AZinItaly

A couple of Phoenicians living temporarily in Roma

Archive for the tag “Fondo le Teglie”

Fondo le Teglie…One more time!

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Enoteca Properzio

Our friend Susan, invited us up to her Villa in Umbria, Fondo le Teglie, this past weekend. We were the only house guests, but like all the times we’ve spent there, we are wonderfully rarely alone. Friday night Susan and I worked in the kitchen to prepare dinner, while Michael relaxed drinking wine and keeping an eye on us! Later, Susan’s friend Stefano joined us for grilling burgers and dining outside by the fire.

On Saturday it was raining, so we postponed our morning walk in the hunting preserve, opting for the treadmill instead. Late morning Stefano returned to pick us up. We then met up with 5 other friends of Susan’s and all drove to Enoteca Properzio in Spello. The medival village of Spello sits on the southern slope of Mt. Subasio, neighboring Assisi and is about 45 minutes from Sismano, the “town” nearest to the villa. We wanted to buy some wine to have shipped back to the US and Susan recommended that we partake in a wine tasting and lunch at the Enoteca.

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Enoteca Properzio is an amazing wine shop and restaurant set in a 15th century building in picturesque Spello. It’s collection of wines includes over 2500 labels. We were wonderfully served and entertained by Roberto Angelini and his son Luca, who is the eighth generation of the Agnelini family to run the Enoteca. The food was simple but wonderful and served to complement the wine tasting.  We tasted not only great wines, but also freshly pressed olive oil that Roberto drowned our bread in! Roberto caught me for a quick spin around the floor before taking all of us to their new, contemporary restaurant and wine bar for a grappa and a gaze at the outrageous gold bathroom fixtures! We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Spello and taking in the amazing views.

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We were tired when we got home, afternoon wine tastings will do that to you, so it was a movie and popcorn on the couch for us! Luckily it wasn’t raining the next day, and Susan and I enjoyed our morning walk in the hunting preserve, being careful not to get shot. We lunched together at Ristorante Il Re Beve a restaurant we like that is set in a lovely castle in nearby Aquasparta, before Michael and I headed back to Rome.

It was another lovely weekend in the country. It’s become our home away from home while living here in Roma. Michael and I often joke when we are in driving in Umbria, “Oh look, there’s a dilapidated house we could buy and renovate.” Maybe Susan will let us invest in Fondo. Maybe we need to, after all the time we’ve spent there! Hmmm…A villa in Umbria…

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Mama mia! How time flies!

At the Culinary Festival in Scottsdale, AZ

At the Culinary Festival in Scottsdale, AZ

Life just seems to get away from me sometimes. It’s been awhile again since I wrote…so a brief update.

We went to the US for 2.5 weeks at the end of March to mid April for Michael’s daughter’s and niece’s weddings. We had a wonderful time catching up with friends and family in Colorado and Arizona. Lots of running around…doctor appointments, teeth cleanings, shopping for supplies to bring back to Roma, eating at favorite restaurants, driving, driving, driving. I’m always struck when we go back to the US how much time we spend in the car getting from here to there. I guess when I think about it though, I spend as much time in Roma on foot, on the Metro and in a bus, but somehow it seems different.

Since we came back to Roma, we hit the ground running. Michael’s back into the thick of things at work and there are likely to be a few trips in the coming months that I’ll get to attach my coat tails to and tag along. There’s a Tuscan spa trip in mid June and maybe an international trip prior to that. We have plans to return to Umbria to Fondo le Teglie, our friend Susan’s villa, and to attend the Umbrian Jazz Festival where we have tickets to see Diana Krall this summer. We’re hoping to get a trip to Barcelona into the mix too.

At the sea outside of Rome

At the sea outside of Rome

We have been attending Internations events, including a great party that featured 70’s and 80’s music where we got to dress silly and dance the night away. We went to see a wonderful exhibit of fashion photographer, Helmut Newton’s work, White Women/Sleepless Nights/Big Nudes at the Palazzo della Esposizioni. The weather has gotten warmer and we started going to the sea (beach) outside of Rome last weekend. I finally found an local accupuncturist and a source for Chinese herbs. I even have a small, very part time job helping a fellow expat, Elizabeth Wahn, market her book for tweens, Lindsey and the Jedgar (which is available on Amazon.com).

There was a celebration of Rome’s birthday, complete with a parade, costumes and an enactment of something we couldn’t understand at Circo Massimo last weekend. We keep meeting more people, making new friends, and I can’t help myself from sometimes anticipating the sadness I’ll feel when the time comes to leave these new found friendships and my new home.

We don’t have an update yet on our next step…so in the meantime, viva la Roma!

Fondo le Teglie

IMG_4248CORRECTION: My apologies to the Mr’s Pardi. Their correct names are Alberto and Albertino, not as originally published as Antonio and Antonino. The correction has been made in the original story below.

We were invited, along with our friend Teresa, to visit Susan in Umbria this past weekend at her home, Fondo le Teglie. It’s our third visit since we met Susan at an Internations wine tasting this past fall, during which we discovered we were neighbors here in Roma, and a fast friendship developed.

We drove up to Umbria on Saturday morning and wanted to take Teresa to Il Re Beve, a wonderful restaurant in Aquasparta, about 15 minutes from Fondo le Teglie for lunch. Michael and I had visited the restaurant last month when we were in Umbria over our anniversary.  We shared a wonderful house appetizer platter, fried artichoke, a delicious bottle of Montefalco Rosso wine and each had a pasta dish. YUM. The restaurant is located in a renovated castle, Castello di Casigliano, that sits high up on a hill overlooking the Umbrian countryside.

After lunch, we drove to Susan’s home. She and her friend Matt, who comes almost yearly to visit and help with the maintenance at Fondo le Teglie, where waiting for us. Susan with a bottle of chilled Prosecco and Matt with a scraper in hand as he was busy stripping the paint from the outside teak chairs.  After settling in, we left Matt to scrape and headed to Todi to wander and shop a bit.IMG_4249

Todi is an Umbrian hill town, perched on a tall, two crested hill, that overlooks the east bank of the Tiber River. It was likely founded in the 8th-7th century BC. All of it’s medieval monuments face the town square, which is often used as a movie set. In the 1990’s a professor from the University of Kentucky chose Todi as a model sustainable city and subsequently, the Italian press began to call it the “worlds’ most livable city”.

There’s a parking lot at the base of the town, with a small accensore or finicular that runs up the hill to the main part of the town. It’s a charming place, and it’s residents, and those of the surrounding towns, come from all over the world. Susan took us to an amazing art gallery, ab OVO Art & Design, where I entertained everyone trying on hats and beautiful scarves. We acted like “tourists” taking photos as we wandered around the city center, and watched an archery contest being held in the main piazza, its participants dressed in appropriately medieval outfits.

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We had dinner at home that night and Susan invited her local friend Claudio to join us. She roasted lamb in the outdoor brick fireplace, and we drank so much good local wine, that the evening ended in a dance party!

Sunday morning Michael and I opted out, but Teresa and Susan easily made the 5km walk in a nearby preserve. When they returned, we all set about helping to prepare lunch. Susan had invited friends, her English neighbor Bianca and the Pardi family, and we were in for a treat – a traditional Italian Sunday lunch! Teresa and I made great kitchen helpers, assisting Susan to prepare parts of  the courses, and making sure that not only was the dining table lovely, but the plates as well.

IMG_4268The Pardi family, Antonio, his wife Linda, one of their sons, Gianlucca and Alberto’s cousin, Augusta joined us for lunch. They live in Montefalco, a famous wine region about 45 minutes away. Gianlucca and his brother Albertino help to run the family winery Fratelli Pardi, where they produce delicious red and white wines. They are well known  for their Montefalco Rosso, which is a blend of Sagrantino, Sangiovese and Merlot grapes. Delicious! The family also owns Tessitura Pardi, located in nearby Bastardo, which is a textile factory that produces beautiful linen and cotton table and housewares. With some of us speaking English, some Italian and a few translating back and forth, we spent the most delightful afternoon that lasted almost until the sun set.

Susan has a website, which you can find at the right, Il Gusto del Paese, where she offers both her villa, Fondo le Teglie for rent, but also a variety of other  lodgings in the Umbrian region, which is a comfortable 1.5-2 hour drive from Roma. She has a wealth of knowledge about Umbria and all the delightful things to do when you visit there. She is a gracious hostess and we are lucky to have her as our friend! Grazie mille Susan, for another lovely weekend in Umbria. We can’t wait to visit again.

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