May 15, 2010

Day trip to Cori, olive oil frantoio, local food, and Villa Adriana


Today was another yucky and rainy day. Rain, Rain, go away! It has rained every single day that we have been here so far, I mean not all day long, but enough to make things yucky. They say, in May, it rains...and rains...and rains. And it is cold! I thought I was in sunny Italia? Oh well, soon enough. Come June, I will probably want this weather because we will be HOT!

Anyways, here are some more pictures of flowers for you to enjoy...

Sahira's tidbit:

{Eating in Italy is a revelation. To sit at a dinner with an Italian is to understand where their heart is at, what is important to them. To savour hand-made pork sausages under the Pugliese sun is to see, finally, how important eating is for a happy life. And to watch the fluid movements and charming manner of the Neapolitan pizza maker is to see that food isn't just part of Italian culture, it is a creative and fulfilling essence of their life.}

On Thursday, we traveled out of Rome to a town called Cori which was ~one hour outside of the city.

Our first stop was the Pietra Pinta. It is a little restaurant/olive and wine making family owned business. We later ate our huge multi-course meal here after some touring of the town (I show pics later in the post). We needed to pick up the owner's daughter first, she helped Claudia with our tour of their family run business of making olive oil and wine.

Here are just of few pics of the inside...gorgeous. (very modern compared to many other things we see in Rome).

Our bus driver, the Claudster, and the owner's daughter.

Pietra Pinta.

We traveled on the bus up an incredibly steep hill, with lovely views. We got out of the bus and began touring on foot...up some more very steep hills. I am going to have some strong leg muscles when I am done here. :)

A pretty lemon tree, I see them everywhere! But we unfortunately cannot pick them.

Claudia (Prof. Probart) telling us about the city, the olive trees, and historical facts.

A lady hanging her laundry.


Once we reached the top of the hill, we saw where Pietra Pinta makes their OWN olive oil and wine. It is not a mixture of different sources and leftovers like what we buy in the states. This is the real deal. :)

Tanks that the wine is made in.

The beginning of the olive oil production. The olives are dropped off right outside and smooshed and squeezed through the special equipment shown here.

Do you see the gnats on the rim of the funnel cup? Extra protein, I guess. :)

These are the storage barrels for Pietra Pinta's wine.

Their labels.

The nutrition crew.

This is Maggie...or Joey?

This is Joey...or Maggie? Aren't they cute? They are the family's dogs. They are a little wet because it had just downpoured, but they were so friendly. There were two, and Maggie and Joey were their names, but I am not sure which is which because they look the same!

A fig tree.

This is a better picture. Oh how I love figs.

More lemon trees with a splash of color from the rose vine.

Our pretty view. Really, pictures do not do justice.

The old men that kept staring at us. I think we wear too much color? Yep, that's it. We all need to wear more black and brown to fit in here. :)

I swear, everytime Claudia sees me pointing the camera her way, she always either looks away or gives a goofy look. Love her though.

More pretty views from the hill top.

Here is tempo d'ercole.

Part of the group. Ok, my silly face. The girl that was taking the picture told me that the camera wasn't on so I was going to help her, although obviously it was on because look at my expression! haha.

Doug, taking a picture with the ladies.

There were lots of homes between the little side streets that we walked through.

Umbrelli umbrelli boys selling a woman two umbrellas through her window.

Some unique photo shots that I took as we were walking back down the hill.

Love this. Isn't it cute with the beautiful blue that contrasts wonderfully with the pink flowers? And the white polka dot curtain just ties it all together and makes this picture perfect.



On our way down the hill, a lady invited us in to see her bread exhibit. It was wonderful and so creative. Here are few pictures that I took:

Pane. means bread.


On our way back to Pietra Pinta for our lunch.

Here is a close up of an olive tree. We saw fields upon fields of olive trees on our way up the mountain. They are the coolest looking trees. From a distance they have a greenish, silverish look to them. The outside of the leaf is a smooth dark green and the underlying of the leaf is a shiny silver. It sparkles as the rays of sunshine hit the leaves. The trunks are also very unique, they are all intertwined and very old looking.


Ok, here is the beginning of our multi-course meal, served by the fam of the Pietra Pinta. All of the dishes were made with their olive oil and we were served their wine.

Bread to start. Of course. What would a meal be without bread in Italy?

Course number one. This was the dish that incorporated most of the local food. Here we have some pancetta, a pomodori gratinati (a tomato stuffed with bread crumbs, olive oil, parm cheese, parsley), cheese (I honestly don't know what type it was, but it was a hard cheese, and no it was not mozzarella), eggplant, quiche with zucchini, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed roasted bell peppers, sauteed zucchini, and purple cabbage for a splash of extra color. fantastico!

Pietra Pinta's olive oil. Yes, I bought some for the fam. :)

Pietra Pinta's white wine.

Course number two. This was a risotto type dish. It was an al dente barley, mixed with a creamy sauce. Added in was some chopped asparagus and a little surprise...whole walnuts! delish.

This was a picture of my friend Erin's plate, she opted for the veggie version of course three. She has here, grilled artichokes, potatoes, and grilled zucchini.

Course number three. I wasn't much of a fan of this dish, but it was still pretty. None of us knew what type of meat that was...possibly veal? Mine was very very fatty, so I didn't even try it. But the potatoes were awesome. Mom, I thought of you when I ate these. ha! :)

And course number four. Dolce. (dessert) Fresh fruit cup. Strawberries, apples, grapefruit, banana, kiwi, orange, and pineapple.


Next up (on Friday), Villa Adriana (Hadrian's Villa). South of Tivoli, this was an emperor's theme park, an exclusive retreat below the ancient settlement of Tibur where the marvels of the classical world were reproduced for a ruler's pleasure. Hadrian (the emperor), was a man of genius and intelectual curiosity. Here are just a few architectural pictures of Hadrian's Villa (remember I am taking an architecture class along with these nutrition classes, so I must include these types of pics too, not just food and nutrition).

Unique way of putting together the buildings. It was amazing to see the architecture and to think, really how long ago they were built and are still standing today.

Chris, being a goof.

Some non-architectural sites I saw in Hadrian's Villa:

more olive trees! woo hoo!

and MORE olive trees!

When we were all done touring we needed to wait for about a 1/2 hour for the bus, so what else better to do while waiting? Get a Cappuccino!

My friend Mary and I.

Once we caught the bus, we headed up the mountain to see a local market in the town. Unfortunately, the food market that Dr. Probart was looking for was no where to be found. There was a cute flower, fruit and veg market, but by that moment, we didn't just want fruit and veg for lunch.

So we found this cute place. It was called an Italian garden. We decided to eat outside since is {wasn't} raining. We could have sat inside, it was beautifully decorated and extremely fancy. I thought the prices were going to be outrageous but they were a fair deal. 7 euros for my meal.

Our bread. This was the first time we were served whole wheat Italian bread and not white. Both are fantastic, of course. Pane means bread. Wholemeal bread (whole wheat) is called pane integrale.

My pranzo (lunch). Linguine Bolognese.


After lunch, we traveled to the beautiful gardens of Villa Deste.

More lemon trees. :)

More outstanding views. Again, pictures do not do justice.


Nicole, Mary, Natalie, Abbie, and me!


And that ends the week. Next is updates on the fabulous cooking class we had today in an Italian woman's home, her name was Valeria. She was so hospitable to us, it was just too kind. But I won't say much more, I will save it for the next post. Tomorrow is Sunday and I am not quite sure what our plans are yet, but I have tons of papers to write! Next week we are still in Rome on Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday we leave for our northern trip-Pienza, Florence, Modena, and Parma. Anyway, that is a little while yet, so I am just going to focus on tomorrow. I have been really craving cold cereal with milk and/or a pb&j, so I may just go to the market tomorrow and I need laundry detergent! :)

Love and Kisses.

Ciao! :)


The High Family said...

The views look amazing! Wow, you are eating a lot of pasta, huh? LOL I guess you are walking all that pasta off though.

I loved seeing the olive trees. They look soooo neat! I can only imagine how FRESH everything is over there.

Love all the pictures and your captions. We are looking into webcams this weekend so hopefully we can skype soon!

Miss you! Ciao! xoxoxo

The Woytowich Family said...

i love the pics....they are all sooo beautiful! I am sure all the food there is good. Looks like they use mostly fresh ingredients, so that has to make everything taste so much better! Drew loves the pics of all the buildings, he said they are all so would be a great place to visit.

Well get some rest and enjoy your weekend, cant wait for the next post.

love you!