Tag Archives: Camucia

A Day at the Market

31 May

If it’s Thursday, it’s market day in Camucia, the town at the base of Cortona. Vendors of every type gather to sell their wears. Vegetables, poultry, meats, salamis, men’s, ladies’ and children’s clothes, leather goods, shoes, boots, flowers, candy, pastry, spices, household goods, luggage, scarves, lingerie, socks, and just about anything you might need.

We woke to a morning sun, an amazing sight these days, and took the morning bus down the hill to Camucia, a ten minute “switchbacking” scenic drive. We began the day at Vanelli Caffetteria for cappuccino and dolce. They pride themselves on the most artistic coffees and it’s fun watching their artists at work:



Then to the market we went. Most of the men gather at the front, their version of a man cave…


while most women roam the market, a great idea as each group is happy.


Len and I usually begin together, then when Len has seen enough, he heads to the male section.

I think the food is always the most interesting, and the locals happily shop for everything fresh. Feast your eyes:

Porchetta, about four feet long





Formaggio and Salumi




Fresh Porcini, bigger than my fist


Anchovies (Yikes!)


Just picked garlic


And despite all the local cuisine, for those needing an American food fix…


We had fun shopping and bought a few things including several pair of socks since it has been so cold and wet! Waiting for the bus to take us home, the skies opened and it began to hail. Locals say this is the worst weather in 100 years and I believe it. And it’s not supposed to break for another 10 days. Glad we are not having many guests this year.

So, if you are wondering why I am mostly writing about food, it’s because restaurants are one of the few places to keep dry.  The good news is that we are getting to know the locals better, and that’s a big reason we are here. The healthy news for us is that to get anywhere, we need to climb one of the steepest streets in Cortona, coupled with the  35 steps in our house. So, although we haven’t been able to take our usual hikes, we are still getting plenty of exercise. Here’s hoping for the return of sunshine!



Cortona above the fog!

22 Dec

One of the most beautiful things about Cortona is that it is situated on a hillside at an altitude of over 1600 feet. This elevation provides amazing views of the valley below, called the Valdichiana. Looking out from Piazza Garibaldi, you can see Camucia, the town at the base, as well as Lake Trasimeno, the historical scene of Hannibal’s’ ambush of the Roman army in 217 BC.



Even on a cloudy day, the views are endless and incredible, but the winter views sent to me by my friend Pat were totally unexpected, and in her word, spectacular! My photos from last summer and Pat’s from last week were taken from the same vantage point, Piazza Garibaldi.

Valdichiana in the fog - 18 Dec 2012 4

Valdichiana in the fog - 18 Dec 2012 2

Valdichiana in the fog - 18 Dec 2012 1

Valdichiana in the fog - 18 Dec 2012 3

As Pat explains, “It happens quite often in the winter.  Camucia is in thick fog, and as you drive up the hill to Cortona, you suddenly come out of it into a different world.  It’s like being in an airplane above the clouds. Spectacular!”

With gratitude to Pat for sharing, truly spectacular, indeed!



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