Lessons from the Road #7: Umbertide & Assisi

Lesson #7:  Don’t let a little (okay, a lotta) rain get you down.

If it’s Day 7, it must be raining.

It started raining in the night and continued pretty much without stopping. It was also Sunday. Still, we needed more groceries—we planned to eat in that night—and we wanted to find a place to have lunch. Someone decided Umbertide was the place to go. So off we went—eight of us in two separate cars. We drove from Ramazzano to Umbertide—not knowing exactly where we going when we got there. But we had high hopes we’d find an open restaurant and, afterwards, an open grocery store.

After some searching, a few U-turns, and one fruitless stop at what turned out to be a bar with only a handful of lonely sandwiches in their food counter, we found a corner with two open establishments. A friend in my car offered to brave the rain and see if one of the two would have food for us. As soon as he hopped out of the car, the sky opened, the rain descending so fast it made immediate rivers on the pavement. His umbrella kept part of him dry, but I’m sure his feet were soaked within seconds. Because mine were almost as soon as I left the car to head toward the café he pointed to after his initial investigation.

No matter if we all had wet feet and pants soaked through from the knee down. The place had a selection of pizza, paninis, and lasagna. We’d found food. Even better, they had—you guessed it—gelato to top off the meal. Several folks opted for stracciatella (chocolate chip). I chose stracciatella and dark chocolate. One friend got the fragola (strawberry). I had a taste of that—and wow. Let me tell you, strawberry gelato is nothing like American strawberry ice cream. This stuff tasted like the essence of fresh strawberries (without the supersweetness sorbets can have). My favorite gelato combo from then on was fragola e cioccolato—like chocolate covered strawberries, yum!

(Okay, enough with the gelato side-track interlude. But you can see why one of the general lessons I mentioned in the first post in this series was “eat gelato every day,” right?)

After lunch, one carload of us—the younger ones—went on to find a grocery store, wet shoes and all, while the other carload went back to the villa. Then, shopping accomplished, we headed that way too—to start our preparations for dinner. Three of us were cooking—three different kinds of pasta, one with lemon and parsley, one with olive oil, garlic, and basil, and one with a tomato meat sauce.

Our communal dinner was wonderful—and we had plenty left over to feed the remaining four of our party, who arrived later that evening.

If it’s Day 8, it must be Assisi—and still raining.

Okay, it wasn’t raining when we left for Assisi. We thought the rain had gone away.

DSCN2742 DSCN2743

But when we left the Basilica of St. Francis,…

Assissi Basilica of St. Frances

the rain started again.

DSCN2744 Assissi - Overcast DSCN2746

Not to worry. There were plenty of places to step inside and poke around. Though a couple of my friends had already found perhaps the best souvenir—a small statue of St. Francis painted with purple glitter, which we referred to as St. Francis, Liberace edition.

St Francis Liberace2

We had a group dinner that night at a lovely restaurant in Ramazzano called Trilogy—and had some of the best pizza I’ve ever had—ever. If you get a chance to go to Trilogy, order the N’nel So. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

So we had two days of rain. Big deal. A little water didn’t keep us from having fun.

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2 Responses to Lessons from the Road #7: Umbertide & Assisi

  1. tpolen says:

    How did I get so behind on your blog? Running off to catch up now!

  2. sstamm625 says:

    No problem! I’m just glad you are still reading! 🙂

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