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Report 181: Notes from Radda, Montemarcello and Vernazza

By John Eager from CA, Fall 2001

Trip Description: Italia - Orvieto, Radda in Chianti, Montemarcello (Liguria), Vernazza (Liguria)

Destinations: Countries - Italy

Categories: Adults and Young Children; Foodie Trip; Independent Travel

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Page 1 of 5: Arrival in Orvieto

Arrival After the long overnight flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt where my daughter Lia swore off airplane food until the real food in Italy, we arrive late and miss the connection to Rome. The next flight will be in six hours at 10 p.m. But there are a few seats available on an Alitalia plane about to leave for Rome. Somehow among the large stranded crowd, our name is called for taking three of the seats. By now, the promises to have lunch in Orvieto are lost in the certainty that we’ll be at La Cacciata farm in time for dinner.

We land at around 5 p.m., but hit stalled traffic on the Rome ring road and arrive in Orvieto in darkness. The directions from the Karen Brown Guide for finding La Cacciata might as well be in Greek. Feeling at the end of our endurance, we ask a man by the roadside who can at least point us in the right direction. Following the road signs and losing our way a few more times, we finally find La Cacciata around 8:20, hoping for a scrap of bread left over from dinner.

Driving up the white road past the vines to the old stone buildings, we park and stumble up to the front door. The Italian owner, Signore Belcapo greets us. In our best Italian, we check in and ask if there’s anything to eat. “Yes, of course. Dinner is served in 10 minutes”. Just in time for the 8:30 dinner! What’s a 20 hour adventure, timed to 10 minutes. Later after two bottles of wine and five courses of homemade Umbrian food, everything is right in the world for one more day.

La Cacciata is an agrituismo (a working farm which provides accommodations) set in the green hills of Umbria, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. La Cacciata’s a great place to meet other Italians on holiday and share traditional dinners cooked with local products (some of the best meals we have in Italy), with fresh apricot and fig jams and cappuccino for breakfast.

Over the next few days it is easy to fall into the rhythm of Italy. In the distance the ancient town of Orvieto with its cathedral looms above the valley on a crag of orange colored tufa rock. Looking out the window, the gentle hills and the farmland of Umbria must be hardly changed over the centuries. Sheep quietly sleep in the yard below.

Accommodation: Agriturismo La Cacciata - La Cacciata, Orvieto. Hosts: Famiglia Belcapo

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