Tag Archives: Lago Trasimeno

Fighting a Cold (raffreddore)

9 Oct

In October, when the night air turns cooler but the days are still warm, Tuscan colds are a plenty. The locals blame it on the change in weather and I’m becoming a believer. But when the sky is bright blue and the weather is in the 70’s, it’s hard to nurse a cold in bed. 

Still, not wanting to spread my germs, we headed to Lago Trasimeno for a walk and lunch. We were also curious about the lake level due to both the summer drought and more recent rains.

What we found didn’t surprise us as Umbria and Tuscany sustained spring and summer months with virtually no rain and intense heat. The lake had not only receded, it actually uncovered sandy beach areas we had never seen before.

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After our walk, we stopped at a caffé for a light lunch, but more so to sit in the warm sun and be mesmerized by the clouds dancing on the ripples across the lake.

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Walking back to the car, I couldn’t help but stop at this structure for a few more photos.

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Tonight for dinner, we made a red and yellow pepper risotto that turned out quite well. 

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All in all, a perfect way to not have a cold ruin a beautiful day! 

Ciao,
Judy

La Cannuccia, C. del Lago

10 Oct

Winter arrived today, so say the Italians, as the winds were strong and the dark clouds made the temperatures drop. Suddenly, fashion consisted of turtlenecks, an abundance of scarves, and “puffy” (down) coats and jackets. Luckily for us, we were prepared.

With a sprinkle in the air in Cortona, we got in our Fiat 500, destination unknown, and soon found ourselves in Castiglione del Lago. Stronger winds and bigger clouds greeted us,

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©Blogginginitaly.com

but without rain, and a goal of fresh air and exercise, we were happy to walk as we had the lake and view to ourselves.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Water is mesmerizing, and as we walked, we watched the waves crash upon the rocks. The seagulls were playing what looked like Marco Polo, that “catch me if you can” game we played as kids and they played with the waves.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

After awhile, the clouds broke across the lake and the sun shone like a spotlight on several of the hill towns.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Eventually, we stopped for lunch at La Cannuccia, our lakeside go-to cafe. We ordered our usual split lunch, a grilled panino and mixed salad, which is served with delicious warm rolls.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

After lunch, Riccardo asked if we were football fans.

“I’m a big baseball fan at the moment,” I replied, “as I’m from Chicago and …”

“Chicago Cubs!” he said and smiled.

“We live about two miles from…”

“Wrigley Field!” he exclaimed.

“You must like baseball,” I said.

“Not so much. It can be boring, especially when there is a pitching battle,” he replied.

“Like the first game the other night…” 

“When the Cubs won 1-0 against the San Francisco Giants,” he quickly replied.

“We haven’t won in over a century, and…” 

“The goat,” he said, and raised his hands like Italians do. “I don’t believe.”

By now, Len was intrigued. Since our dear friends, Carrol and Larry, had left weeks ago, Len had not found anyone to have a good baseball conversation with. And here was Riccardo, born and raised locally, owner of a bar in Castiglione del Lago in the center of Italy, speaking English, he – a fountain of knowledge about American baseball, a sport that wasn’t even his favorite.

After they talked baseball for a bit, I asked what Il Cannuccia means. “It’s the tall grass that grows in a swamp,” he said, as he pointed to the bottom right of a giant photo on the face of the bar.  100 years ago, much of the lake was a swamp.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

The present bar was built in the 50’s. It has been in Riccardo’s family since the mid 70’s and is now operated by Riccardo and his brother Simone.

La Cannuccia Bar©Blogginginitaly.com

La Cannuccia Bar©Blogginginitaly.com

I asked if I could take a few pictures.  “Sure, but the best view is looking out.”

La Cannuccia Bar©Blogginginitaly.com

La Cannuccia Bar©Blogginginitaly.com

Easy to see why he thinks that and one of the reasons we keep returning.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

After lunch, I considered having gelato, as theirs is very good. Then, with a twinkle in his eye, Ricardo asked if we like cream. “Sure, why not,” I answered, and he set off to make something special for us.

He arrived with this.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

This incredibly light “sugar donut” is called a ciambella. He quartered it, and topped it with  panna fresca, (fresh cream,) and cacao candela, (cinnamon). My sister Florence and her husband Vince would have ordered this and skipped the salad and panino. Benita too.

Castiglione del Lago in Umbria is about 30 minutes from Cortona on the SW corner of Lago Trasimeno. Although Cortona is a city where you don’t need a car, if you have one, it is such fun exploring all the neighboring towns, taking in the sights, and making interesting new friends like Riccardo. Who knew???

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

 

 

 

Castiglione del Lago

21 Jun

Today we drove to the city of Castiglione, which was built on a limestone cliff above Lake Trasimeno, the largest lake on the Italian peninsula. It is what is called an impounded lake as it receives water yet has no outlet. Both the city and lake are in Umbria. We noticed the difference in heat as soon as we arrived, as Cortona is higher in elevation, thus cooler. We also noticed that although this town is on a lake with beaches, the streets were quite empty.

Though not many people, the streets are filled with charcuteries, small stores filled with an amazing assortment of meats, cheeses, grains, pasta and condiments. We tried to buy this boar as a souvenir, but no game. We thought it might be fun taking him through the TSA body screening…hmm… All is a day’s travel.

Note: If planning to use GPS from a car rental agency, at least in Europe, our advice is to forget it. We learned that two other friends had the same negative experiences we’ve had. We’ve gloveboxed ours and driving is getting better…now there’s only two of us fighting about directions instead of three!

Ciao!

Judy

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