Today at Destinations Perfected we begin 'Italy Week': seven days of consecutive posts on some of my favorite places all over Italy. My readers have most enjoyed my blog entries on all things Italian, and as Italy is the country I know the most intimately, I am happy to oblige. Day one of Italy week brings us to my favorite restaurant in the beautiful hillside town of Orvieto, Trattoria La Palomba (Via Cipriano Menente, 16), in the region of Umbria. About a one hour train ride from Rome, Orvieto sits atop practically vertical volcanic rock cliffs and therefore, views of the surrounding Umbrian countryside are beautiful.
Orvieto is home to one of the most impressive duomos in the world, The Cathedral of Orvieto. The town has a long papal history and many popes have taken up residence here. The level of intricate detail on the facade alone of this cathedral is so unbelievable, it is worth the trip to see it. How they ever transported the building materials for the church up to the top of this volcanic cliff town and through the narrow cobblestone streets is mind boggling.
Orvieto is most well known for its local ceramics, white wine and wild boar meat. The best restaurant to try these local specialities is Trattoria La Palomba. I happened upon this restaurant two months ago when I stopped a local old lady in the street who looked like she knew food, and asked her for the best place to have lunch in Orvieto (this is one of the benefits of speaking Italian!). I wish I could go back and thank her for such a wonderful recommendation. This was by far one of the best lunches I have had in Italy.
Reservations are imperative, even at lunch, and it is no wonder. This modest little trattoria is jam packed with locals, and for good reason: it is simple, delicious and family run for five decades. It is located on a quaint little street next door to the 13th century Palazzo Comunale. We started our lunch with a bottle of the local house wine and bruschetta topped with freshly shaven truffles. Next we ordered two of their most typical local pasta dishes: tagliatelle with wild boar ragu and umbricelli (a strand pasta produced in the Umbria region of Italy that is often considered to be a thicker version of spaghetti) with truffles. To finish the pasta with truffles, they actually bring the truffles to the table and shave them by hand on top of the pasta. The smell is so amazing and the taste, mixed with the warm pasta, is heaven.
We had the good fortune of being seated next to Julia Alvarez de Toledo, the owner of the most exquisite rental villa in all of Umbria. If renting a home in the Italian countryside has always been a dream of yours, then look no further than La Forestella. Julia, an interior designer by trade, has painstakingly restored her seven bedroom and bath villa to absolutely impeccable contemporary taste. This is truly a luxurious property surrounded by an inspiring country landscape.
Boston bred expat living in London’s Chelsea, entrepreneur, style maven, interior designer, blogger, dual passport wielding travel-a-holic, Italophile, currently contemplating my next meal, always searching for something. Let’s chat: firstname.lastname@example.org