We walked through the main city gate that allows car traffic into centro Orvieto. Down a hill, through a roundabout, we started our climb up a formidable hill. When we reached a ridge, we walked until we had an unobstructed view of Orvieto. The fog had enveloped it. Only the tops of buildings were outlined. The city seemed to rise out of the mist. What a scene to behold.
We went over the mountain and saw more than the other side. A dog assisted us along the road. Some locals pointed us in the direction where we would find the VF. They said — You will pass the Madonnina, will go over a bridge, and will find the road to Bolsena on your right. It all came to pass.
At the point, we were using the U Tracks provided details of the path. Very few VF signs or blazed were seen because the Orvieto route is not part of the main line. Thank goodness we did because we could have been lost. We went about a half mile after going right when we should have gone left. One of the landmarks during this segment was two isolated pine trees. They certainly stood out.
As we weaved though a grove of trees, we came upon a Roman road. Imagine walking on footsteps at least 2,000 years old. It was in relatively good shape. We were glad that it was not raining because the stone would have been slippery and dangerous even for the most cautious hikers.
We eventually made it to Bolsena which is located on a large lake. The grade from the top of the old town to the lakeshore was steeper than any in San Francisco and with interesting views.
We walked through the town and up to our Agriturismo Le Vigne. After freshening up, we relaxed and enjoyed our aperativo overlooking sunset on the lake.
Dinner time. Our host recommended La Toscana in town. In the menu, the restaurant presented its philosophy of choosing the freshest ingredients and promoting the products from the region. We shared the Fantasia of Lake Fish; both of us chose the pasta vongole; and we ended with Monique having the insalata mista and me, the Fagioli Purgatorio (beans named after the town where they are grown). I’ll take those beans anytime (I love beans) to avoid the down under. We agreed that every dish was excellent with the pasta vongole — the best we had ever eaten.
Our wine was a Orvieto Superior that tasted more like a traditional Orvietan white. The one that Rich and I enjoyed last week contained some Chardonnay which rounded out the taste. Please note the label — organic and vegan. Aren’t all wines vegan? It’s like labeling olive oils cholesterol free.
I finally noticed an interesting feature of Italian dining in the region. Bread is presented in a paper bag as often as in a basket. Okay, so? At least in Toscana, Umbria, and Lazio, no butter, a few times, olive oil is on the table. Monique explained that bread is not to be eaten alone. It is as a base for spreads, and to mop up sauces or salad dressings if desired. I can hear Laird saying — where’s the mantiquilla? Change that to burro. Another variation in dining.
Well, the bear did find new adventures and continues to learn more Italian from Monique who was a language teacher. A domani.