Saturday, August 16, 2008


Massa Martana_0012The medieval town of Massa Martana, just across the E45 from Todi, is a town we discovered back in 2002 when we came to Italy to find the perfect place to live. Most of the walled city was destroyed during the earthquake of 1997, and only recently was the restoration complete. The town now looks like a medieval jewel, retaining its character, but with completely updated facilities like new plumbing and wiring, and anti-seismic protection built into the structures.

For whatever reason we'd never visited Massa Martana during it's annual Sagra del Gelato, and we decided it was about time we did! We met up with our friend Shelly and her friends Milena (and Milena's husband, whose name I don't remember!). Dinner was simple, and since the feature of this sagra is gelato, simple is a good thing. We had our choice of torta al testo with sausage, prosciutto, pancetta or cheese. We each made our choices, ordered a bottle of wine, and went to our table to wait for delivery. Because we were there pretty early in the evening the food arrived quickly and we all savored our food. Once again, the simplest of foods are the best!

After dinner we took a stroll around town. Many of the shops stay open during the sagra and we found quite a few realy nice art galleries, as welll as a muscc museum set up in an old church. The moon was nearly full, the temperature was perfect, and off in the distance we could hear music....that polka/accordian music that could be Italian...or Swiss/German/Austrian. At the end of the street we found the band, and of course swirling dancers filling the piazza.

Massa Martana Gelato_0002Eventually we made our way outside the city walls for the main event" GELATO! There were several types of sundaes listed, and I found one that I liked...except it was made with gelato. When it was my turn to order I asked if I could have it made with gelato instead of yogurt and with a puzzled look the woman told me that it was made with gelato. I told her that the sign said it was made with gelato, and after a pause she told me that "yogurt" was a flavor! Oh...okay. I explained that in the states we have frozen yogurt, but I'm not sure they really 'got' it. Anyway, we each ordered our gelatos and once again waited at our table for them to arrive. Within minutes we were happily slurping away, lost in the decadence of a warm summer's evening and a bowl of gelato.

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