Umbria has been spared from the mass tourism until now. Why is that, we question ourselves. Of course, it doesn’t have an ocean, which explains the lack of beach fans. However, Umbria is known as the green heart of Italy and impresses with its very special light, spreading peace and relaxation. Besides, Umbria has especially many cultural and culinary delights to offer. The culinary delicacies will definitely you’re your expectations or even exceed them: from the delicious olive oils, the wines, the pulses as chickpeas, over the bacon, the good salami, the Strangozzi pasta, the spelt, the honey to the famous truffles and chocolate. Apart from that, Umbria has dedicated itself to the movement of slow food, which is a contra-movement to the fast food and pays a lot of attention to local ingredients and eating consciously but also with relish.
For truffle lovers, this will be an absolute paradise. Truffles can be found almost all year round; the sorts differ depending in the seasons. The black truffle can be eaten raw or added as spice to other dishes, no matter if it is a sophisticated dish or something simple as pasta or fried egg. The aroma of the truffle is so strong that already a few rasps do for refining every dish. In Norcia, the Risotto alla Norcina, a risotto with truffles, is very famous. For searching these much-desired treasures, trained dogs and pigs are used. They are likely to grow underneath poplars, the thick roots of hazel tree or elder bushes. Tourists gather from everywhere around the world to participate in a truffle search. For that, tours are organized in especially fenced areas of the forests, but the best places will always be kept a secret.
Risotto alla Norcina
Pork, beef, and sheep have big importance in the umbrian gastronomy. Especially the white Chianina cows and small, black pigs are known for their tasty meat. It is again the city of Norcia, which surprises with a diversified production of pork meat into salami, ham, bacon and lard and is known as one of the best in the production of Salami. This is why norcino, which actually only means inhabitant of Norcia, became a synonym of butcher. You can get salami in every variation: pork salami, wild boar salami, donkey salami. The quality of the salami and ham depends on the choice of animal and the taste from the seasoning, filling and duration of the air-drying.
Meat Specialties in Norcia
Perugia is especially known for its two big universities but also boasts one of the most famous chocolate factory of the country. It is called Perugina and invented the “Baci” – being Italian for kiss -, a chocolate praline, which always also contains a life or love wisdom. These kisses are the most well-known product og the city and preferred with the lovers. You can get to know all the facts about the kisses and the factory in their museum and then buy some of your own to bring them home for your loved ones.
True chocolate lovers should not miss the annual festival Eurochocolate, which is hosted each year in october in Perguia. Everything here is chocolate themed: you can join chocolate workshops, see chocolate exhibitions, play chocolate games and of course try the chocolate on many stands. Most of the people would feel like being in heaven and I would definitely be one of them! The event is so well visited and loved that now many copies of it exist, but the perugian one is still the original and the most visited.
Where to stay in Perugia.
The popular Orvieto wine has his origins in the village Orvieto and was already cultivated by the Etruscans. It therefore counts as one of the oldest wines in Italy. In the past, it was produced as a sweet desert wine, which was known as “Italy’s sun in a bottle”. Nowadays, the type of grapes are drier and soft. The used grapes are the Trebbiano, Grechetto, Canaiolo Bianco, Drupeggio, Malvasia and Verdello. The white wine Orvieto Classico is offered as late vintage, wine with characteristics from overripe grapes and noble rot. The wine area sadly is not widespread because of its rough ground.
Where to stay: Locanda Palazzone
The Wine Region in Orvieto
In Assissi, you will find a special treat: the Rocciata di Assissi. This is a circled sweet pastry filled with in wine soaked dry fruits. Earlier, this pastry was apparently used for a holy ritual in honour of the god Hondo Cerfio, but as there is also a similarity to the ‘Strudel’, its origin is not clear. But in the end, the origin isn’t important. What is important is only to try this delicious treat and probably love it. This dish is mostly baked in winter, because of its many calories and the required fresh walnuts. Apart from that, Assissi has to offer many more culinary delights and places of interest, which wait to be discovered.
Where to stay: San Crispino Residence