Sabado in Spoleto. We rode the train to Spoleto on Saturday. It took about an hour. We checked into our Hotel San Luca and walked up to the mercato, which used to be a Roman Forum when the town was Spoletum. The Clemson professor had recommended a place called Osteria Del Matta, which means, restaurant of the crazy. I don’t remember it from when I was here in 1999, and that’s because it’s only 13 years old. For 17 Euros and 50 centessimi, we had 11 courses!! Eleven! There is no menu, only six tables, and you are served small portions of whatever they’re serving. It takes a couple of hours, but it’s a fun spot, and the food is so delicious. We couldn’t believe it when they kept bringing more food. When at course nine the waiter announced he was bringing pasta, Charlotte exclaimed, “Pasta! What kind of pasta?” to which the waiter responded, “You see the pasta, you eat the pasta.” He was right!
The place is a family business. The cuoca (cook) is our waiter’s great aunt, but it’s his uncle’s business. She comes out and greets her guests from the kitchen, and of course she was SO pleased when we came back for lunch today. Here’s what we were served:
1. Prosciutto and melon
2. Grilled eggplant
3. Stuffed onions and zucchini
4. Fried potatoes and rosemary
5. Fried bacon (not kidding!)
7. Fried zucchini flowers (my favorite!)
9. Green salad with lemon
10 Ravioli with a yellow cheese sauce, spicy
11. Anguria (watermelon)
We sat next to a couple from Bellorussia and chatted with them. After pausa we went wandering to the medieval bridge that was originally an aqueduct. The water is so fresh and cold and still comes from the mountain next door, Monteluco. What I always loved about Spoleto was filling my water bottles from the flowing, cold water from the many fountains, but some of the fountains aren’t running, and there’s no water in the little river. They must be in a drought as is Texas. It hasn’t rained a drop in Italy since I arrived on June 15.
That evening we sat with the view of the Duomo, after looking at the frescoes by Fra Fillipo Lippi, and people watched. The arts festival is in progress, so the people are much more elegantly dressed than in Perugia.
Of course I always forget to bring something. This time it was my contacts or glasses, so today I saw Spoleto in a blur. Still, I walked down to the convent where we stayed in 1999 and then across the bridge to Monteluco for a walk on the panoramic path. So, I did walk for two hours this morning. Then went to Mass in the Duomo before meeting Charlotte for a ten course meal at Osteria Del Matta. (This time they forgot the salad– and there was some variation. Fried ricotta cheese instead of zucchini flowers, green beans).
Road the train back this afternoon and will go out tonight because it’s the final night of the Umbrian Jazz Festival, and Sting is playing. The tickets are sold out and very expensive, but he’s playing outdoors, and people say we will be able to hear him.