Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Woke up bright and sunny today after a full afternoon and evening of rain yesterday as we began our Borgo di Carpiano stay.
Breakfast was another culinary delight and, because we didn’t know what was “normal”, we over-ordered and over-ate again. (I know you don’t have to eat it, just because they serve it, but it’s the same thing when Susanne Dougherty keeps pouring red wine in my glass and, of course, I don’t have to drink it…but..)
Their “normal” is to serve cheeses and meats, plus home made breads and muffins (some of them so sweet, I felt as if we had gone to Kohler’s Bakery without having to ride the bikes down there) and freshly squeezed fruit juice and fresh fruit. This is just to list the delights that they bring to the table…there Is a sideboard full of fruits, rolls, breads and juices, too. So, when they asked about eggs and bacon and we said, “Yes”, it was before all of this other stuff started rolling out of their trays onto our table. Plus, they serve heavenly coffee and Nancy’s favorite tea. So, when the eggs arrived about 20 minutes later, we had to eat them, too.
And, just as last night, Mariilisa, the owner, came out after every course to make sure we liked it and to make conversation…her husband – Riccardo – did the same this morning. Plus, when we asked him which store in Gubbio to shop for the attractive ceramics they used, he went and called the guy on his cell and arranged for us to meet him at his “factory” as we were driving to town.
Then, when asked about a good restaurant, he gave us the card and a hearty recommendation (and, remember, Riccardo is a chef, so this is no casual referral) and, without our knowing, he called ahead, in case we showed up.
We got a little lost when looking for Fabrica Ceramiche, but we met Leonardo Rossi, the owner (whose grandfather started the shop in 1920). He took us on a tour to introduce us to the ladies painting the pieces, the room where everything cooled off after coming out of his all night ovens, etc. He then took us to the shelves full of plates, goblets, vases, etc. and made us a great deal on all the pieces we coveted. Then, he drove us to Gubbio to his store to do the credit card, where we met his Mama.
As for the restaurant, when we got there, Allina, the waitress, met us at the door and hand-carried us through one of the most delicious and well-served lunches in our lives. She said, “You must be the people from the Borgo.” Wine from Umbria, asparagus wrapped in brioche – how did they get it in there? – all swimming in melted Parmigiano…and that’s just mine. Nancy’s was a “pear salad” with arugula, Pecorino cheese, nuts and some kind of extraordinary dressing. How can four things go together so well?
So, Gubbio has a Duomo and lots of history, charm and hills to climb. But, our visit will be highlighted by our introductions by Riccardo.
The Borgo is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea because of its remote location. But, if personal service by local craftsmen in a beautifully restored 500-year-old property is your style, try this place. And, it’s not real expensive. www.borgodicarpiano.com will get you all the info and, if you write them, Marilisa Parisi answers your emails.
Wait until you see the photos of the rest of the grounds. We just got back from Gubbio about 2PM and the sun was still out, so I wandered around and took some shots of the infinity edge pool, the outdoor dining area, some stone paths, the details in the landscaping with stone walls, wooden woven fences, garden gates…they are very good at the details here.
Another day without high speed Internet Wifi…we are getting to the point where it matters less. Perhaps we are on vacation now.
Sorry for no photos, but we will have some time in Rome on Friday afternoon to catch up on some visuals…there have been many treats for the eyes as well as the tummy here in Umbria.
We have a visit to Assisi on Thursday to report to you. That is so famous now that the newest Pope has taken the name Francis…of course, here it’s Francesco. We are being spoiled by these Italians who all speak English, but it has been enjoyable to try to wrap our tongues around the language here, too.