23 April, 2019
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Let’s talk about the numbers: 150,000 / 180,000 flowers of Crocus Sativus cover an immense field beautiful and violet, and from all that field you get only one kilogram of saffron.

Red gold

A huge amount of flowers for a small product: of course this causes a raise in the price, as the caviar, but unlike this one, the saffron has a thousand-year history that oscillates between magic, health, prestige and cuisine. It has been a successful product for centuries, to the point of obtaining the nickname of red gold. It was a multitasking product, used as a dye for real fabrics, but also as a precious aphrodisiac and cosmetic to revive pale cheeks.
In Italy the word saffron immediately evokes the risotto alla Milanese, while in France it is an ingredient of bouillabaisse (fish soup) and in Sweden it is an element of the Grande Amaro Svedese.
Everyone uses saffron. In fact it is really requested and 180 tons a year are produced in the world. 90% comes from Iran. The powder of saffron is one of the spices which is most subject to fraudes and to be adulterated. The powder can be mixed with turmeric or with calendula, but there are those who do not hesitate to add powdered minerals or synthetic dyes. Moreover, as in ancient spices shops, there is also the risk of buying a badly preserved product.

 

prodotti tipici umbria

Saffron

Saffron of the dukedom

Once, the saffron arrived from the East following the path of the Via delle Spezie, eventually it started to be was cultivated in Italy too, above all in Abruzzo and in the territories of Spoleto and Terni.
Various historical and economic events had made it disappear from the domestic market, but now it is back and it is becoming really very important. In Italy it is not produce so much, but we cultivate the red saffron variet, which is really precious. In order to face the expenses and difficulties of cultivation and harvesting, forty Umbrian producers created an association with the evocative name of Saffron of the Dukedom, to rember the presence of the Duchy of Spoleto. One of the associates, Mr. Giuliano Sfascia, explained to me the characteristics that the product must have to be of the highest quality, and brought me to the field, where I observed the saffron itself.

 

umbria

The crocuses

 

The flowers, the crocuses, are born from the bulbs that are placed in the ground in July, but they do not bear the intensive cultivation, they need space and air, they grow on the hills, they need light and well drained soils, sandy or silty.
The 180,000 flowers, needed to obtain a kilo of saffron, can only be picked up by hand, bent over the crocuses, early in the morning, when the flowers are still closed. Each flower has only three red stigmas (antennines) that contain the spice which is the saffron. This harsh harvest is called overflowing and is done in October.
Once the flowers have been collected, the three stigmas are delicately come off, placed in a glass vase and immediately left to dry. The first they dry, the better the taste of the spice will be. Saffron production requires effort and many hours of work and it is subject to a thousand risks, bad weather and parasites. To all this we must add that every collection, to obtain the quality certification, must be analyzed by an authorized laboratory. Crocina, the color, Pirocrocina, the bitter taste and Safranale, the aroma, are the three substances that characterize the saffron, but only if the presence of these substances is high we have the saffron of the best quality. No magic. Good cultivation helps the three substances to give their best. So, good “risotto” to everyone.

«I’m an entertainer who offers dance music, I do not like being tied to a single genre. I love Umbria for its culture and for the ability to maintain its own peculiarities».

I send a message to DJ Ralf to plan the interview with a bit of apprehension –  something that rarely happens to me – but we are talking about Ralf. As a teenager I watched him many times (from a certain distance and in the dark) stood behind the console like a sort of untouchable deity of music. So I was quite excited. He answeres immediately to my text: “You can call me now, if you want, I have just came back from the spa”. We begins to chat, and I discover a Ralf, or rather an Antonio or Antonello Ferrari (all his names), unexpected and very close to Umbria. Born in Bastia Umbra and grown up in Sant’Egidio, dj Ralf does not need any introduction, he “made” dance – and he still does – millions of people allover the world, a true icon of night clubbing since 1987.

 

Dj Ralf

The first question is customary: what is your link with Umbria?

It is a very intense link, in fact, I have always remained here, despite Umbria has not a well organized trasportation system and I usually travel a lot due to work. I live near Lake Trasimeno and I have never thought about changing, even when it would have been more useful to live in a city with much more opportunities. Perugia and Umbria are very lively places from a cultural and musical point of view. So beyond the love that I have for my land, there is a real pleasure in living in a place with a strong presence of artistic expressions.

Why are you called Ralf?

It comes from the animated cartoon Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf that I used to watch with my friend Laura, at that time, I attended the first year of the middle school. I looked like the dog Sam, because of my long hair in front of the eyes were exactly like its. This dog used to greet the wolf saying: “Hello Ralph!”. I was very fond of this animated cartoon and everyone started to call me “Ralf”.  I became Ralf before being dj Ralf.

Why did you decide to use it also in your profession?

It’s not something that I really decided: I started playing and everyone already knew me as Ralf. This nickname has brought me luck, my wife – we got married last year after over 30 years of engagement – has always called me Ralf, but if I came back I would use my real name: Antonio Ferrari.

How much Antonio is similar to Ralf?

It’s not an alter ego even if I’ve often thought of doing something using my real name, but I’ve never done,  but who knows … I’m still young! Antonio is a nice name, but the last person who called me like that was my elementary school teacher because everyone always called me Antonello. I had an uncle priest and since there isn’t a saint called Antonello, I was registered as Antonio, but at that point my family always called me Antonello. From the first year of middle school I have become Ralf.

Many names mean many personalities?

I have many names but I am only one, even if each of us has different personalities.

From your console, how did you consider changes in Umbria during these these years, both on a social and musical level?

There have been changes to the same extent that there have been in other places. For example, as far as music is concerned, Umbria has very special events, which have become a real Italian heritage and not only. I talk of Umbria Jazz, of the “Festival dei Due Mondi” of Spoleto, of the Music Festival of Todi, of the Festival of Nations in Città di Castello and of the last UniverseAssisi, all very interesting realities. Not to mention the classical music by the “Amici della musica” of Perugia. Umbria has both cultural and musical excellences it is certainly a rich region. Even from the religious point of view it offers so much, even for an unbeliever like me: there are places of encounter, social and cultural exchange that go beyond religion itself.

Is there the lack of something in Umbria compared to other realities?

The first thing that comes to my mind is what I said at the beginning: the lack of infrastructures. But this is also its charm: who wants to visit Umbria, is someone who really wants to do it. The region has a niche tourism and it is no less beautiful than other regions. Surely it is no less beautiful than Tuscany: our villages have retained their typicality and their character much more. All this makes me love Umbria even more.

Have you ever thought about a concert in Perugia like the one in which you performed  years ago on the occasion of Umbria Jazz?

I often think about it. I would be gladly to do it again, but it does not depend only on me, someone has to ask me. I am very lively and willing to organiza these events. I like them because I have the opportunity to experience different musical types compared to the genre that distinguishes me. I’ve never had a specific musical direction: I’m an entertainer who proposes dance music, I do not like being tied to an unique genre.

 

Has your audience changed in these years?

Yes and no. The ritual that we organize and which we participate in over the years has not changed much. The music has changed, but the sense of going dancing has remained unchanged. The style to dance can be changed, but that style could go back in fashion: people love to dance and this will never change. Everyone loves a certain rhythm and a certain style of music, but every music has its own dignity.

When do you think of turning off the console permanently?

I never thought of it. The artists never stop, they continue until they want and until results are obtained: I still have both desire and results. Obviously things change over the years, but, I work as if it was the very first day.

Confess to the public something that nobody knows about you.

On some respects, I’m very compulsive, like as regarding food. An aspect that I should solve in some way (laughs). I like eating, as you can see looking at me.

What is your favourite food?

The bruschetta. It is a food linked to childhood: bread and olive oil with bruscato bread and nothing else. When I’m hungry, however, I prefer pasta.

I read that you use some kind of “supertitious spell” before your performances: are they always the same or have they changed during the time?

They have always been the same for years. In the console the suitcase of the new discs goes to the left while that of the older discs to the right: this is a ritual that I have never changed in my life. Then, if I drop my headphones, I beat them three times on the mix; without my battery I feel lost: even if there is enough light I have to use my flashlight to look for things and discs.

Inevitable is the black t-shirt…

Yes. Sometimes I try to get out of this routine and I wear T-shirts with some writing but I can not stand them more than an hour. In truth, I use black T-shirts because they make me look thinner, if I had another body I would also wear colorful T-shirts (he jokes).

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Vertical, shady, loyal.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The cake called torcolo.

In the various cultural centers that emerge in Italy and especially in Umbria, textile production plays an important role in expressing taste, the idea of ​​beauty and the values ​​of an era. The textile sector is one of the forms of craftsmanship strongly rooted in the Umbrian economic-social reality.

Popular Art

The charm of this region is discovered through this glorious folk art, which translates into the production between the Fourteenth and Fifteenth century of the famous Tovaglie Perugine, made of white linen. The pannili alla peroscina were appreciated and marketed throughout Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. In the historic center of Perugia, there is still the historical weaving workshop by Giuditta Brozzetti. It is one of the last weaving workshops in Italy where only original looms are used. In addition to Perugia an interesting point of reference is in Città di Castello where, in the splendid rooms of Palazzo Tommasini, in pizza A. Costa, there is the laboratory Tela Umbra, born as a charitable institution by the Baroness Alice Franchetti Hallgarten in order to protect the conservation of this ancient art.

 

Madonna della Misericordia. 1482. Museo Comunale di Montone

Embroidery and Technique

In Umbria the fabric work is also reproduced by local and foreign painters, through a variety of shapes and techniques; the fabrics underline the almost unreal beauty of Virgin covered with large cloaks entirely painted but which seem to be embroidered on the canvas. In the Fifteenth and the following century, many textile workshops are endowed with the presence of artists, masters and foreigners who bring new techniques and make new embroideries known; the artists therefore also rely on the workshops of the embroiderers, who enjoy a consideration that is not inferior to that of the painters. The garments depicted in the various works in the Umbrian territory are great. The fabrics that are most painted are velvets, damasks, lampas and brocades, a symbol of great value. Next to the processing of the fabrics also that of embroidery, enjoys great prestige. In painters, the garments of their characters are full of charm and elegance and the dress is an integral part of the figure. The design is built with a magnificent and solemn conception of balance: the floral decorations in the Virgin’s garments are becoming more important, recalling acanthus shoots, of classical memory. The suit completes the character: it is the spirit of its elegance and the expression of its refinement.

 

Madonna del Belvedere di Ottaviano Nelli

A dress, an era

And just by observing the change in the shape of the dress and the fabrics, it is possible to perceive the alternation, in works of art, of eras and styles. Of particular importance is the Madonna del Belvedere (1413), a masterpiece of the most famous painter Ottaviano Nelli. The dress delicately follows the body line, while the wide sleeves bear witness to the inspiration of time: not only the garments are embellished with gold, but with the same technique the clothes of the musician angels have also been reproduced. The fundamental garment in the Fifteenth century was in fact the gamurra: a long dress, closed by buttons or by side strings.

 

Beato Angelico di Polittico Guidalotti

Not only does the Virgin have ample and precious clothes, but in the late Gothic style altarpiece (1420-1430) by Antonio Alberti, preserved in the Pinacoteca of Città di Castello, also San Benedetto and San Bartolomeo on the right and left of the Virgin, have very sought after with floral decorations in gold. San Nicola instead, of the Polittico Guidalotti (1437), a famous work by Giovanni da Fisiesole, known as Beato Angelico, is absorbed in reading. In his clothes, gold is not an overlapping element but is woven together with the canvas. The precious brocade of the cope is investigated with a Flemish view of light. The same treatment is used for the white and red dress that emerges from the cope.

 

Madonna dell’Orchestra di Giovanni Boccati

 

Is painted in a monumental way the Madonna dell’Orchestra (1448-1458) by Giovanni Boccati. What is most striking is the Virgin’s dark blue brocade dress with gold floral motifs. A type of Madonna very represented in Umbria is the Madonna della Misericordia, that is the Virgin who welcomes the faithful under her own mantle. The beautiful Virgin of a follower of Niccolò di Liberatore (XV century), now kept in the Civic Museum of Trevi, wears a red amaranth dress decorated with floral motifs and a sumptuous cloak drapes over her shoulders. Very similar is another Madonna della Misericordia (1482) by Bartolomeo Caporali, preserved in the Municipal Museum of Montone: a gold tunic with flowers is the protagonist of the whole scene. Finally worthy of mention, are the Madonna in trono e Santi (1462) by Matteo da Gualdo, now preserved in the Municipal Museum of Gualdo Tadino and the Madonna del Soccorso (XV century) by Francesco Melanzio, in the Municipal Museum of S. Francesco in Montefalco, recently restored.

 

Madonna in trono e Santi di Matteo da Gualdo

 

Finally, beautiful elegantly dressed women are depicted in pump plates, typical of Deruta pottery: the ladies remember, for delicacy of the features and for physiognomy, the type of Virgin painted by Pinturicchio. One of them, housed in the Civic Museum of Ceramics in Deruta (XVI century), is depicted with a blue dress embroidered in gold.
In Deruta also Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, of more recent epoch to the previous noblewomen, is dressed with a long and refined dress with a blue and gold decoration. The Saint, protector of Deruta potters, frames the ancient art of fabrics, lace and decorations, not embroidered on the fabric but rather paintings on canvas, in Umbrian works of art.

 

Francesco Melanzio. Madonna del soccorso

The itinerary between the flavors and aromas of Valnerina continues with other products of this territory.

After lentils, honey and the Nera’s trout, let’s discover other local delicacies.

Roveja

This is the story of some small colored seeds, two tenacious women and a glass jar. In 1998 Silvana and Geltrude, were reorganizing the cellar of their house, after the earthquake occured in 1979. On this occasion they found a dusty glass jar full of colored seeds, together with a faded sheet of paper with a mysterious name written in pencil: roveja. It is a legume which blossoms on the heights of the Central Apennines. Roveja is a small and heroic legume, a type of wild pea, often considered as a weed. It is now a Slow Food Presidium and it has survived thanks to Silvana and Geltrude. Since 2006 roveja has been restarting to grow and blossom in Valnerina.

 

Norcinerie of Valnerina, photo by Officine Creative Italiane

Norcinerie

There is a craft in the heart of Valnerina, which preserves the identity of a territory and recalls its ancient traditions and memories: the “Norcino”. It finds its roots in the Pagan worships, in which the killing of pigs was the apex of agrarian rituals and marked an important periodo f the year.
The processing of pork meats is still a triumph of flavors and ancient feelings in Umbria.  Over the centuries it has becomes the fulcrum of an impenetrable magical-superstitious tradition. It consists of identifying in some characteristics of the entrails of the slaughtered beasts, prophetic and revealing visions.

 

Saffron, photo by Officine Creative Italiane

Saffron

The mystery which surrounds the etymology of the word Crocus Sativus, scientific name of the Saffron, is lost in the legend of the Crocco, one of the character of the Metamorphoses of Ovidio. He fell in love with the nymph Smilace and he was turned into a blond saffron flower. Symbol of prosperità, even today, the Crocus Sativus is presented as a long-life wish due to the therapeutic and aphrodisiac properties which are able to renew the body. It was used over the centuries, not only to obtain the yellow color destined to frescoes and to dye garments and fabrics, but also for cosmetic and medicinal purposes because of its properties.
The cultivation of Saffron is part of the Umbrian identity and history. It is something which  preserves an important link with the  human element: from the preparation of the soil, to the choice of bulbs passing through the moment of blossoming, until to the packaging of the final product.

 


First part

It is not the first (and surely, not even the last) adventure in “perugino dialect” for Ida Trotta, author of five other books about the Umbrian cuisine.

The passion of the author, that allowed her to win two challenges thanks to her own recipes, so as to teach at the Mantignana’s Easter Cake School. Ida considers food as a collective good and eating good food as an expression of education and respect: all elements which find their roots in the umbrian excellence.
The Umbrian cuisine – with its rustic nobility and so hospitable, warm and relaxed (to paraphrase the author) – has demonstrated how its excellence derives from simple and genuine ingredients; it is the same simplicity that today distinguished chefs are looking for, removing elements from the elaborate dishes of the past. But Umbria, has always had this characteristics in its culinary tradition since ancient times. Ida describes this world recalling the typical aromas and flavors experienced during her childhood spent at her grandparents’ house.

 

 

The book continues with her personal recipes, but Perugia a Tavola is not a simple collection of recipes: every creation which belongs to the culinary tradition of Perugia, is accompanied by a presentation in verse, strictly in perugino dialect, with many curiosities about  umbrian customs and traditions. Ida is also the author of the illustrations of the first part of the book which is about appetizers, bread and savory pies, pasta dishes, soups, vegetable soups, second courses, side dishes, omelettes, cured meats and desserts.

But the book reserves another surprise too. At the bottom of this recipe book, there are the Minima culinaria, poems written in the local dialect of Perugia, approved by the Academy of Donca: the “donca” is, emblematically, the peculiar inflection which characterizes the area of Perugia and which identifies, the dialect itself. The section is curated by Sandro Allegrini, author of the preface.

To close the volume, a more touristic appendix: the author selected a series of places dua se magna bene (where you can eat well): a series of restaurants selected due to their way of interpreting and presenting the same recipes of the tradition mentioned in the book. The other criterion to choose these restaurants was their ability to promote and describe the territory. In a nutshell, a unique work by Ida Trotta, a true ambassador of the Umbrian cuisine and and the “perugino dialect”.

 


“Perugia a tavola – Tradizione, identità, cultura”

By Ida Trotta

Publishing House: Morlacchi Editore

Perugia 2017

369 pages

«The emotion of winning an Olympics can only be overcome by the motherhood».

Diana Bacosi started winning medals in the skeet (shooting specialty) in 2004 with the first silver at the European Championships and from there she hasn’t stopped. One success after another, up to the gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. Diana Bacosi is a woman, a mother and an Olympic champion, who took the shotgun for the very first time when she was 14 years old. «Tokyo 2020 is waiting for me now. After all, this is a sport that does not have age limits».

 

Diana Bacosi

Diana, what is your link with Umbria?

I was born in Umbria in Città della Pieve and I have always lived in Cetona in Tuscany, on the border between the two regions. It’s 10 years old that i have been living in Rome, but I usually train in Umbria and I often go back to relax.

As yu grown up in the province of Siena, do you feel more Umbrian or Tuscan?

When I am asked this question, I always answer: I fee l Italian.

I read that you picked up the first rifle at 14: what does drive a little girl to this type of sport?

Dad used to go the shooting contests and I follone him to spend time together . The first few times I only sat on one side and I scored the points. One time, my dad told me: “Diana, would you like to  try?” And from that moment on I did not stop shooting. I immediately enjoyed it and it became my passion.

Do you think that you will have Umbrian heir?

There is a boy from Spello, Emanuele Fuso, who is emerging and in the coming months we will see where he will be able to arrive.

Was it more exciting for you: to win your very first competition or the Olympic medal?

Winning an Olympic medal is a unique emotion, also because you get there after a long preparation.

More exciting than becoming a mother?

No, that’s above all and everyone. But gold comes soon after.

How do you prepare to face an Olympics?

It is a journey that lasts over a year. Step by step, race after race you arrive at the Olimpic. There is a physical and mental preparation with breathing exercises, cardiac controls and techniques to take under control the anxiety that may arise during the race. Then there is a schedule of competitions for the entire period that precedes the Olympics: they are only a few, always with the same weapon and the same cartridges.

Try to predict everything, but atmospheric factors are unpredictable. How do you deal with them?

Those can not be predicted, but we try to be prepared, training even in poor conditions and experiencing all the climatic factors. For example, I prefer a storm to the rain. A friend of mine instead loves shooting with rain.

Is there an ideal situation?

Yes, not too much sun, the blue sky and a clean background without mountains  or hills.

A little curiosity: where do you keep the medal?

In a bank safe.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Serenity, beauty and hospitality. Umbrian people have always been so close to me.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The woods and the green.

Henry James, visiting Umbria, wrote: «His first [visitor] care will be not to be in a hurry to walk everywhere very slowly and aimlessly preserving all that his eyes will encounter».

A handful of words that inspires this itinerary among the flavors and aromas of Valnerina, significative elements of an Umbrian identity, which wants to tell its story. Authentic tastes which come back to life thorough valleys and ancient towns where the laboriousness of man is kept.  Here it is possible to know the whises of the Umbrian people to reflect, at the table, the richeness of their land: this is the reason why  we decided to discover the flavors of Valnerina.

The trout of the Nera river

The Nera river is like a primitive flow, which for millennia has tormented the sleep of the ancient bridges and stone of Valnerina. It has shaped this superb landscape, combining its name with the territory and becoming an incomparable icon of Umbria. Valnerina is a place where biodiversity resists to the agri-food chains that aim to bury stories of the fishermen, worn by the Nera and its breeze. And it is precisely in this context that the river drags downstream the trout of the Valnerina, considered as a trophy by the fishermen coming from everywhere.

 

Honey

Honey

In Valnerina, the journey through the lands of taste can continue, crossing one of the many passes and borders and finding different souls and unexpected aromas. Visitng small companies that produce ancient flavors, such as honey, allows the visitor to meet people, faces and stories. Buying directly from the producers, at zero km, not only guarantees the quality, but also allows to follow an itinerary along the paths of an uncontaminated landscape. This part of Umbria has a strong voction for this noble nectar both precious and appreciated, which has flourished, with renewed and lively enthusiasm, derived from the source of an ancient tradition.

 

legumi tipici umbri

IGP lentils of Castelluccio

If there was a night of the gastronomy Oscars, on the red carpet of taste and tradition, the Umbrian excellences would win more than one award.  But if there is an award that certainly can not miss is that for the lentils of Castelluccio di Norcia: a product in which archaic tastes are exhibited, with an extraordinarily modern charm.
Castelluccio di Norcia, a poor land with healthy products, would be the closing title of this short film about the Umbria of genuineness. In the “tradition casting”, the main role belongs to the famous lentil, legume, that in the cold of the Apennine Mountains ‘ winter, manages to preserve an incomparable quality. A food proudly made in Valnerina that, in the shyness of an extraordinarily small seed, hides an infinitely large flavor.

 

Keep it going…

For centuries the area around the lake Trasimeno lake has been an important reference point for the cultivation of wine in Umbria.

A difficult search for identity

The production territory has always had a significative difficulty in finding an identity with regard to its wine production. Quite hard identifing a specific wine variety, as it is possible in other areas of Umbria, like Orvieto, Torgiano or Montefalco.
Since the very beginning of the millennium, the lake area, like many others in Italy, has seen the spread of the production of Sangiovese and of other international wine varieties, first of all the well – known merlot and with large use of small wooden barrels. A type of production influenced by the trend of that moment, but which leaded to a lack of common identity among the wineries of the Trasimeno.
The same disciplinary of production of the DOC “Colli del Trasimeno” is very varied, as it admits numerous international vine varieties, from the chardonnay, to the pinot noir, as well as typically Umbrian ones, such as the Grechetto and the Trebbiano.

 

Trasimeno wine, photo by Facebook

A reference point in the middle of chaos

In recent years, this difficult search for identity, seems to have reached a turning point: we are talking about the increasing discovery and enhancement of Gamay del Trasimeno, already included in the DOC, cited above.
The history of this vine variety is not one of the most lucky, since it has been confused with the most famous Gamay cultivated in France, in the Beaujolais region, for a long time.
Actually, the Umbrian Gamay  is part of the Sardinian Cannonau family, the Alicante and the Spanish Garnacha.
Its ancient origins are Hellenic and from that area, it spreaded to the rest of Europe, above all, it took root in the Iberican peninsula. Eventually, Spanish people introduced it to Sardinia, around the middle of the fifteenth century. From here, originated its journey towards our Umbria.
This happened thanks to the numerous Sardinian shepherds migrated to the Trasimeno area from the middle of the nineteenth century, who brought with them the wine varieties of their lands.

An example of adaptation to the territory

 

The Gamay of Trasimeno wine varieties has been protagonist of innumerable displacements, but it has always managed to adapt and take root in the territories in which it was brought, assuming different names, while the original one has been lost in the memory of the places. The Gamay of Trasimeno has, in fact, a twin brother also in the Marche, called Bordò, cultivated by a handful of wineries in the Piceno area. Instead, in Veneto its name is Tocai Rosso, and in France, Grenache.In any case and whatever its name, the Gamay Of Trasimeno produces many bunches and can be harvested in two moments: a first harvest, for rosé wines, while the second one, gives ruby-red wines with hints of bitter almonds and red fruits.Today Gamay Perugino or Gamay of Trasimeno is increasingly appreciated and known, as shown by the three gold medals won last April by some of the wineries from the Trasimeno lake, at the 2018 edition of the Grenaches du Monde in Catalonia. This is an international event that compared over 850 wines from all over the world, made with grapes from the Grenache family.

«Getting back to Umbria is like taking a breath of fresh air. I love this region and its food».

Camilla Ferranti is becoming more and more known after her participations in Enchantment, District Police, Angels and Diamonds, Don Matteo and the Honor and Respect.  Next year she is bound to be the opponent of Barbara d’Urso in the new season of the TV series Dr. Giò. Born in Terni, she has been living in Rome for years, but a part of her heart remains linked to Umbria. A heart that has recently been kidnapped by the actor Christopher Lambert. A love story born by chance on the set of the fiction and of which Camilla speaks in a whisper.

 

Camilla Ferranti, photo by Melissa Marchetti

Camilla, the first question is ritual: what is your link with Umbria?

It’s a blood bond, I was born and raised in Terni. Eventually, the university took me to Rome and I remained there. The first years after leaving my city I did not feel the separation, because I considered Terni a small reality. Today I usually come back with pleasure as I appreciate the city and the region: coming to Umbria is a real breath of oxygen.

How often do you come back to Terni?

My family lives there, so on the weekends or as soon as I can, I go back to the city, even simply for a dinner: I miss the Umbrian cuisine a lot.

 

Often the Umbrian people are seen  as very  closed: living outside the region, do you perceive it?

Absolutely not. Indeed, I find that the Umbrians are very open and easy-going people. They are welcoming to people who come from outside, differently from the inhabitants of other cities who I dealt with, because of my job. In addition, Umbria – despite its problems – is a dynamic region and I do think that it hasn’t extraordinary needs. Lately I feel very nationalistic and linked to my origins, to the Italian culture and history.

Soon we will see you in the tv series Dr. Giò with Barbara D’Urso: which is your role?

I am the medical director of the hospital where Dr. Giò works. In collaboration with the director of the department, I try to impede her plans: Dr Giò would like to create a center dedicated to women victims of violence – a theme that is also very current – but I, as head of the economic  division of the hospital, take care of my interests only. I am the bad of the series.

So is it a negative character?

She is a woman who thinks only of her career, putting herself on the side of the strongest and the most powerful. It is certainly not one who can be manipulated as she is a very determined woman. There will be a redemption too….

 

Do you recognize yourself in this role or are you the exact opposite?

I am also a determined woman, but I would never sacrifice my private life and never play dirty to achieve my goals. I am a honest person and I want to reach my goals thanks to merits and my strengths. This does not mean that, if there is to play and fight I am not ready for this. I am attracted by success – I have to admit – and I am very ambitious, but I play honestly.

 

Camilla Ferranti, photo by Melissa Marchetti

When will the tv series be on air?

It is not yet known with certainty, but probably at the beginning of 2019.

This television experience brought you love too, on the set you met the actor Christopher Lambert…

I do not talk a lot about my private life, I can say that there is a good story. It was an unexpected meeting, I did not even think that it could have happened, I was focused only on my work …

I read that you get married next year…

I do not want to say anything about it. 

What are your projects for the future?

I have several work projects, both for cinema and fo television. They are still top secret.

Returning to Umbria, how would you describe it in three words?

Genuine, tough, true.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

Green and tranquility.

«A fragrant land that evokes the colors of yellow, green and orange».

The interview with Emanuela Aureli begins immediately with a joke: “Do you deal with excellences, so why are you interviewing me ?!” I am interviewing you because you are yourself an Umbrian excellence in your field. Born in Terni, the actress and imitator is nice and friendly, while we are talking on the phone she greets the neighbors and confesses that he is setting up home: “If I’m out of breath it’s because I’m cleaning.” The chat is fun, as if we had known each other for a long time and naturally we start talking about our region.

 

Emanuela Aureli

Which is your link with Umbria?

I have a very strong bond: it is my own land and I am very proud of it. In Umbria I have my family, I have memories linked to many moments of my life. My son was born in Perugia: we must go beyond the sports rivalry between the two cities. Given that I am not a football fan I can not understand it.

How did you get on television and gain fame, starting from a provincial town?

As a child, I knew and felt that this job was my destiny. I felt it inside and I managed to realize my dream. It all started in 1992 when my mother – without I knew it – enrolled me in the Corrida. I was already an imitator, but I felt really scared, in fact I initially got angry. My mum incited me saying, “Go, try it!” So I participated imitating Al Bano and Romina, Patty Pravo and Mietta. I won the episode and from that moment on, all has been starting. In a certain way it was my mother who let me enter this world.

Actress, imitator and TV character: what is the profession that suits you best?

All of them. On television you have to be prepared in the details and study a lot. Soon I am having an audition for a fiction, I hope it goes well. We must always be ready.

Is there a character that you would like to imitate, but that you has not yet done?

Yes, a lot. The first that comes to mind is Adriano Celentano. He is a very exploited character and it is very difficult to imitate his voice to the best

In order to avoid to do something that everyone does?

I prefer that he remains an icon.

If you were to imitate Umbria how would you represent it?

I would show the genuine people with their great humanity. Then the colors of the valleys and the scent of grass and the land. Often Umbrian people are accused of being closed, I do not believe it at all. Indeed, we are very hospitable, we are always welcomed. I do not recognize myself in this closure and I do not even feel it. Those who come to visit Umbria are aware of our hospitality: many have told me it.

 

I know taht you love painting: have you ever represented Umbria?

Instead of going to the gym, I paint. I really like it and it relaxes me. I have often painted Umbria, its valleys, its colors and its light. It is a luminous land: yellow, orange and green. I love our landscapes and recently I put Collesecco on canvas. I would like to organize an exhibition and bring my paintings abroad too.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Familiar, welcoming, warm.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The smell of home.

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