Authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines
Sunday is the day for rest in Italy, but not for us. We began the day by making our way to Lake Trasimeno, which is a lake located in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region. We landed in a small museum that was filled with everything you needed to know about fishing in the lake. From cod to boats to netting, we discovered what it was like to be a fish in the waters of Trasimeno and what it was like to be caught in a net…literally!
After struggling for awhile to figure out who was not going to get sea sick and who was, we were off to sail. The water was like glass, calm and flat, and it could not have been more perfect. There was no way anyone was going to get sea sick. The sun was hot and the breeze was cool and we were about to discover the food network style of fishing. The fisherman had already put out nets twenty-four hours in advance, so when the first net was pulled, there was already cod caught into the nets.
Next we released the second net, and we realized we caught a total of 10 cod fish. Now, it was off to sail around the Isola of Porvesay. Enough work for the day said the Italians, it is time to eat! The island was lined with cyprus trees. In Italy, when you see a cluster of cyprus trees, it usually means that cemeteries are nearby. The boat ride around the island turned out to be a calming one as we tied both of the boats together.
We had a fish based lunch with antipasti full of fried fish such as sardines and breads with fish spreads. Some thought the fried fish needed tartar sauce, but I think a spritz of lemon sufficed. The second course consisted of fresh pasta pomodoro with pesce (fish). Italian pasta is the definition of fresh pasta compared to the fresh pastas we make in the U.S. There is no comparison. It is creamy and delicate. Vino (wine) was served with lunch this time, of course. We sipped white wine. It was sweet and mild. Some said it was flat, but I actually thought it was better than the one we later consumed at the winery. Americans can be use to harsh bad wines that are strongly fermented. Sometimes there is a ton of sugar added. This can lead to hangovers and headaches, but not this wine today. This was fresh Italian vino.
We climbed down the steep hills, which most of us involuntarily slid or fell down. Ale and I hesitated, so we were helped by Enriquo, an employee of the vineyard. And, by helped, I mean I he carried my camera around his neck and me on his back. Grazie, Enriquo, grazie.
The winery was filled with olives, grape vineyards, fig trees, and pig farms. They produce their own olive oils, wines, and prosciutto.
For the wine production, the grapes are pressed and then placed in french oak barrels where they can sit for up to a year to ferment. The barrels are about 800 euros a piece and they are only used for a total of three rounds, or three years, where then they are resold for 60 euros to those who make whiskey or vinegar.
We were introduced to the farm pigs and their baby piglets. Buonasera Wilbur, we are about to eat you as prosciutto between two tortes. Grazie!
Enriquo brought out Nutella tortes for dessert. I think he thought that we have never seen Nutella before in the U.S. Oh, we have…Enriquo…we have. As the sun began to set, we stepped back onto the bus and made our way back to the hotel. We go back to school tomorrow…Italian school… to learn how to make fresh pasta. Are you jealous? You should be! Until we meet again, America…that is if we come back.
Wish you were here,
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