to Rome but a Japanese girl told us last year that I didn't need to toss a coin but she did, because she was looking for a good husband and I already had one. That was after Kel helped her pick up all her money which fell from her safe keeping container!

From there we walked the scenic route (the long way) over to Trastevere, the area where we stayed for two weeks last year. 

We were lucky enough to get a front row seat for people watching and aperitifs at one of our favourite places in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. This was followed by dinner and all the roving entertainment that comes through the piazza. 

Of course, there are gelaterie in Trastevere too and they had some new flavours so I indulged one last time as we walked to the tram.

 Tomorrow I shall post the final post on the gelati challenge.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Farewell Panicale

We can hardly believe that nine weeks have passed since we arrived in beautiful Panicale. True to form it has rained on our last day so we packed and got organised then went to La Pergola for one last gelato. Imagine my delight when I was able to get three new flavours. (Wait for the announcement of the final tally!!!)

Before we got to the sad bit we had some fun.

I finally met Janelle and Johnny from California. I have been an avid reader of Janelle's blog for more than two years and before last year's visit I noted all their favourite places to visit and to eat. Thanks Janelle & Johnny for all the inspiration.

Rosalind and Noel from Western Australia used my blog as their inspiration and so it has been good to have them around the village over the last few weeks. We started with drinks at Bar Gallo tonight then later moved to Il Gallo nel Pozzo for a meal together.

Janelle, Ros and I marvelled at the powers of the internet. Three couples who have felt a little like they were spying on others through their blogs have all met and instantly found a rapport and felt comfortable and happy in that company. Keep on blogging ladies!

Next it was a sad farewell with Katia, our host and friend. No photos! 
We met for coffee (I had a thick and delicious hot chocolate!) at Bar Gallo on our last morning and had the chance to say good-bye to lots of people. Kel even had anothe Biano haircut (his third!)

Massimo, Kelly & Johnny

 Kel's friend 'Aldo the migratory gallo' has joined us for his trip south. He waved farewell from the fountain before taking the train to Rome.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Opera at Teatro Cesare Caporale, Panicale

We went to the last of the Pan Opera  Festival shows last night. 'La Cambiale di Matrimonio' is a musical farce with libretto by Gaetano Rossi and music by Gioachino Rossini. It was a wonderful production with a very good orchestra of ten plus conductor and an experienced and wholly entertaining cast.

The story line, very briefly, tells of a merchant who sees the opportunity to sell his daughter to a man from the new world, but the daughter already has her eyes on someone else who unfortunately has no money. There is much confusion over the contract letter but eventually the man from Canada gives up the contract in favour of the poorer man and makes him his heir. All are happy ever after!

The theatre is very small and has an orchestra pit which held all members but somewhat inconveniently for some. We sat in the front row of the stalls, foregoing the 'old codger' experience this time.

Once again, during interval there was the opportunity to purchase a locally and specially made pottery plate as a souvenir, this plate held a pannacotta and berries which was very much enjoyed.

Saturday 12 September 2015

The 40th Panicale Festa dell' Uva begins.

The 40th Panicale Grape Festival began on Friday evening. The colours of the rione have been going up all around town during the week. 

The Giuoco del Formaggio or cheese rolling competition was on this Friday evening at 9 pm, when the teams competed to be the one that rolls the wheel of gran padano along the road from one gate to the other and back with the least number of rolls. We missed seeing this but we were at Il Pellicano with a group having a great night with lots of laughs so it was a good trade off.

For the duration of the festival the little public garden has been converted into a Wine Pub and live bands will perform on several occasions.

The official commencement is the return of the palio from last year's winner and the challenge for this year. This is held in the piazza on the first Saturday.
Last year's winning rione returns the palio, the contest is declared and the challenge put forth. It's a time for great patriotic loyalty to your rione.

After the commencement festivities Katia introduced us to the Mayor. He graciously welcomed us to Panicale and agreed to a photo (Katia asked him, not me!)

At 9 pm this evening we went to the opera La Cambiale di Matrimonio with music written by Rossini in 1810. This will be the subject of my next post.

On the walk home I took this photo through the cane fence around the Wine Pub. There is a big crowd there tonight and the music is still going at 12.45.