To eat badly in Umbria is an achievement. To eat well is the every day. The spinach in cheese sauce in Monte Castello,the ragu in Todi, the duck in Ilci, the tagliatelle in Bevagna. I could go on.
But first among equals was Trippini in Civtella del Lago on the way to Ovietta. High above the lake, the view stretched on and on, way into the mountains which had wreaked death only weeks before. It was out of season so we had the white table clothes and so much more to ourselves. Paolo the chef obviously enjoyed his own cooking. As did we. Every mouthful a work of art. So perfecto was the experience that I felt they should do a deal with Dignitas, as this is where we should all eat our Last Supper.
Other pleasures are not so expensive. Some nights a complete set of stars accompanied by a lone owl concerto. Sometimes we would walk the 40 minutes to Pantalla. Down a long steep hill and then up a more gentle slope. Its 11 am. We go into the local bar. One man reading a paper. Corriere del Sport which now carries a page on English football since most of our teams are now managed by Italians. Duee orange juice. He doesn’t understand,he calls his sister. I don’t speak much English. Whatever, its enough. We get our drinks. The bar starts to fill.
The TV is on. Same mid morning, real life, house wife domestic tragedy drama. A large TV audience watch a husband and wife accuse each other of sins worse than life can bear. Unlike in England where these shows star the fat and ugly here the duo are good looking and extremely operatic. We finish our drinks, stand up and the others in the bar look up, smile and wave Buon Giorno. We have made friends for life.
Another time we go and inspect the castle at Collepepe. We come across Fernando doing up his ground floor flat. I admire his work and am told in pidgin English that its for sale. Stupidly I ask the price. Stupidly, because before the price must come the tour. The dwelling has two entrances but no windows. It has a part glass floor which allows you a view of a well dozens of metres below. Lots of space, cupboards,it goes on,these tours are dull in ones own language. But if you hate natural light and have a head for heights this might be the place for you. Price? 116 sqm, £300K. I told him, I would make an offer later in the week.
The last morning was misty and as we picked mellow fruits from the fig tree we felt the seasons were changing and Autumn was on its way and it was time to go home. Semplice Piaceres.