But if you are going to drive through freezing cold rain, you at least deserve a good meal afterwards. In Norcia, which is particularly famous for their pork (butcher shops all over Italy that specialize in pork products are called "Norcerinas") and is also in the heart of truffle country, we made the most of a truffle-filled lunch that included truffle-crusted bruschetta and fantastic truffle-topped tagliatelle. Baby Oil enjoyed himself as well.
|We like to start 'em young on truffles. Go right for the good stuff.|
I can also tell you that the butcher shops of Norcia smell so intensely of ham that it is impossible to spend more than a minute inside - I'm not sure I can articulate the intensity of the cured meat smell though it makes me shudder a bit to recall it. And no, I am not a vegetarian (though I don't eat pork) but even for a meat lover it is a lot to handle. After digesting our truffles and wanting to escape the pork-fest, we ventured back to the Piano Grande since the sun had peeked out. In other words, we drove 25 minutes back up a mountain so we could take the following photo, then drove back down. Awesome.
|Piano Grande - check|
It was also gray for the day we went to Montepulciano. Which you may know either as one of the most famous towns in Tuscany and home to well-respected Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, OR through their other claim to fame touted in many a tourist shop-window, where scenes from the vampire flick New Moon were filmed. Yes, the part where Edward decides to out himself as a vampire because he thinks Bella is dead. Well, if Edward had shown up on the day we were there, he would have been totally SOL with that plan. No sun at all. Totally vampire-friendly weather.
|Montepulciano Town Square. (Though I was really more of a Team Jacob girl)|
So yeah, we spent 15 days in Italy. They were good days. I'll leave you with our list of the best gelato we ate - though hardly representative of the quantity we consumed:
- Cinnamon, at Pianegiani in Todi (Umbria)
- Limoncello, at Cafe Royal in Amalfi
- Ginger, at Perche No in Florence
- Lemon Caviar, at the Florence Gelato Festival (yeah, you read that correctly)
- Banana, at Bottega del Gelato in Pisa
- Licorice, at Gelateria Gambrinus in Perugia (Umbria)