Category Archives: shopping

Concert, food touching, buying envelops, and IKEA excursion

Saturday evening we went to the Brahms 3rd Symphony concert in the Chiesa di San Francesca here in Umbertide. It was a 50 piece orchestra who had only played together for a couple of weeks and they were from all over the world. It was very good. The church acoustics were lovely. The 3rd movement was especially lovely.

Before the concert we tried out Inferno e Paradiso (hell and heaven) which was across the street and situated in the old vaults under the street. They served grilled meats and pizzas only. Also they specialized in beer. What we had was not good but if you stick to beer and pizza I think you would be happy enough.

Sunday we had a lovely lunch at La Chuisa. It is an agritourismo a couple of miles from Umbertide. The food was very homey and tasty. We sat on the porch. The weather was beautiful. We actually had 3 courses. We split an antipasti and we all had a pasta and a secondo which was their special braised chicken. I was amused that the chicken came on a plate with a small bowl of salad and some potatoes. Italians never let their food touch. Everything was well spaced. Susan had mentioned that she had a bunch of Italians for Thanksgiving and they all got up and got one thing at a time and ate it, then went back to get another. They were appalled that the Americans just piled everything on a plate together! Too bad, they miss that wonderful medley of mashed potatoes, dressing and turkey smothered in gravy!

Yesterday we did errands. I purchased 5 envelops. Yes 5. They sell them individually! I would have never guessed. I also got some sticky labels and fixed our doorbell which still had the wrong name on it. Also fixed our mailbox label which had Luther’s MIDDLE name on it but that didn’t bother the mailman as he still brought our mail to it. We also signed onto the Italian police website and checked our Permessi – it said they are in progress. Well I guess that’s good. I also took a picture of the cat “ladder” in the small street behind us. They built it specially so their cat could come and go to their second floor.


Today we went to IKEA! It is on the Adriatic coast about 1 1/2 hours away. We stopped into a winery that Luther had chosen on the way. There was a beautiful old church just along the driveway – the word for country church is pieve. A stylized version of it is also the winery logo. It is not normally open but a photographer had come that day and they had opened it up so I was lucky to get some pictures. The young woman is Sylvia who did our wine tasting for us.







Before we visited IKEA we had a wonderful lunch at Hotel Cristoforo Colombo. We had had trouble finding anywhere to eat. It was an industrial area we just happened upon this hotel. The food turned out to be great with lots of very fresh seafood. I had the Taglietelini with clams.


I did some recon at the IKEA for future purchases but did buy a cushion, two pillows covered in linen for the couch and a cutting board which I had been sorely missing in the apartment.

Sofa and Spello

We woke to a rainy Tuesday. Reminded me of our January trip but warmer. We decided to go visit Divani & Divani which is the Natuzzi store down between Assisi and Perugia. I was not expecting to buy anything, but when we arrived we realized it was their July sale, one of two sanctioned by the Italian state. No one is allowed to have a sale other than in January or July in Italy. Many of their sofas were on sale for 50% off. I really loved some of the sofas and even though we really can’t use it until our house is done it was such a savings we decided to go ahead and buy one. I toyed with the idea of leather as we had in Alexandria but remembered the damage the cats claws caused to it. In the end we went for a nice big beige fiber (cotton and linen) one. The covers all can be removed so I assume they can be cleaned. Here is a picture:


It will be delivered next week.

I am pretty excited about it. It is my first nesting thing and I feel very good that I have done at least one thing towards the furnishing of the house!

After that we had planned to go visit Spello which is a pretty hill town we have never been to and to a winery Luther wanted to try called Sportoletti between Assisi and Spello. We had a nice tasting and purchased a mixed case of 3 of their wines.


Next we drove the short distance to Spello. The densely inhabited town, built of stone, is medieval, and is enclosed by medieval walls on Roman foundations, including three Roman gates (Porta Consolare, Porta di Venere and the “Arch of Augustus”) and traces of three more, remains of an amphitheater, as well several medieval gates. Spello boasts about two dozen small churches, most of them medieval. The town is famous for the Infiorate which includes a whole night of work to create over sixty flower carpets that adorn the streets for the Corpus Domini feast. Here is a website with some pictures from the Infiorate in 2014. It is important to note that these are all made from wild flower petals that are gathered in the hills. It is incredible. I plan to go next year!

Here are some pictures I took today:






We went to Enoteca Properzio in the center of town. It is a wine store and restaurant. It was a hoot. It was a lot of show but fun. We didn’t know what to expect so just went with the flow. The father, Roberto, son, Luca, and daughter Irene were all present. They had the show down pat. They poured wine by the glass and we had bruschetta to start with a Grechetto white Umbrian varietal. Excellent. The bruschette were, two with olive oil from two local producers to compare and contrast, and one with lovely fresh tomatoes from their garden. Next we had a Sangeovese also an Umbrian varietal red. We had it with the two pasta courses, one with the black summer truffles shaved liberally over and the other with tomato sauce. Last we had a very expensive, jammy red, also Sangeovese but 2011 vintage. Excellent wine and paired with two cheeses and balsamic vinegar. Everything was good but I could have made any of it. It was notable for it’s fresh local ingredients that blended very well with the wines and were appropriate for the summertime. Pictures!






A really weird “small world” thing happened in the restaurant. The person we met a number of weeks ago at the wine bar across the river from us in Umbertide, Geoff was at the table next to us! How strange is that? Like we know a lot of people here (not) and one of the few should be in the same restaurant that is about 30 miles from where we both live.