The town of 200,000 olive trees
A mere hour and a half by car from Bellaugello Gay Guest House brings you to the Umbrian hill top town of Trevi. As with so many Umbrian towns the houses cling tightly in ever decreasing circles to the hill top, at time it seems as if like suckers of a tree they have actually sprouted from the hilltop. Some cling precariously, others more imperial sit happily in the midst of narrow streets and lanes.
Wind your way up the hill through a myriad of olive trees, you are in DOC olive oil country
and enter the town. You find ample parking and easy access to the centro storico.
A short walk brings you to the town theatre, still very much operational with productions throughout the year, judging by a quick perouse of the programme some quite alarming and cutting edge.
And then through an arch and enter the main square, Piazza Mazzini, a large piazza framed by mis-matching buildings all softly intonacatoed in agreeable pastel shades, it seems Trevi is not only the town of olive oil but of magical gentle stuccoed buildings.
Walk ever upward, why is it when visiting any town for the first time though I am not in the slightest bit even remotely religious, I make a bee line for the cathedral? Dunno, but I do, perhaps it’s the decadence, the technical feat of the long constructed architecture, I do wonder just how did they build that? Or maybe the speranza of incense from the thurible drifting lazily into lofty vaults, or better still an organ voluntary or Gregorian chant – I can’t remember when I last heard that. So up winding lanes, washing hanging from lines high above my head
And to the cathedral square, enter, each one is different. The duomo in Trevi is not to my taste, plain baroque, and lo! and behold! I have just missed the patron saint S Emiliano’s day by two days… He is still shining brightly.
Back down in the town I am reminded by the blue sign that as I have yet another set of forms to send in to some official office I need to go to the Tabacchaio to purchase two of those delightful little government taxes ‘Marca da Bollo’ the little stickers one needs to have for every official document. The helpful cheery guy behind the counter seemed like the right person to ask for advice on where to have lunch ‘cuccina casareccia’ local cooking please. He directed me to ristorante Maggiolini, and a great advice it was. A warm welcome, and great lunch. I learnt that Trevi farmers cultivate a special type of celery and ate a beef tagliata with Black Trevi Celery sauce, light fragrant and deliciously different. The photo does not do it justice..
The restaurant owner saw me tapping on my iPad, I was starting this blog post and smilingly he offered me the wifi code, an all too rare gesture in rural Italy. A local desert of crushed amaretti soaked in rum and covered with chocolate finished my indulgent lunch
Satiated I walked back down through this enchanting town to the car, open doorways inviting me in to see some of the jewels within
And so to the last and finest jewel of the day. As I wound my way down the hill I was astonished to see a flock of sheep grazing in one of the olive groves, I have always wondered how they manage to keep the grass so trim in the groves, now I know. I stopped the car and got into conversation with the elderly shepherd who turned out to be a farmer and a big one at that. Unlike so many itinerant shepherds here in Umbria he is not Sardinian he is Umbrian, living in a village just 5km south of Trevi under the shadow of Monte Serano, and has a flock of some two hundred and fifty sheep. He is carrying on a family tradition. He worked five dogs simultaneously and managed to keep all off the roads and firmly under the trees. He told me that he walks all the olive groves, as the title states that’s some 200,000 trees, a fine life, and I bet that his lamb tastes stupendous…
A really beautiful day, filled with experiences that will stay with me for a long time, and a visit to be recommended to you guys staying at Bellaugello Gay Guest House