Monday, 21 November 2011

Harvesting the olives at Villa Bastiola

This year we were lucky enough to have some guests staying with us at harvest time.  Kathy and Tom from Maine in the States who couldn't have been nicer and who spent a lovely morning harvesting the olives from our trees in the gardens at Villa Bastiola.

This year's crop wasn't great - the long hot summer meant that the olives were fairly small and not all of the trees had produced any olives.  So the yield was low, but we managed to get just enough to have nearly 10 litres of delicious green/golden nectar of extra virgin olive oil to see us through the year.

Although Kathy and Tom couldn't fit much into their suitcases, they did manage to make room to take back a couple of bottles of the oil to enjoy at home, reminiscing about their holidays here.

The weather was gorgeous, no fog, so the olives were dry, blue skies and sunshine.  Pretty cold at first, it soon warmed up and we were able to have a coffee break on the terrace!

We served a traditional Italian lunch for the workers, with crostini, oodles of pasta al forno and pannacotta to finish up.

Kathy and Tom have travelled extensively throughout Italy and particularly like Umbria. They had been to this area before and were keen to come back in time for the Truffle fair at Città di Castello at the beginning of their stay.

They really enjoyed the self catering apartment at Villa Bastiola and shared it first with their daughter and son-in-law and then with some old friends from the States.  The two en-suite bedrooms and lovely kitchen, make for a really comfortable place to stay.

For full details about the self catering apartment at Villa Bastiola, please visit 
Recommended by Trip Advisor and Alastair Sawdays.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

White Truffle Fair, Città di Castello, Umbria - 4-6 Nov 2011

Truffle Fair, Città di Castello, Umbria
The White Truffle Fair at Città di Castello in Umbria takes place every year and is a fantastic event.  

This coming weekend, the historic centre will be full of stands and gazebos selling everything from dried porcini to truffle sauces, black truffles and white truffles, olive oil fresh from the presses this year, to salami, (the best are from the Norcia region of Umbria), cheeses, breads and traditional cakes and sweets.

White truffle is currently being sold at 3,300 Euro per kg this year!!!! That makes it about100 Euro for one very thin slice on top of your plate of your pasta - it just could be some of the most expensive food you will every eat!!! And the most delicious...

The first time I went to the fair (6 years ago now), I was overwhelmed by the fragrance and smells coming from the gazebo in the main square.  There's nothing like it and it really seems to mean that autumn is well and truly here.  

Not to miss are the hot roasted chestnuts with a glass of vin novello (the "new" red wine from this year's harvest).

There are all sorts of activities happening too, chefs showing their skills cooking truffles, workshops and classes to take part in.

I always say it but late October and early November are a great time to visit this part of Italy.  It really comes into its own, with truffles, porcini, olive oil, salami and cheeses being found and produced locally.  The cuisine of Umbria is hard to beat!

Come and stay with us next year for this special occasion - .