Il Dolce Far Niente
"Il dolce far niente" means "The sweetness of doing nothing," and that truly is what we experienced at this wonderful stop in the Umbrian countryside. At this stop there was no agenda, no major sites to see. This stop was about experiencing the Italian farm and vineyard at its finest and the fresh foods that go with it at an "agriturismo", or "agricultural tourism" destination. This is reported to be a popular new trend for vacations among Italians, so we got to feel like we were locals escaping for the weekend. We were greeted at our lodging by our two very gracious and friendly hosts. We weren’t just staying at a hotel, but at the home and farm of this spirited and welcoming couple. They helped us settle in, and showed us to the pool and hammocks on this sunny day.
Wild Boar Feast
Later our hosts treated us to a real Italian country feast. We walked with them through the olive trees up to the top of a hill with a spectacular view of the hillside. To our surprise they had set up tables with pasta, bruschetta drizzled with their own olive oil, meats, cheese and wine from their own vineyard. Italian food really is about tasting essence of the ingredients, from the aromatic sweetness of the olive oil to the spiciness of the wine paired with a peppery sauce - and they knew how to pair flavors perfectly. Just when we thought dinner was over they told us it was time to head back down the hill, as it turns out, what we believed to be dinner was only the appetizer. Our rich appetizers were followed by a feast of wild boar which our host had hunted for on the previous day as well as local prosciutto, stews, and salads.
We felt so at home with our Italian hosts and so blissfully happy with our bellies full of proscuitto and red wine, that soon everyone was laughing and joking like were were family. There was music playing and soon everyone was up dancing barefoot in the grass to all our favorite songs. Dancing is one of the things we love to do together and, in fact, we met swing dancing in Austin. Needless to say, we were thrilled to show off our dance moves and bond with our fellow tour members over good food, music, and dancing.