Italy Part 3: Assisi (Mostly a food diary)
I spent the day in Assisi, which was an amazing change of pace from Rome. I knew it was beautiful, mainly because I googled it the night before, but there are no words to describe the view from the city of Assisi today. It actually took my breath away. We were there for six hours and every time I looked out over the towns I found it hard to believe it wasn’t a fake backdrop. Pictures simply don’t do it justice.
The whole experience had a very religious element to it, probably because every tourist shop had giant paintings and sculptures of religious figures, and the fact that we spent most of our day in the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, but it also felt like more than that. I’m not an overly religious person, but something about being on top of the world looking down on neighboring villages and watching a lightning storm roll in over the mountains was unbelievably moving.
Besides the view, the best part of the day was our lunch. We went to Ristorante Mediovo Assisi, a mom and pop family style restaurant where we completely indulged in a four-course meal. For our first course we started with an antipasto, which included eggplant, pepper, zucchini, tomato bruschetta, zucchini bruschetta, and a slice of baguette. For our second course we had Rotini with a light white sauce, grated Parmesan, and chopped grilled vegetables (my favorite pasta so far). This was the point where if I had been wearing jeans, the top button would be coming undone.
The two owners of the restaurant are exactly what you would picture when you think of an Italian mother and grandfather. As soon as you took two bites, three more scoops of pasta were immediately added to your plate, whether you wanted it there or not. If you didn’t finish what was on your plate they were deeply offended, not that any of us had enough self-control to stop eating when we were full anyway.
The third course was a truffle risotto. I’m wasn’t a big fan of mushrooms or risotto before this trip, but my mouth is watering just thinking about it now. Finally, just when it was getting difficult to breath and I didn’t think I could take one more bite they brought out our dessert. A scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with the richest dark chocolate I have ever tasted and a sponge cake and tiramisu combination (that is completely a guess, I actually have no idea what it actually was). Needless to say we all slept really well on the bus ride back!