I was super excited for Sunday because we were headed to Perugia. I’ve written about Perugia previously as it was where I studied abroad in college 8 years ago. It is where I can pinpoint the start of my food obsession and having the hard but amazing experience of living in another country.
Perugia is about 2 hours south of Florence and a beautiful train ride between Tuscany and Umbria. It is a small city that feels like you go back in time. It was nice to visit with good weather as I studied there January through April.
We took the 8am train (I forgot how cheap trains were in Italy compared to Germany but not nearly as efficient and clean)
And arrived in beautiful Perugia
The day was cloudy initially but then got sunny as the day went on. We spent the morning meandering around as I found all of my favorite landmarks and the apartment I had lived in. The center (below) is where everyone gathers and sits on the steps of the main church to enjoy the day. Gotta love the slower Italian lifestyle.
There was even an organic farmer’s market.
Foodie heaven. We wandered some more as there are so many nooks, crannies, winding streets, and cobble-stoned alleys.
For lunch, we were able to nab reservations at one of my favorite restaurants in Perugia, Dal Mi’ Cocco. This restaurant has a set menu for each day of the week and the menu is in a crazy Perugian dialect that is hard to translate. They serve multiple courses for only 13 Euro per person and the food is served family-style. Everything is homemade, including the pasta. But you don’t know exactly what you will be eating! The first course was different kinds of breads. One had a tomato sauce, one had buttery onions, and third was sweet with potentially raisins inside.
Pasta was up next. Ohhh the pasta. There was a simple pasta with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. But the noodles were clearly homemade and had a bite to them which I love. The other pasta was a penne with what tasted like a cheesy pepper sauce. My husband said it tasted like salsa con queso which was a huge surprise and absolutely delicious.
There was also an unpictured panzanella-type salad. The main course was roasted meats (we think chicken and maybe veal) with bread. In Tuscany and Umbria, bread is made without salt due to an age old salt tax. It has no taste at all but is great dipped in, say, tomato sauce or meat juices. I got used to it and it grew on me when I was living in Italy but my husband was not a fan of it.
We of course had their house wine.
Dessert was a very light and fluffy chocolate cake (I wouldn’t quite call it cake as it was so airy) with mousse-like filling.
Along with some dessert wine.
After lunch we visited a truffle store, wandered around a bit more, and then headed back to the train station to go to Florence.
I kept my truffle purchases to a minimum which was difficult. But ended up with a truffle sauce and truffle pasta. The man who owned the shop appears to find his own truffles as he had a picture of himself and his dog truffle digging.
In Perugia, they built something called the Mini Metro when I was there in 2008 and it is this automated transportation system that goes directly from the train station to the center of town in less than 10 minutes. They are cute little pods that fit about 10 people each and arrive every couple of minutes.
On the way home, we actually saw the Italian national soccer team heading off to the Euro Cup at one of the stops in Italy. Everyone was going crazy!
Once we got back to Florence, it was around 6pm so we thought it would be great for some appertivi (and not dinner as we had a huge lunch).
We enjoyed a carafe of Prosecco for 9 Euros.
Ain’t he cute? He is mimicking how we saw someone on TV hold a wine glass (ok so from Big Bang Theory on a recent episode, Penny’s ex-boyfriend, Zack, holds his wine glass like this)
We also enjoyed a charcuterie board with some cured meats, cheese, and something that tasted good on that bread.
The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed some people watching.
We headed back to our apartment and later got some gelato from a highly recommended place, Gelateria dei Neri!
Another successful day in Italy came to a close and unfortunately, Monday was our last day 😦