Tuesday, August 07, 2007


We had no idea what type of music the band from Marsciano, called "Disclav Epic Catto", would play, but still wanted one last chance to visit with friends and enjoy the beautiful evening, so off we went.

We stopped to say hello to Anna and her husband Manlio, who were eating dinner with Janine and Keith. I wanted to let Anna know how much we appreciated all her hard work, and to let her know how much we had enjoyed the festa. I also told here that I'd been both writing and posting videos of the festa on my blog (and You Tube), so that she could take a look or share the information with her friends.

As we sat eating our dinner...tonight's menu was tagliatelle with sugo (sauce), rice salad, grilled meats and a green salad...a woman approached our table. She began by saying "I read your blog and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it. In fact, we're here tonight because we read about it on your blog." Wow! This is the second time a complete stranger's told me that during the Rotecastello festa. The first was Julia, who lives and works in Rome, but who returns to Rotecastello every summer. The small world just keeps getting smaller.

After introductions were made we learned that Beverly and her husband Ron had a house in Camerata. Camerata....that name sounded familiar, but I couldn't remember where it was. Oh yes! Camerata, just south of Todi, where we'd looked at a house right in the centro for friends a year or two ago. Beautiful area, by the way. Although Beverly and Ron aren't here full time, Beverly said they'd found my blog very helpful when they were setting up their household, helping them to find places to shop for various items.

We asked if this was there first time to Rotecastello and they told us yes. On Sunday they'd been in Corciano where Ron's photographs were on display, and where he's been presented with an award for his photography. You can see some of his work on his

Ron and Beverly are from Toronto, and had some friends visiting (Terry, Rhonda and Ron), so the seven of us had a nice chat, exchanged numbers and plan to get together before they return to Canada.

As we were getting ready to walk down to the piazza, we stopped to chat with Keith and Janine, and with Craig and his father Neville. We told Craig that we thought the large crowd of peasants standing in front of the audience had hindered our views, and agreed. The initial idea had been that by having the peasants stand directly in front of the audience, the audience would feel more involved, more like they were part of the crowd too, but all it really did was block the view! Oh well, every year is a learning process, and I'm sure there will be adjustments made next year.

I also passed along my suggestion for next year's entertainment, although their price may be more than the local bands. As we sat in the piazza the other night, surrounded by the stone buildings and wonderful acoustics, I thought: BAGPIPES! Yes, I know I'm weird.....I love bagpipes and sitars. I also know that Rome has a bagpipe band: CITY OF ROME PIPE BAND . Personally I think it's a great idea.

Because of all the talking, we didn't get down to the piazza until well after the band had started, and there were no seats left. Oh well, that just made it easier to mingle. Art struck up a conversation with some Brits who'd taken the Orient Express from London to Venice. After Venice they went to Rimini, and now of course they were in Umbria....nice vacation!

While Art was chatting I asked Josepina to give me a tour of the remodeling they'd done to accommodate their soon-to-open restaurant...La Locanda del Borgo. Run by Josepina, her sister Mariella, and her daughter Lucia, the recipes will be regional, from Josepina's mother. There are two small, intimate rooms inside, each with maybe six tables, and also an outdoor terrace. The road to opening the restaurant has been slow (amd bumpy), but the opening is now set for August 23rd.

After the tour of the restaurant I returned to the piazza to listen to the band (a very interesting group!), and to take a look at the merchants who'd set up shop in Rotecastello for the festa. I was VERY tempted by some of the oil paintings, not surprisingly the ones with sunflowers...but I resisted.

After chatting with a few more friends we decided to make it an early night. I think this year's festa, even though the planning was quite last minute and chaotic, turned out beautifully. Having the meals served in the centro was probably a lot more convenient for the servers, and it let the patrons feel the medieval charms of Rotecastello rather than sitting in the middle of a soccer field. We caught up with quite a lot of friends and made several new ones, and enjoyed a variety of music in a beautiful medieval setting. Who could want more?

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At 8/07/2007 08:04:00 PM , Anonymous Jerry said...

Barb - it sounds like you had a wonderful time! One of the many benefits of living in Italy is that you get to experience things like this first hand - those of us who come from 'across the pond' often never know about these events until it is too late.


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