Thursday, October 4, 2018

Take the Left Fork at the Olive Tree

The directions here are classic. Or should I say, medieval.

In Umbria, you can't "turn right at the light and look for the fourth house on the left." The towns are 13th-14th-15th century castles on hilltops, dominating cultivated hillsides and vast open plains.
                          
These former fortresses encircle the "town" houses. For centuries past, peasant huts were below. Fields of hard labor are now replaced with prosperous estates overseeing olive groves and vineyards.
Inside the town walls, the narrow lanes wind and climb through centuries of recollections, renovations, and pigeon roosts.

Walls are stone or crumbling brick, the roofs red tile, and
doors are shorter than house plants.
When you ask for directions, prepare for an enlightening explanation of the twisted medieval-era geography.
Below are the directions I received for my pasta-making class, in the next hilltop village.

The Umbria map is in my day pack, and my taste buds are tingling with anticipation.

At the end of the long city stone wall on the left where the road divides, take the right turn into Via Madonna della Stella. Continue on this road until it divides, about 100 m further. Keep right following the sign saying Fontanaro or Tartagli or Residence l ľOlivo and continue downhill 100 m further on where you reach a small church on the right.

Directly opposite the church is a road with another small Fontanaro sign. Turn left onto this road which descends through olive groves. At the next junction 400 m later, and just past a pair of wooden gates with a mail box, turn right.

Keep left at the next fork and continue passing the house on the right (La poderina). Just past this house is a shrine at another junction. Keep to the right and continue for another 250m where the road ends at the gate for Fontanaro. There is an arch of Roses that bloom in May and a big cypress tree.

Ciao 
Alina