What a haul!

Today we finally made our trip to the Asian market in Perugia. There are a couple of markets there. One we had known of, but the one we went to today was new to us.

It is near the train station which tends to have a lot of immigrants and ethnic places to serve them. As you can see…it has a very catchy name — “ASIA MARKET”. I have to say, I hate the traffic in Perugia… a maniac designed their roads.

So, anyway, we found it fairly easily. It is, as advertised, cleaner than the other market, and the people are friendlier. I was disappointed in the selection, however. In the fresh produce there was no okra or sugar snap peas, nor was there any cilantro. I did get bok choy. I guess that’s something. I found most of the other stuff I wanted, even though the selection was smaller. I got fish sauce, oyster sauce, wide rice noodles, Korean BBQ sauce (trying for the first time), sesame oil, rice vinegar, sweet piquante sauce for sticky chicken. Lots of coconut milk and evaporated milk. Even some kimchi, which I love! Here is a picture!

I see Thai and Korean in my future.
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Its funny. I read the Facebook groups for people who live in Italy (from other countries). There also tend to be a lot of wannabes as well who still live in their native country. Someone posted a question about where to find Jalapeños in Italy. Fresh in the store, canned, or even plants. There were plenty of helpful answers as usual. But also there were the idiots who insist they know best and if you come to Italy to live you should “embrace the culture 🎶“ and only eat Italian food. Well, that’s fine and all, I love Italian food and I generally let the Italians cook it for me when I go out. But there is the inevitable pull of “Home”. The foods you grew up with. Comfort foods. If that happens to be spaghetti and meatballs, so be it. It’s not an Italian dish, it’s an Italian-American dish but if you miss it, you miss it. Same for ethnic foods, plentiful and embraced in the US, but seldom seen here. So – we cook the spicy stuff…and the different flavors. It surely doesn’t mean we don’t love Italian food!
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Along our drive to the store we passed a Vaccination center…it was teeming with people waiting for shots. What a great thing to see! Italy is finally making real progress.
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Italiano phrase for today, “loro erano molto amici” — in English “they were very close friends”. Pronounced, lore-oh err-ah-noh mole-toe am-ee-chi.
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Ciao, i miei amici! 🌈

BBQ

As unlikely as it seems, we got take-out BBQ last night. Yes we did. And it was good.

There is a restaurant in Perugia called Pinturicchio Cafe+Kitchen. It does American breakfasts and Brunches and Lunches. It is closed for dinner due to the restrictions right now. They make really great ribs, pulled pork, wings, biscuits, sides, like coleslaw and cowboy beans, and finally delicious pies! Oh my! Yesterday they had Pecan Bourbon pie and Strawberry Rhubarb pie.

I had seen them advertise that they delivered to a town called Spello. I thought well, if they deliver there…what about here? So, I contacted them and they were willing. I contacted some friends and we got enough orders for them to come. Maybe, if they come back, the word will have gotten out and we will get more orders next time.

We ordered a rack of ribs, two pulled pork sandwiches, an order of wings, biscuits, coleslaw and a piece of Rhubarb pie (for me!). We had the pulled pork last night. Biscuits and pie today. It was great. Ribs for tomorrow….a taste of home.

Maybe many of my readers don’t understand the craving for foods from home. It is a strong pull. The comfort foods of my childhood make me remember, and make me happy. The ethnic foods I can’t get here I miss a lot. The meals we ordered last night were a great taste of home. I wish to say strongly, I adore Italian food. When I used to come as a tourist I loved the food more than anything and I still do. But, as with anything, after time you yearn for different tastes and memories of home… 💕

Buon appetito!

Best laid plans…

I just re-read my last post. Nothing worked as planned…no surprise!

First, the day we planned to go to the new Asian market happened to be the day the Giro d’Italia was in Perugia. Streets closed. Public transport closed. Traffic nightmares. So we decided against that trip for now!

Lunch Saturday also called off. The restaurant is fully booked both Saturday and Sunday. All the restaurants are very busy since they’ve been allowed to reopen. The main issue is the limited number of outside tables. Now we have to regroup. It looks like we will need to plan a little farther ahead.

Due to some great tips and recommendations from one of my blog readers (thanks Matt!), our trip for our anniversary has moved from our original destination up the coast to a town called Sestri Levante. It sits between Genoa and the Cinque Terre along the coast. We have been a couple of times to the Cinque Terre but never have we explored the coast north of there. The town of Portofino is just near Sestri and I’ve always wanted to see it. We also want to visit Rapallo and S. Margherta Ligure. I am told they are nice villages. And then, possibly we will take the train into Genoa. I want to have some downtime too. So we will see.

Buona serata a tutti!

Trip to the Questura

After the last couple days of confusion, I’ve decided to leave all the travel news alone for awhile. I’m sure everyone is capable of doing their own investigating.
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You all may recall, about a month ago we went to submit all the myriad documents we had gathered to apply for the Permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo (ex carta di soggiorno) – elective residence. Link to the post.

Today was our appointment at the Questura. I was prepared to be turned down. I even had rehearsed what I would say if they did. I have been through so many hoops here that I wasn’t nervous or worried at all. I actually like our Questura. I’ve only ever used the one in Citta di Castello. It’s a medium sized city north of us. I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories of the Questure in the larger cities. They sound like Dante’s third ring of hell. Our police officers all are friendly and, after seven years they know us well. And there is seldom a crowd.

We were each called in to a window. We had all our receipts, documents, passports, old Permessi, and our photos. They said, you’re applying for the permesso lungo periodo? We said yes. Two of our documents had expired since we’d gotten them last year before Covid. So we weren’t getting the permit. They said they would give us another year of our Permesso and while waiting we can re-apply for the long term one. Even though we failed this time, the good news is, we CAN get this permit. We will not be turned down if we get the new documents. I’m pretty pumped about this. If we get it, then we won’t have to worry about having an expired Permesso and not being able to travel. And we will be able get our health coverage for the ENTIRE year instead of having to go back again and again to extend. It will be amazing…I shouldn’t get too sure though, it is, after all, Italy. Anything can happen. 😳
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The weather has turned nice. It’s finally warming up. We’ve had a very cold spring. I bought my pepper plants yesterday for this year. I am still missing some flowers but I will find them eventually.

This week we have a few excursions planned. We plan to visit a new (to us) Asian market tomorrow. We are very low on our Asian ingredients. As most of you know, we love ethnic foods which are a rare thing in Italy. So I cook meals myself. Since being locked down we couldn’t leave our Comune so we couldn’t shop in Perugia where there are a couple of stores.

Then on Saturday or Sunday we plan to meet friends for lunch in Montefalco at one of our all time favorite restaurants, L’Alchemista. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been.

We are also just starting the beginnings of plans for a few short trips here and there. A day trip to Rome to see the Torlonia Marbles. They are amazing. Here is a great link from BBC about the Marbles. And probably in June a trip for our anniversary to Via Reggio on the Mediterranean. Got our eye on a nice hotel and restaurant.

Stay tuned!
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Italian phrase for today…”La speranza non muore mai” literally “hope never dies” but equivalent to our saying “hope springs eternal”. Pronounced — Lah spare-an-zah non moo-or-ee my.

Stay safe…🌈

I’m sorry…more info

I’m sorry this is so confusing. It seems things are changing and new information comes out. I’ve just heard my information from this morning was not correct. I think we have it right this time. Anyone can fly here now on any flight. The only issue you need to understand is that if you fly a non-Covid-tested flight you’ll have to quarantine for ten days. For a person with a vacation home here that’s not a big deal. But for a tourist to have to spend 10 days under house arrest it would be difficult.

I see there are going to be more Covid-tested routes. Not just into Rome but also into Venice and Naples. Not right away, but it is planned. I also read more cities in the US will have them and more airlines will get the go ahead to fly them. So flying a Covid-tested flight shouldn’t be a big hardship for anyone.

A little more information for those planning a trip. This is from The Local, the English language Italian news website.

How do Covid-tested flights work?

Travelers must undergo a series of coronavirus tests to be allowed to enter Italy on the special flights.

Testing protocol varies by airline. Delta says it requires passengers to provide proof of a negative PCR test result, taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

Passengers must then test negative in a rapid antigen test at the airport before boarding and they must get tested again immediately on arrival at their destination

All travelers must also fill in a digital location form before boarding: the Digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF).

Passengers will then receive an email with a QR code, which must be given at the check-in desk in order to be allowed on the flight.

Also during check-in, you must provide a completed self declaration form, which is specific to these Covid-tested flights.

If all the tests come back negative, you’ll be able to enter Italy and enjoy a quarantine-free trip. If you test positive on arrival, you will need to quarantine in Italy.

A pre-travel Covid-19 test is also required before returning to the US regardless of vaccination status.

Stay safe everyone…safe travels!

It’s official!

Looks like as of today, May 16 Italy is open for normal travelers. No essential reason needed. There are rules still in place that everyone should know about.

  • If you fly one of the “Covid-tested” flights which require testing before and after your flight you do not have to quarantine upon arrival in Italy. Right now Delta is the airline with the most “Covid-tested” flights. From JFK to Rome or Milan. And from Atlanta to Rome. AlItalia has a daily JFK to Rome flight.
  • If you don’t fly a “Covid-tested” flight you will have to quarantine for 10 days and test again. Any non-direct flight not mentioned above is not a “Covid-tested” flight and quarantine rules apply.
  • Italy has restrictions which all tourists will have to abide by just as residents do.
  • As of this writing, most of the country is a Yellow Zone. Except Val d’Osta which is Orange. Yellow zone rules are:
    • Masks mandatory inside and out unless exercising alone.
    • Curfew from 10PM to 5 AM.
    • Restaurants open for lunch and dinner outside only.
    • Museums are only at 50% capacity and tickets are mandatory. Tickets must be purchased at least one day ahead for weekends.
    • Theaters and event spaces have seating limitations.
  • Orange Zone. Same as yellow, plus:
    • No travel into or out of an Orange zone from any other zone.
    • Shops closed.
    • Museums closed.
    • Restaurants are take out only.

One thing to keep in mind. The zones are fluid. The color-coded system means there’s no guarantee that if you book to visit a yellow zone, it’ll be yellow by the time you get there—just look at Sardinia which went from a White Zone (totally open) to a Red Zone (totally closed) in just three weeks.

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Buona domenica a tutti!

Where is May!!?

I’m getting tired of this cold wet weather. May is usually so reliably nice. But not this year. Last weekend up to Monday was nice. Then the cold damp came roaring back for the rest of the week.

Big news! Finally. After almost two weeks. We managed to get into our garage! Whoo hoo! Things always take longer that you expect here in Italia…one gets used to it… Now we can take the Angelo Giallo out for a spin. (Note to self…get a second door key)

We still aren’t doing very much interesting so I’ve not been writing too much lately. We did go out to nice dinner with friends at San Giorgio this week. It was fun and good to get to know our new friends. I had Bottoni…a pasta dish. Means buttons. 🙂 descriptive as are so many pasta names.

While I was waiting to pick up my Tikka masala on Takeaway Thursday. I took this pretty shot of the Lido – the park by the river. Once it actually had cabanas and people went there to go swimming, go dancing and sun bathe.

This is now….

This was then… so very different from now. Dancing and partying. You can find this same vibe today along Lago Trasimeno. In summertime it is disco dancing and partying non-stop. Lots of Italian tourists. Nowadays you will see women…I note there are none in these pictures except the dancers.

1939 cabanas in the Lido
1934 Pommerigio festivo alla piattaforma
1934 when the Tiber was clean…It is not dirty now…but I suspect there was a time when it was…

Today, the Saturday Market. I picked up some coriander plants at the Books For Dogs/Libri per i Cani special plant sale. Then we met some good friends at Bar Mary for drinks. They just arrived home from the US this week. They have a home in Montone and are residents of Italy so can come here with no problem. We were interested to hear their experiences for their trip home. They said many people trying to travel without citizenship, residence or an acceptable, essential reason were turned away by the airline in the US.

This man, nicely dressed with his “man purse”, on his bicycle had a 3 liter container of vin sfuso from the wine booth. Looked like a nice rosato. You can just see it in his left hand. Wish I’d gotten a better view! It was classic!

Italiano phrase for today. “Ho messo in ordine tutti i libri” — in English — “I tidied up all the books”. Pronounced…oh mays-so in or-dee-nay toot-tea ee lee-brie.
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Get vaccinated everyone, if you can. Here in Italy it is slow…but in the US everyone now is eligible — so please, do it for the greater good…and thank you 🌈!

Catching up

We took a drive Monday up to Arezzo in Tuscany. We visited a big grocery there that we like. We drove the Porsche which hasn’t been driven since January. The trip takes around 40 minutes. It was nice to see new scenery for a change. And to stock the larder with food.

Over the weekend we were awakened at 5am by our resident Hoopoe. Our bedroom window was wide open and he perched on the clothes line just outside where he proceeded to sing his (loud) two note song which is the origin his name, they say. Oddly, just last week I opened a bottle of wine which had a glass stopper rather than a cork. I noticed something painted on it. It was a Hoopoe! It seems every time I turn around I’m reminded of this cool bird.

Saturday local market was cheerful. We still have mostly winter vegetables. But I saw asparagus today. Also, everyone has piles of fresh eggs. The chickens lay more eggs in the spring apparently.

Plant booth had some pretty plants but I was going to take a trip up the hill outside of town to the big greenhouse so I just admired his flowers.

I’m happy to see both of the bars are welcoming folks.

San Giorgio, the restaurant across the piazza from us. They are happily serving lunch and dinner again.

I went out to the nursery just outside of town. I bought petunias and a bunch of herbs. I still need the sweet alyssum I normally plant and couldn’t find. I guess it will become a quest! This is the view up to Civitella Ranieri, the castle that hosts fellows in the art world. They were empty last year so I hope all goes well this year. Isn’t the sky pretty and the winter wheat so green!!

Spur of the moment we decided to have lunch at Patrick’s Enoteca. I’ve missed it. The “clown” train passing on the tracks across from Patrick’s.

Lunch.

So that was my week. Oh, except I locked the key to the door of our garage inside the garage. So now we can’t get to the car! And we were going for a ride today. Oh well. We are trying to figure out how to get in! This was the very thing I reminded myself never, ever to do…and I did it 🙄
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Italiano phrase…”era un bellissimo sabato”. In English “it was a beautiful Saturday”. Pronounced — era une bell-ees-see-mo sah-bah-toe.
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Stay safe everyone! 🌈

Lovely first lunch out with friends

Well, today was our first foray out of our house with friends to actually eat at a RESTAURANT!! We went with friends to Calagrana who have a new menu and have their outside terraces open. It wasn’t really warm, but it was warm enough and it didn’t rain. I count that as a good day. Here are pictures of my food. I’m sure you’ve all missed seeing these 😁 ha ha!

First I had Chef Alberto’s tartar…it was piquant and perfect. This was a new dish.

Next I went with the cappelli di preti or priest’s hats. Bi-color pasta filled with goat cheese and ricotta in a butter sage sauce. Mmmm.

My dessert…

It was a good day. Piano, piano we slowly move forward… Stay safe everyone 🌈