Tuesday 31 July 2018

Another day, another memory

This morning we had to go to Chiusi, about 16 kilometres away, to swap over the rental car. Farewell VW Golf automatic with parking assist, welcome Lancia Ypsilon manual. Oh well, at least it suits the narrow roads. Nice wheels though! 😁

After another foray into the supermarket where mysteries such as the need to wear plastic gloves to select your fruit and vegetables arise, we came home for lunch and la pausa (a.k.a siesta). 

The hairdresser in Castiglione del Lago re-opened at 3.30 pm so we were there in hope of getting the very necessary smartening up. They mostly do not make appointments so, like a barber in Australia, you sit and wait your turn. It has been a hot day so we were the only people there and Walter speaks English so that is helpful when discussing hair needs.

As luck would have it, a very good gelateria is right next door to Walter. Today's flavours are zuppa inglese (like trifle), blood orange and coffee.

Castiglione del Lago is our nearest large town, also fortified, and right on Lago Trasimeno. It is always picturesque and interesting.

Aperativi tonight, we haven't been to the piazza the last couple of nights. Truffle paste cannot be beaten for deliciousness.

Every-one loves the fountain in the centre of the piazza. It was the original water cistern and usually has a crowd of locals sitting around it.

We all know lasagne but in Italy it comes in varieties. Today at the supermarket deli we bought lasagne bosciola,  full of a selection of mushrooms, and so delicious. Sorry, I ate it before I thought of photographing it.

Monday 30 July 2018

Plans and garbage

We were thinking of doing one of our big walks today but we didn't  have enough details and I didn't  want to end up in the headlines. I could see it: "Elderly Australian couple lost in the forest on 35 degree day." Actually Italian newspapers always put the ages in the article. 

Instead we visited the Info for a map and did some internet research. We have three treks lined up, 11.2, 9.6 and 8.7 kms, all with steep sections. I think we should do the longest one first while my legs are still fit from all the walking in Spain and Portugal.

Kel went to the forno (bakery) to get our favourite lunch food when in Panicale - onion and sage focaccia.

Let me tell you about garbage and recycling! The Italians are passionate about recycling and our house has bins in the kitchen to collect paper, glass, plastic, organics and general rubbish. The keys to the house also include a key to the garbage collection area.

Medieval hill top villages are especially difficult to service so there are no bins at your door or weekly collections. It is necessary to take your well sorted rubbish to a collection point, and as our car is further away in the opposite direction, we have to deliver the rubbish by foot. But look at the view from the Belvedere and the collection point nearest us

I have noticed a change in garbage over the years, more and more big plastic water bottles and take-away pizza boxes. Modern times are making things more difficult in these ancient places.

Spectacular sunsets are something we enjoy when we are in Umbria. Tonight was not spectacular, but for the huge red ball sinking below the horizon, but it was pretty.

Sunday 29 July 2018

Sunday in Panicale

The Collegiata Church of San Michele Arcangelo in Panicale is a massive church in a small village. This is especially interesting as there were at least six other churches in the village or just outside the gates. San Michele has been here since at least 1159. Over the centuries there have been several rebuilds and renovations but the present look seems to date from 1683. Previous photos of the piazza show the huge rear exterior expanse of San Michele.

The bell tower holds an especially musical set of bells which are rung 30 minutes, 15 minutes and just before Mass starts on Sunday. They play a joyous tune then go into the tolls. These bells talk, and there is no sadder sound than the bells tolling for a 

I was pleased to see this morning that the chapel of San Pelegrino has finally been repaired and the scaffolding that has been holding the arch up for several years has gone.

There are several notable art works in the church, the Nativity (1519) by Giovanni Battista Caporali is probably the second most important of them. 

This afternoon we finally stirred ourselves to go out. Gelati is a great motivator!
Our very most favourite gelateria is Alisè Cafè at Castiglione del Lago where they make the most divinely smooth gelato. Their flavours are superb and imaginative. Today I had polvere de stelle (star dust) and cassatta siciliana.

Those of you who have followed my blog on past trips to Italy will know that I have striven to taste as many flavours as possible. I am never going to surpass the 2016 total of 89 so I am not doing that this year. But I do still try any new flavours I see.

We did a little sightseeing, mainly looking at the things we love. The sunflowers are just past their best show but will still look attractive for a coulple of weeks more. Eventually they  dry off and go black, and are then harvested. The little flowers are self sown from last year and are of no use (all male plants I believe!!)

Of course we had to look at our "If only we were twenty years younger and had won Tattslotto" country farm house. It would be a beautiful casa colonica, with a view towards Panicale, but it is rapidly falling into disrepair.

We have an upgraded rental car for a week until a smaller one becomes available - the VW Golf is very comfortable and automatic, but small is important when trying to park in Italy.

Tonight there is an opera season prelude in the piazza just outside our back gate. We usually attend the opera performances in Teatro Caporali but we are not going tonight to see Così Fan Tutte by Mozart. We heard the rehearsal last night so will certainly hear it tonight.

Actually we didn't  because we went over to Paciano, another beautiful village over the hill from Panicale. L' Oca Bruciata (The Burnt Goose) is a place we like to visit when we are in Panicale. We had a pizza but it was special; as well as tomato sugo and cheese it had finely cut onion, hot salami and sweet gorgonzola. 

Paciano was very quiet, I think every-one was at L' Oca or at the opera.

Saturday 28 July 2018

Another day of la dolce vita

Sitting in the garden with the gentle coo of doves, a warm breeze wafting, nothing to do but relax ... who could doubt 'la dolce vita.'

The following two photos are not mine, but one's I've borrowed from Panicale FB pages. I love them both!

In this photo taken from a drone you can see our apartment and garden in the centre, slightly left, the largest green space.

Another borrowed photo - Kel having his morning cappuccino and cornetto at Bar del Gallo. Host Aldo took the photo on Kel's  tablet.

And then it was lunch time!

In no time at all it was time to go for drinks. We have many ways we can walk to the piazza, this is one way. 

Friday 27 July 2018

Panicale - one of the most beautiful villages in Umbria

It is not just my opinion that Panicale is one of the most beautiful villages in Umbria, Panicale has won national awards and is recognised as such.

Little things change, like alterations to the bocce pitch and the addition of a street food shop in the piazza, but underneath it is still the same beautiful soft honey coloured stone village, around a thousand years old, with concentric narrow streets inside the walls of a hilltop village.

For those who have not seen my previous posts on Panicale, you can look at back dated blogs for August 2014 and  July 2015.

Just a couple of photos taken today.

Today was a day of catching up, rest and relaxation. After three loads of washing there was ironing to be done, and grocery shopping. Then we enjoyed the garden,  read and caught up on journal writing.

Views looking both ways from our garden

It is traditional to go to Bar Gallo where Aldo and Daniela run a very popular place for 'aperitivi.'  Tonight we enjoyed Aperol Spritz which was accompanied by panzanella and crisps. It is the perfect place for watching people go by, and for us to recall locals that we recognise.

Tonight is a total eclipse of the moon and the sky is clear so here is a northern hemisphere view.