Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A pit stop in Orvieto
The next part of our adventure with my family had us heading to Rome. We left Siena early Friday afternoon with the intention of taking our time and stopping along the way to see a few places. It was another cold and rainy day, so we decided on just one stop in Orvieto.
In Tuscany, there are many hill top towns. Orvieto is just south of Tuscany in the region of Umbria. And it is not on a hill, but a large rock.
We headed up the giant rock that Orvieto sits on and proceeded to explore the city. We walked around for a while, and then found the main cathedral. The cathedral of Orvieto is considered one of the best romanesque gothic churches in Italy. To me, the exterior looks very similar to the cathedral in Siena.
After exploring the church, we were hungry for some lunch. By that time, it was well past lunch time, so our options were limited. We found a small cantina in the main piazza right next to the church that seemed to be open, although quiet. We shared a bottle of the local Orvieto Classico wine and had sandwiches of prosciutto and pecorino. During our lunch, the owner brought us a plate of pasta to share. It was something that she had made for herself to take home for dinner. She wanted to share with us and we were certainly glad she did. It was penne pasta with an artichoke sauce; very simple, but very good.
delicious lunch, the owner's son brought us downstairs to show us the old wine cellar. It was filled with huge barrels and dust covered bottles. He told us that it had been his grandfather's and that most of the bottles were over 50 years old. The wine was no longer drinkable, but every once in awhile they would open a bottle just for the fun of it. It was really neat to see all of the old bottles and barrels.
Even though it was a quick stop in Orvieto on the way to Rome, I was very glad that we stopped. It is a very nice quiet town with really nice people. It was nice to experience a real town not on the usual tourist track of stops where people will gladly share their pasta and their family history with you over a simple lunch.
Sorry the pictures are so weird in this post, I can't figure out how to change them.