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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Easter 2005

Easter is a very important holiday in Italy so we decided to make a long weekend of it. On Thursday afternoon, we head to Rome in order to spend some time with Deme’s family. There was quite a bit of traffic as the city prepared for Easter festivities. The streets of Rome near the Coliseum are cordoned off as the passion of Christ is revisited. Usually the Pope walks the Via Crucis, which is the Path of the Cross, a walk that re-enacts the struggle of Christ as he walked to his crucifixion. This year someone else will have to perform the re-enactment as the Pope is still recovering from his tracheotomy.

On Saturday morning, we head to Umbria to visit a medieval town called Gubbio. The streets of Gubbio are cobbled with 800-900 year old bricks. The doorways of various homes still had their characteristic medieval arches, wrought iron knockers and horse tie-ups. As we make our way up to the Piazza Grande, we pass many small shops that sell everything from pottery to fresh black truffles. The region of Umbria is famous for its pottery, namely from the towns of Gubbio, Deruta, and Spoleto. Norcia is famous for its salami, chestnuts and black truffles. Assisi is the town that bore the Franciscan monk, St. Francis who gave his life to helping the poor. Many pilgrims come to Assisi for blessings and to visit the cathedral built by St. Francis. After a bit of exploring we had lunch, I had tagliatelle pasta with crayfish and asparagus. Typically, in Umbria, pastas are make without eggs, which make them a bit more fragile, not as elastic but equally delicious. Deme had zuppa de faro (a type of grain) and we both shared a large (20 inch) braised veal shank. After lunch and another short walk, we head for Florence.

Our friends Enzo and Claire invite us for a pre-Easter dinner and Easter lunch. Both being wonderful cooks, we knew we were in for fantastic meals. Easter is the culinary equivalent of Thanksgiving, except replace the green bean casserole with wild asparagus risotto, bread stuffing with an array of bruschetta, pearl onions with fresh baby peas, and the turkey with roasted young goat. The traditional Neapolitan cake that is eaten at Easter is called pastiera; it made with eggs, flour, and grano per pastiera (also a grain). The traditional bread is Colomba. We enjoyed an array of cheeses and 7 types of wine that totaled 150 collective years. Easter lunch began at about 2 pm and ended with naps by all. The next morning Deme admitted to feeling quite gluttonous. We had a modest breakfast and all took a little walk up to the hills above the villa in order to work off yesterday’s lunch. In our own way, we all walk a Via Crucis that morning because not only is there an amazing panoramic view to Tuscany at the top of the hill, there is also a giant cross.


At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Gia said...


Being the ever-thoughtful older sister, I knew you bought me one of those beautiful platters and a sword for Kentra.


At 1:19 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Easter = Thanksgiving... how interesting. No football involved? No druken carousing?

At 1:30 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

No football, no beer, no potato chips, hours of food and chat. There was a Italy vs. Scotland soccer game the day before though.


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