I often receive newsletters and activities from the Oasi La Valle, a nature reserve at Lake Trasimeno and a paradise for bird watchers. This time I found an invitation in my mailbox to join a walk organised by a fairly new organisation called Anime Pioniere. They organise walks in nature often in lesser known areas along the Umbria Tuscany border: Trasimeno, Cortona, Città di Castello, San Sepolcro.
Sunday the 12th of March the morning started at the Oasi La Valle where we witnessed the ringing of birds and where the walk started. 6 km, not too much height difference, hence also adapted for families with children like ourselves. We climbed the hill and over the hills’ ridges we walked from San Savino to San Feliciano. Of course we finished the walk with a small lunch, a good Italian habit. We had some antipasti and fried fish from the lake with the local fishermen.
We paid euro 15 p.p. for the tour at the Oasi La Valle, the walk and the light lunch.
It was a wonderful early spring day. Here is an impression:
Do you enjoy a walk in nature with trained guides in mostly undiscovered parts of Umbria and Tuscany? Follow the Anime Pioniere: they organise interesting walks all year round, mostly on Sunday or on Italian bank holidays. We were quite a group with almost 50 participants, all Italians. They hope they will also have tourists to join them during the summer period. During the walk we learned about the area, its history and its fauna. They also speak English. It is recommended to wear proper shoes for walking and also ask for the difficulty when making a reservation, especially when you have kids.
Everybody knows “pizza”. Maybe it is the most famous Italian dish in the world. Italians themselves love eating pizza. On every corner of the street you can get a slice, a “pizza al taglio”. The toppings on the pizza vary from fish to meat, from fresh fruit to only vegetables.
La Serra is a restaurant-pizzeria outside the city centre of Perugia. La Serra literally means greenhouse. It used to be a greenhouse: nowadays the restaurant has a long and narrow structure and is very large serving many guests. At the entrance are large craft beer brewers, though they do not seem to be in use. The restaurant does serve some special beers, though.
Often the restaurant is crowded with mainly local people. La Serra is not known by tourists because of its location outside the historical centre of Perugia. It is close to the football stadion.
Coming here for the first time you’ll be surprised by the size of the pizza. One pizza takes two plates to serve! It is hard to imagine finishing this mega pizza, but no worries. Within minutes you’ll finish the first half. It is a very thin pizza and not difficult to digest. You’ll love it!
The menu of the mega pizza is variable. On the placemat menu is a list of the “Super Mega Pizza Speciale”. But the menu also offers classics like the Pizza Margherita or the Pizza 4 Formaggi. For children there is a “baby pizza” which has the normal pizza size. If you don’t feel like having a mega pizza, the restaurant also offers good pasta and meat dishes.
If you really can’t get to the end of your pizza, you can ask a take away pizza box. Don’t hesitate to ask for a box, many people do!
Pizzeria La Serra
Viale dell’Ingegniera 35, 06125 Perugia
One of the best places to find fresh fruit in Italy is the local market. There are many street markets in Umbria. Vendors set up shop to sell super fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, fish and cold cuts. Every week in every town or village there’s a local market. The products one finds at the market are various. Not only food, but also clothing and footwear.
Most open air markets start around 7:30 am and finish at 1:00 pm. It is recommended to go early to the market, especially in high season when market places are crowded with tourists.
At the lively market residents purchase fresh food of the region. Eating seasonally and locally is a way of life in Italy.
In Umbria at every corner of the market one can buy pecorino cheese, salami or dried ham. Pecorino is sheep cheese which can be eaten fresh or aged (stagionato). Pecorino cheese is popular in Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany.
On the market square one often finds a bar or a pizza takeway for a coffee and a quick chat with friends and neighbours. This is so tipically Italian!
Porchetta is roasted pork meat and an Italian street food best found in Umbria, South Tuscany and Lazio. The porchetta trucks are mostly parked in the piazza’s during the weekly markets. The owners of the truck prepare and sell porchetta sandwiches to customers.
For an overview of markets in Umbria you can check out our website. Many markets in Umbria are really awesome. Do you have a favorite market place in Umbria? Let us know!