Ciao tutti! This was another long, but super fun week!
Monday night was spent at Caffè di Perugia where we had an Aperitivo workshop. We learned about the history of Aperitivo in Italy and tasted a sampling of drinks and traditional snacks. We tasted an Aperol Spritz, a Hugo, a Negroni (my least favorite), and my favorite, the Disaronno Sour. I found recipes online and will be making them once I return home.
Tuesday night was spent doing another cooking class. This time we made savory chestnut flour pancakes topped with sautéed cabbage and Pecorino cheese. Then we made fettucine alla carbonara, with fresh guanciale--cured pork's cheek. The class was fun as it was just 9 people and the chef, and the food came out really well! This was part one of a two-part series, and next time we'll be making meatballs and tiramisu!!
Wednesday we took a little class trip to a local cafe where they make artisanal chocolate, Turan Cafe. We learned about the process of making chocolate, the different grades, and we tasted a lot! We tasted everything from the roasted beans to ruby chocolate and cocoa butter. Wednesday night was pretty uneventful, but I was starting to crave food from home. I opened my freezer and found a steak I bought, and I discovered avocados at the grocery store, so I decided to make my version of a burrito bowl. Considering I had no taco seasoning or the right kind of cheese, I have to say it came out pretty good.
Thursday night was spent having dinner at Al Mangiar Bene for my Anthropology of Food class. We learned about the history of the restaurant and their philosophy on food, then dined on an amazing 4 course meal. We finished the meal with a digestivo, which is a liquor usually made of herbs to help close the stomach. It was an interesting experience, one I don't think I want to have again, lol.
Friday was spent on a class trip at the Antonelli San Marco Winery in Montefalco. We got to go inside this organic winery to see how their wine is produced from start to finish. We learned about their process, got to walk around the vineyard a bit, then had a tasting lunch with the owner! I had the best grape jam I've ever had, which was made out of the grapes used to make the wine, the Sagrantino. We tasted 6 different wines--two of which you can't buy because one is sold out and the other is an experiment!--and I finally had a plate of the traditional Umbrian dish, pasta alla Norcina. I bought two bottles of their wine and their olive oil to welcome my mom and sister with when they come from Spring Break next week!
Last but not least, Saturday was spent on a day trip to Gubbio. Me and 5 of my friends started our day early on Saturday morning by taking the 7:15 bus to Gubbio. We arrived around 8:30 and hit the ground running. We walked around and saw a lot of amazing churches, parks, and viewpoints. We stopped for lunch at this great sandwich shop, where I had a grilled pork belly sandwich with cabbage and potatoes! After that we attempted to go up Mount Ingino to see the Basilica of Saint Ubaldo, the patron saint of the town. Our original plan was to take these bird cages up: they are kind of like little ski lifts that take you up the side of the mountain, straight to the Basilica. Turns out, they shut down the cages every five years for maintenance and turns out this was the year. Instead of simply deciding to explore more churches, my friends were determined to see this Basilica. So, we climbed up said mountain. I'm currently struggling to breathe due to sinuses, and I did not dress for hiking, so I made it only part of the way up, even with the help my walking stick my friend Carly found for me. I stopped a few meters from the top to catch my breath and found lovely spot in the sun that I stayed in until my friends came back down. After that we were too tired to do much else, so we hopped on the bus and headed back to Perugia. I promptly took a shower and went to bed, hoping I would wake up feeling better. Step count: 28,410 steps, 11.09 miles.
I am currently writing this post with a tissue box nearby and a cup of lemon tea trying to hold out until tomorrow when I can go to the pharmacy to get some medication. Stay tuned next week to see my Spring Break adventures!