8.29.2008

Day Twelve

Today was probably my favorite day yet. We got on a bus bright and early and headed out to the countryside. Our first stop was at a place called the Bosco de Mostri (Monster's Grove). It was a cool medieval sculpture park dedicated to Giulia Farnese by her husband upon her death. The grove is filled with very large statues of various mythical creatures and monsters such as mermaids, harpies, unicorns and the mouth of hell. It has a very playful feel to it and seemed to be popular with families who have young children. We all released our inner children and ran and played on the monstrous
 sculptures. Then we hit the road for a short trip to Orvieto. This town is on top of a large plateau which we took a cable car to the top of. We were released into the town for a couple hours and I tracked down lunch immediately. I ordered a Panini e Porchetto, by far the worst sandwich I have ever had. It was old greenish-grey scraps of pork fat sprinkled with what could only be moss scraped off of a decomposing log and then topped with a generous tablespoon of salt. BARF! I tried two bites, assuming that this must be some kind of local delicacy. My stomach instantly told me that this was a bad decision and my face turned as green as the rancid pork I was eating. I am now convinced that the guy simply swept the floor of his butcher shop and poured the dustpan into a roll. The mere thought of this sandwich is making my stomach tie into knots right now! I scraped everything off, ate the bread and then found a pizza to eat which helped calm my stomach a bit. Overall, Orvieto was quite lovely, but my memory
 of it will forever be tarnished by the spoiled pork moss sandwich. 

The next stop on our trip is definitely on my top five of most amazing things I've ever seen. It is a hilltop town called Civita di Bagn0regio. This place is really like something out of a fairytale. There are only a handful of people who actually live here, 20 at the most. It is a bit of a hike to get to, so it tends to limit the amount of tourist impact. We walked for a long time, down switchbacks and then up the long, steep bridge and at the top we were treated to an olive oil tasting inside of a very old house, half of which looked to be an old Etruscan cave, hollowed out of the rock. The old man providing the tasting made us the best bruschetta I have tasted yet in all of Italy. He toasted the bread on the coals of his fireplace! I love this little place and I think I would like to visit every time I come back to Italy.
UPDATE: I almost forgot one thing, at the end of a long, hard day of walking I had ended up a bit ahead of the group so I sat down at a table and enjoyed a nice cold DUFF beer! mmmmmmm.........Duuuuuffffff.

2 comments:

Photography by Lara said...

That second picture of Civita di Bagnoregio is amazing, great job!

The description of that sandwich may be all I need to diet from now on...just reading it made me lose my appetite.

dad said...

The sandwich should be named Mussolini's revenge.