Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Umbrian Delicacies

Here are some of the delicacies I experienced last summer when singing with Umbrian Serenades, the first of which is a delicious cappuccino that would arrive at my table at the Hotel dei Duchi in the morning- the staff knowing exactly what I wanted when I came down in the morning. Presto! It was there by the time I sat down. 

I've not forgotten the bruschetta above, which was my first meal after arriving in Spoleto that morning. Bleary-eyed from jet lag, the crunch of the bread and the taste of the olive oil and vegetables was pure heaven. 

Where did I have the bruschetta above? At La Barcaccia, which is right off the Piazza del Mercato ( a charming Youtube video of a snowball fight in the Piazza can be found here). 

Il Tempio del Gusto is a lovely restaurant right down the street from the Piazza del Mercato. There I dined with Umbrian Serenades founder Paulo Faustini, our meal being accompanied by an amazing Franchiacorta, Italy's best 'champagne'.  

See those tiny bubbles below? That's how you know it's a good one! 

The Umbrian Serenade experience isn't complete without tasting the local wines. The Rosso from the Antonelly winery in Montefalco was particularly good- a dry red with a lot of presence. Lucky for us, we had a wine tasting at the winery on our last day - a very special event. 

Mozzarella and tomato with a little basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Wild boar! I kid you not. Very tasty! The hills around Spoleto are full of wild boar, the region being famous for this delicacy.

Frutti di Bosco, the likes of which melted in the mouth. I don't think I've ever had such a wonderful dessert. The whipped cream was like nothing you experience in America.

More bruschetta from La Barcaccia below. I have to say, it was perhaps my favorite place to dine. Wonderful food, great staff and excellent wines. The rosé below was really good, perfect for the summer afternoon.

Lastly, I return to breakfast at Hotel dei Duchi (I posted this photo before, but it begs to be reintroduced). The apple pastry was still warm when I put it on my plate, the apricot ripe and juicy, and the cheese and prosciutto delectable. It's the simple things that I remember most, along with wonderful friends and colleagues. So much laugher, good times, and great singing.

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