Orvieto – Monday, lots of relaxing and food

First, we forgot to include in yesterday’s post a video that Dave took on one of his walks on Sunday.  It is a group that is promoting a musical event that takes place next Sunday.

Monday morning started with confirming the proofing of the bread from the night before.  Everything looked good, so we had to figure out how Linda was going to bake it.  Well, we still needed parchment paper.  Dave headed off to Pam, but that was to no avail.  If they had it, Dave couldn’t find it (or foil or waxed paper). So, it was off to the kitchen store.  Dave used Google Translate to determine what to buy, should he find the baking supplies. Lo, and behold, there it is, aluminum foil, waxed paper, cling wrap (not any of those names, of course) and, ta-da, corte forno (baking paper). The discussion to confirm what this was comical at best. Once he got home and opened the box, Linda agreed that it was the right stuff. As a follow-up, during our afternoon walk, we stopped at Pam and, this time, Dave quickly saw the corte forno.  Oops.

After taking the bread dough out, re-forming it, and getting it set to proof, again, we decided this was the right time to visit Orvieto Underground.

First proofing of the bread looks good

There are about 1,200 cavernous areas under Orvieto.  Most of them are under houses and are private property of the homeowner. In fact, Jim and Anne’s apartment house has a private cave. They have not been to it, but the property owners do use it.

Orvieto Underground – Map showing buildings in black and underground caves in red
The property in the center of this picture is where Jim and Anne live

The two caves we visited today with Orvieto Underground were quite impressive.  The engineering that went into them by the Etruscans. These caves date back to hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. They were used by homeowners to make and store items such as olive oil and wine.  Additionally, there were some caves that had small “boxes” cut into them that were to allow pigeons to roost.  These pigeons were a source of food and commerce for the people of Orvieto. The mature pigeons would come and go from the caves.  The immature pigeons were either sold or eaten. The plus of pigeon over chicken was that pigeons would leave the roost to search for food and then return.  Chickens on the other hand would need to be cared for and fed. The visit to the caves was interesting and we’re glad we did it.

Orvieto Underground – View to valley later in the tour as the fog was fading
Orvieto Underground – View to the valley
Orvieto Underground = View to the valley
Orvieto Underground – View to the valley
Orvieto Underground – This room was constructed in Etruscan style, noted by the peaked ceiling
Orvieto Underground – Olive oil press in cave
Orvieto Underground – Wheel turned by donkeys to olive press
Orvieto Underground – Chimney area on the right (not darker color) and entry on the left
Orvieto Underground – Storage area in cave
Orvieto Underground – Tool marks in ceiling
Orvieto Underground – You can see the tool marks in the cave ceilings
Orvieto Underground – Pigeon nesting holes
Orvieto Underground – Cistern for pigeons and cleaning
Orvieto Underground – Linda and pigeon nesting holes
Orvieto Underground – Nesting holes for pigeons
Orvieto Underground – This shaft going up is another 40 meters to the surface. Note the steps on the side for the works to climb down and up.
Orvieto Underground – This well is 43 meters down to the bottom (actually, the original bottom was 80 meters
Orvieto Underground
Orvieto Underground – Stairways to additional caves
Orvieto Underground – Narrow passageway in cave
Orvieto Underground – This area was used as a bomb shelter during World War II. The tunnel behind the gate led to the hospital.

After the caves, Linda and I went out for a walk and some lunch.  We attempted to go to a restaurant recommended by Jim, but we found it was closed.  It seemed to us that a sizable number of places were closed. We returned to Antico Bodega al Duomo where we ate the other day when Linda had a salad and Dave had a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich.  This time we had pappardelle with cinghiale (wild boar … a dish recommended to Linda as one of her “go wild” activities) and a pomodoro with mozzarella salad. Both were outstanding (the wild boar tasted like strong ground pork) and went well with the glasses of wine we had. We then took a little walk in the area where the market takes place (though not today) and then proceeded home.

Antica Bottega al Duomo – Caprese Salad
Antica Bottega al Duomo – Pappardelle di Cinghiale
Antica Bottega al Duomo – Coarsely ground Parmesan cheese at lunch – we were both surprised by the grind; the flavor was much stronger on the dish
Antica Bottega di Duomo – Dave contemplating eating his pappardelle with wild boar

When we arrived home, Linda started baking the bread she made.  It rose nicely and it looked great.  After some time resting at home, all four of us went for a walk and a little window shopping (though Linda and I did buy a couple of things). The town was fairly crowded now, especially with the large group of young girls from Austria. After a stop at a bottega to talk with the young lady preparing sandwiches (she makes the best sandwiches she told us), we headed home.

Anne prepared another wonderful meal that included a frisée salad with pancetta and a poached egg, fresh mushrooms in a lemon aioli sauce, and a pork roast stuffed with spinach, garlic, and shallots.  It was all fantastic.  For “dessert” we did some sampling of the flavored grappas we bought in Rome.

Freshly baked bread (the bread in Orvieto is not to any of our liking, so this is a real treat)
Anne’s homemade dinner – We’re sorry, but we got to the salad picture a little late
Anne’s homemade dinner – Fresh mushrooms in lemon aioli
Anne’s homemade dinner – Pork Roast stuffed with spinach, garlic, and shallots

In an effort to offset the caloric intake, Linda and Dave went for a walk after dinner and then returned to the apartment.  That’s right, no gelato today.

You can see more pictures (mostly the caves) and be able to get more details here: 2022-09-26 Orvieto

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