Late Fall Travels in Orvieto

Kristi and I schedule our trips in May and September/October – the shoulder seasons. We do so because the weather is typically wonderful and mild, and because there are fewer tourist crowds. More tourists are traveling later and later into the seasons, but it still offers the best experience.

Autumn bounty

Autumn bounty

This fall we led our Taste of Orvieto trip which has to be scheduled late in October or early in November to be able to take advantage of the chance to pick olives. Olives in Umbria

Umbrian oil is made from a blend of 3 types of olives

Umbrian oil is made from a blend of 3 types of olives

aren’t ready to pick until at least late October. On our Taste trip we pick olives at Bartolomei, take them to their presses, and watch as they are pressed into the most sublime oil that each of

Gathering olives from the nets

Gathering olives from the nets

the members of our trip then take home with them. The day was crystal clear, warmed nicely, and we dined on a delicious late lunch as our olives were processed into oil. We were in Orvieto all the way until October 28 this year.

Our oil flowing!

Our oil flowing!

Nothing better than fresh oil on bread toasted over coals

Nothing better than fresh oil on bread toasted over coals

Bartolomei's oil is incredible

Bartolomei’s oil is incredible

We each get a can of our very own oil

We each get a can of our very own oil

A well deserved lunch after picking olives all morning

A well deserved lunch after picking olives all morning

As we deepened into October the weather cooled and we added layers of clothing. The days were typically brilliant and deliciously warm. The nights were brisk bringing the rose to our cheeks. The crowds thinned in the streets, and we enjoyed the camaraderie of all our Orvietani friends in a more relaxed way as they began to settle in to the quieter months. The menus changed reflecting the season. More soups appeared. Pumpkin, and squash and chestnut dishes showed up on menus. It is a delightful time of the year.

Pumpkin in the market

Pumpkin in the market

We cooked with our dear friend Simona. The warm days let us eat our feast out on her patio enjoying the ambiance, the views up to the town of Allerona, the exquisite Umbrian countryside.

Simona's farm house sits below Allerona

Simona’s farm house sits below Allerona

Al fresco dining at Simona's

Al fresco dining at Simona’s

Of course we cooked seasonally with an incredible pumpkin sauce for the pasta we made. Simona is the queen of starters which we savored.

Making pasta

Making pasta

Two years ago on our Taste trip we were witness to the first stage of the fruition of a dream of Giovanni Dubini, the talented owner and wine maker at Palazzone. He wanted to return to the traditional way of making wine – all the grapes mixed together in chestnut barrels native to the area, fermented in an open barrel with only the natural yeast of the grapes to ferment the must, and then aged in the Etruscan cave of his hillside. This is precisely how it used to be done.

Isabella shows us the traditional tools they used

Isabella shows us the traditional tools they used

The wine is stored in demijohns

The wine is stored in demijohns

This year we were the very first people to taste the just released wine. And we did it in the Etruscan cave where it had been aged. It was fantastic. On the cork, dated and sealed with

Tasting the wine in an Etruscan cave

Tasting the wine in an Etruscan cave

wax, he had this beautiful inscription in both Italian and English, “Thus was I born by the desire of those who with care, and understanding, and the tools of old, wish to nurture the retelling of a timeless story.” Isabella Costantino, Giovanni’s right had woman translated the text so beautifully.

Another brilliant day this late fall at Palazzone, our last with the group. And we were treated to exquisite colors and views from high atop the hillside where the cave is located.

Orvieto seen from Palazzone

Orvieto seen from Palazzone

The beautiful fall colors of the Umbrian countryside

The beautiful fall colors of the Umbrian countryside

Orvieto ItalyWe are rewarded in late fall with all the beautiful images shown above, by the quieter nature of things, by a return for the natives to a less hectic, more placid, more Italian way of life!

 


Kristi and Bill Steiner began leading “learning vacations” to Orvieto, Italy in 2003. Through Adventures in Italy they provide a cultural immersion experience. Many trips include the pursuit of some kind of creative work that complements and reinforces exploration of Italy’s culture. Relationships built over the years enable Kristi and Bill to provide experiences that a typical visitor to Orvieto never gets.

Trips are held in May and September/October every year. Their Discover Orvieto and Taste of Orvieto trips are available to groups any time of the year.

Learn more about Kristi and Bill’s trips. Stay abreast of Adventures in Italy developments, and follow Bill’s musings about travel and Italy on his blog Make Haste Slowly. View Bill’s photos of Italy, Orvieto, and other memorable places at steinerstudiophotos.com, and follow him on Instagram.

Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.

 

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One Response to Late Fall Travels in Orvieto

  1. Anne says:

    I’m transported to beautiful Orvieto with your evocative words and exquisite photos – grazie!

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