Marco comes from Rome and since this summer season he works as a waiter in pizzeria – osteria Calandrino in the centre of Castiglione del Lago. My apartment is situated just above this restaurant. When passing by the good smells stimulate your appetite but in the four years I live here, I have never eaten in this restaurant… until today.
The cook is from Sicily and knows very well how to prepare the best fish, truffle and local meat dishes. His name is Rosario, a classic Sicilian name. Marco instead is a normal name you frequently hear in Italy. I have never had a real chat with him. He once helped me carrying the water bottles I had bought in the supermarket like a real gentlemen.
Today I decided to have lunch in Calandrino. I took a first course “linguine allo scoglio” with a good glass of Umbrian white wine, a Grechetto. Linguine looks like thick spaghetti which is good to combine with fish. On the terrace there were more people enjoying their Italian lunch. It is also possible to have pizza for lunch, but not for me: an Italian eats pizza for dinner, never for lunch.
Marco told me his story how he got in Castiglione del Lago. He is a “Romano”, but he lived for many years in London. He travelled around the world with his partner, but decided to return to Italy this spring. He missed his home, the sweat life in Italy “La Dolce Vita”.
I know Rosario ever since I live in Castiglione del Lago and now I finally tasted his pasta: I can recommend this restaurant to everybody. The smells coming from the restaurant are compatable with the dishes he prepares. Delicious! Calandrino is a nice and cosy osteria-pizzeria for those who love eating fish or other local dishes on an outside terrace in one of the most wonderful villages along the Trasimeno Lake, Castiglione del Lago.
Osteria Pizzeria Calandrino
Via Vittorio Emanuele 107
Tel. +39 (0) 75 9653101
Castiglione del Lago (PG)
A few weeks ago I was with friends of mine from Umbria and Tuscany in Amsterdam, for the (half) marathon. The weather was fine, about 18 degrees, which is quite uncommon for October in Holland! Only on the marathon day itself it was cold, rainy and windy…. but it was fun anyway and the course was fantastic.
Obviously I had organized some very Dutch experiences for my Italian friends.
We slept a few nights in a Bed and Breakfast close to the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, just outside the city centre. The Bed and Breakfast offered us free city bikes to go to the city centre. A great experience for my italian friends: cycling in Amsterdam!
I love going by bike in Amsterdam. It is an easy way to explore the city. The traffic is a bit chaotic in Amsterdam with its small canals. But if you are used to it, as we Dutch are, you always prefer taking the bike rather then traveling by bus or tram. And even if it rains it does not matter, though for my italian friends quite uncommon!
The day after the marathon I took my Italian friends to Volendam. A small village not far from Amsterdam, very typically Dutch. We participated in a cheese making workshop at the Simonehoeve farm. Making typical Dutch cheese. I had never done it before, let alone my italian friends.
I must say, the cheese tasted very good. And also our typical Dutch fish lunch was delicious: white bread with herring, onions and mackerel. It was a very Dutch experience for my italian friends. Look at us here:
– Posted by Sylvia van der Male –
Years ago, in 2008, when I backpacked through Italy, I stayed a couple of days on a camping in Spoleto, Umbria. Close to the San Pietro church, just outside the city center. I did not only come to visit Spoleto, but also to walk up the Monteluco of Saint Francis.
On a sunny morning I went to the tourist office to find a trail map of Monteluco. The tourist information is on the Piazza del Mercato, in the center of Spoleto. They gave me a free map, which was already sufficient to follow the correct path uphill. After I had studied the trail on the map, I bought a “porchetta” sandwich at a local butchery (roasted pork meat) and a bottle of water. With my backpack and walking-sticks I passed the Ponte delle Torri to Monteluco. The trail to Monteluco is immediately to the right after crossing the bridge. The Ponte delle Torri is a well known bridge from the 14th century. It has huge gates and arcs, in the center of the bridge you find an opening which gives you a magnificent view of the Umbrian hills. The trail uphill the mountain is beautiful. While walking you’ll have great views around. After about 1 hour walking you arrive in the sacred wood “bosco sacra”, where you find the hermitage of St. Francis. It is said that he came here often. Further on you’ll find a field where you can have a picnic or where you can just hang around and rest. From there it is possible to continue walking the path. You follow the trail to the church of San Pietro, towards Spoleto. This church is just outside the city center of Spoleto nearby the Roman road the Via Flaminia, close to the camping. Of course it is also possible to take the same trail back to Spoleto.
I can recommend this trail for those who love trekking. You can do this walk in a morning or in an afternoon. It is important to put on hiking shoes, because the trail is not always flat and there are loose stones now and then. Always take with you a bottle of water and something to eat. A sweater or jacket cannot be missed, it can be colder up in the mountains compared to the valley.
– Posted by Sylvia van der Male –