18 August, 2019
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INGREDIENTS:
  • 600 g of leavened bread dough
  • 3 large onions
  • 12-15 sage leaves
  • ½ glass of extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • olive oil or lard for the cake tin

 

DIRECTIONS:

Peel the onions, cut them into thin slices, roll them out on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Leave them for a hour, then squeeze them well. Grease a not too high rectangular cake tin, arrange the bread dough in a no more than a centimeter layer and sprinkle the surface with washed and dried slices of onion and sage leaves. Sprinkle the surface of the flatbread pizza with a little olive oil and cook it in the oven at about 180 ° for 30-40 minutes. The white flatbread can be served both cold and hot.

 

The crushed onion – which in Città di Castello it is called pampassato – is known throughout Umbria. The white flatbread can be made with the onion only or with the leaves of rosemary and, in the absence of anything else, only with a little salt on the surface. In Norcia, where it was usually made together whith the bread and where it was also called “spianata”, next to the poorer versions (with salt, ciccioli or rosemary), it is matched with zucchini, tomatoes and sometimes potatoes.

 

 

Courtesy of Calzetti-Mariucci

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

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…

INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE
  • 1.5 kg of freshwater shrimp
  • A few leaves of mint
  • fresh marjoram
  • parsley
  • garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons of extravirgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

 

 

PREPARATION

Put a pot with salt water on the stove and, when it boils, add the prawns. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until they have turned red; drain and let it cool. In the meantime, chop mint, parsley, marjoram and garlic, mix with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. Remove the shell, then the intestines; place them in a bowl, season with the sauce and serve.

 

This recipe belongs  from the area of Terni, where there is Piediluco lake. In Norcia and in Foligno, people made fried shrimps instead: tails, once clean, are fried in hot oil, salt and pepper. In areas where water offered shrimp, those who fished them put them in large buckets and then passed through the streets of the city to sell them.

 

 

Courtesy of Calzetti-Mariucci Editore.

[For 8 people]

Ingredients for ravioli: 

  • 600 g flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 kg of ricotta
  • 5 eggs
  • 10 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of rum
  • 3 tablespoons of alckermes
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon

Season with: sugar and cinnamon 

 

Preparation:

Blend ricotta with a fork, add the eggs, sugar, arckermes, rum and cinnamon. Prepare, with the eggs, flour and a pinch of salt, a normal phyllo dough; make ravioli. Boil and season with cinnamon and sugar.

The sweet ravioli in Norcia – or, as they call them in that city, cravioli – were served in winter, for Carnival, sometimes as a dessert, others as a single dish, others as a first course. They could also be fried; in this case they are cold-served.

 

 

Courtesy of Calzetti – Mariucci Editore 

 «The game that satisfied me the most? The one in favor of the people of Norcia hit by the earthquake».

More than two hundred matches in A Series, international referee since 2007 – 2017 was his last season because he reached age limits – seventeen years of activity with the debut in the top flight in 2003 and Élite Uefa referee since 2012. These are the numbers of Paolo Tagliavento, the most representative whistle in Umbria and beyond. During the game, he is strict, in order to guide the twenty-two players; on the contrary, with us he is easy-going and kind. He is an Umbrian proud of his land.

 

Paolo Tagliavento

What is your bond with Umbria and with Terni?
It is a very strong bond, because I was born in Terni, I grown up there and I still live there. I love my region and I am very fond of the people I have lived with and who have been part of my childhood.

Do you think that Umbria is a region that is “out of the game”, cut off from other realities?
For the position it has, it’s a bit cut off because of its infrastructures. For example, I often use the car for my travels. Fiumicino is not far, so I also take the plane when I leave far away, while the train is not really comfortable. In some ways, being a little out of nowhere can be an advantage, because you can experience peace and tranquility.

If Umbria was a football rule, what would it be?
The edge. Which is a special rule: when you apply it makes the game more bearable. The edge of Umbria is in its landscapes, food and life.

Is there a game that you always wanted to referee but you has not done yet?
I could say the final of the World Cup, because it is the dream of any referee and few people get there. Instead, I will tell you the game that satisfied me the most: a charity game after the earthquake of 2016, which was held in Norcia between actors and civil protection personnel. It was something concrete for Umbria and it made me very proud.

The Umbrians are accused of being narrow-minded, do you recognize yourself in this stereotype?
No, it never happened to me. Perhaps in the northern part of Umbria they are more narrow minded than Terni, which is influenced by the Roman way of living.

Are there in Umbria young referees who could reach your level?
There is an excellent school of arbitration assistants, who have reached good levels. As for the referees in the Lega Pro and Series D there is someone for it could make their way.

What would you recommend?
I would advise him to give its best, always. To have passion and to make sacrifices, because only in this way we can reach these levels. Passion is the driving force, but it is not enough. It also takes commitment and hunger to reach the goal. This profession should be put a little in front of everything. The funnel is very tight and few come in the A series. But I would also recommend to have fun and enjoy.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?
Beautiful, unique, open-minded.

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

As has already happened before, but in this case, it comes from a small strip of wounded land in the heart of the “Heart of Italy”. A sprout of future for Italy and Europe.

Montanari testoni

 

Four documentaries, four stories about Valnerina’s rebirth. A year after the earthquake that hit central Italy, four documentaries, written, produced and realized with the Restart project. Comunità Resistenti by MenteGlocale – permanent laboratory of social communication, based in Perugia – tell the stories of a land, the Umbrian Valnerina, which reacted to the earthquake’s material and moral damages.
Norcia, Campi, Cascia, Ruscio: the earthquake struck the populations touching them in the affections, in the habits and in the small and great security of everyday life. These mountaineers were injured but not defeated, and in some cases they were able to react to the difficulties by rolling up their sleeves. Written by Filippo Costantini, Giorgio Vicario and Daniele Suraci, who has also directed and edited the Restart project. Comunità Resistenti, it was created with the contribution of Corecom Umbria, through the 2017 Community TV competition.

The four docu-films

The four docu-films try to tell the stories of these territories, the stories little known or that few tell. People and places are the protagonists, who go beyond the earthquake and try to roll up their sleeves to start over and move on.

 

  • Montanari testoni

Born in November 2016 in Norcia, inside a field tent, the Montanari Testoni association was promoted by a group of young people from the territory to face together the adversities related to the earthquake. It was created to talk and discuss the personal and collective situation and to propose activities of participation, sharing, collaboration and cultural promotion dedicated to the inhabitants of Norcia. From a collection center for food and clothes, a real social center, the container has hosted in recent months – and continues to do so – condominium meetings, workshops for children, film clubs and much more, until the rehearsals of the famous Corale di Norcia, left without a seat, and has now become a fundamental reference point for the entire nursery community.

 

Sisters of Cascia

Sisters of Cascia

 

  • Rita

In Cascia, after the shock of October 30th, 2016, several buildings became unusable, but except for a few cases there were no collapses. For security reasons, for the first time in the history of Cascia the Basilica of Santa Rita was closed and the Augustinian cloistered nuns had to leave the monastery, returning after a few weeks. They tell the life in the Cloistered Monastery of the Sisters of Cascia and the relationship between the Casciani and Saint Rita: in a Cascia hit by the earthquake the icon of the Saint is a concrete presence of hope for the future.

 

  • Maddalena

Ruscio is a small fraction of the Municipality of Monteleone di Spoleto composed by two-storey houses, historical buildings, three churches, two squares, a bridge and many fountains. The village develops along a single road cut by a bridge that divides Ruscio above from Ruscio below. The fraction, where there are permanently seventy people, has not suffered much damage. The material signs of the recent earthquakes are there, but they are not very strong: the most evident damages are in people and are linked to the fear of depopulation, to the fear that at least for a few years it will no longer be the same. Every year in the summer the rusciari scattered in the world return to the small Umbrian village to spend their holidays, repopulating houses that for most of the year are carefully guarded by the few stable inhabitants of the country. On August 24th the traditional Rusciari Dinner is celebrated, an indispensable moment to say goodbye before returning to their places of residence. In 2016, due to the earthquake, the dinner was canceled.

 

  • Doctormonster

Back to Campi is the dream of Roberto Doctormonster Sbriccoli, bricklayer-dj of Campi, a fraction of the Municipality of Norcia strongly affected by the shocks of 2016. The upper part of the village is red zone, all the houses are unusable, and several are collapsed. Between the upper and lower parts of the village stands the headquarters of the Pro Loco, a structure inaugurated just four days before the earthquake of August 24th, 2016 and built by the inhabitants of Campi – ed by Doctormonster. A class four anti-seismic structure that was immediately used as an emergency reception center. In the weeks following the shock, it hosted up to ninety people, proving to be fundamental for shelter and assistance. Animator and coordinator of the space was Docmonster, who is also the president of the Pro Loco. These were difficult days, full of discouragement and nervousness, but that place was fundamental. Today many of the inhabitants of Campi live in the newly delivered containers and wooden houses.
Docmonster has a dream called Back to Field, a € 4 million project that aims to build a multi-purpose center for tourism and sport on a newly acquired site by Pro Loco. It is a project that aims to provide a complete and equipped with all the services to those who will be on vacation in the summer (before the earthquake many people choose this place for summer holidays) in these areas and has the ambition to be a multi-purpose center for pre-season retreats of the teams of different sports. Docmonster took it upon himself to realize this project.

 

 


The video: http://www.menteglocale.com/

A route made of byroads, paths, riverbanks and perched villages. This is what the Greenway is about.

Marmore Waterfall

Marmore Waterfall

 

A pedestrian and cycle path has been created in the green heart of Valnerina, with the aim of letting people know and live these places which have been neglected far too long. It is a 180-kilometre ring dedicated to nature lovers. It is not too difficult nor too challenging and allows the wanderers to enjoy the landscape along the Nera River and its outfalls as well as the local cultural aspect, which can be appreciated while crossing the historical villages.

The Idea

The Greenway has been thought to promote Valnerina and the area belonging to the mountain community. However, there is more. It started, indeed, as a real environmental emergency, to preserve the landscape while exploiting its huge potential, but respecting its ecological balance at the same time. Thus, it has become a straightforward learning tool about nature and its articulate shapes, the place where a creative and engaging approach can be experimented to attract new forms of tourism and knowledge of the territory.

The routes

The first step to connect the visitor to the territory has been identifying and arranging an alternative route, which you can either walk or ride on a bike or a horse. The starting point is at Marmore Waterfall, which is also the arrival point. It is a ring completely immersed in greenery, which allows the tourist to enter an unchartered world made of green paths and enchanting villages. Thus, in a place beloved by Lord Byron and all the other travellers who revered the Grand Tour, you can set off on a long route partly formed by chartered paths: Benedectine trails, the Via Francigena, and the former Spoleto-Norcia railway.
From the Marmore Falls to the fork to Preci it is possible to walk along the Nera. The left bank of the river is entirely viable and is one of the most interesting dirt roads of central Italy. From there it is possible to take a mountain trail which has been connected and which crosses Preci, Norcia, Cascia, Monteleone di Spoleto, Salto del Cieco, Piediluco, Prati di Stroncone and then goes back to the Waterfall going though Campacci di Marmore (The upper Belvedere).

 

Marmore Waterfall

 

As a ring, the Greenway can be followed one way or the other. As to make it accessible to anybody, it has been divided into sixteen stretches, each of them a ring itself, so that it is easier for the travellers to go back to the starting point without having to follow the same route. Many of the stretches along the river, from the Falls to Preci, are mostly flat even though the mountainous ones on the way back to the Fall can present quite challenging climbs. Yet, these can be avoided by choosing the alternative paved and low-traffic routes. Each of these routes is five to twenty-two kilometres long. By joining several trails, you can plan a journey any length you like. Each route, clearly indicated by signposts, goes through residential areas where public services are provided. Moreover, along the route all the paths that take to the protected natural areas are clearly signalled.

A trip for everybody

 The Greenway is a route accessible to everybody. It is completely safe as it is dedicated to non-motorised users and it grants access to anyone thanks to the so-called “soft-traffic”, which allows the tourists to enjoy the area they are crossing slowly as to observe the surrounding landscape in all its aspects.

 

Nera River

Nera River

 


Sitografia: http://www.lagreenwaydelnera.it/it

“I assure you that it doesn’t need to be windy, because you would be in great danger. Even without wind, it is very horrible to see the valley from all sides and in particular to the right hand; because it is so horrible for the precipice and height that it is hard to believe (…) because if by misfortune your foot is missing, there is no other strength except that of God that could save it. ” (Antoine de la Sale, Queen Sybil’s Paradise)

The wind is undoubtedly one of the predominant features of the Sibillini Mountains, with that insistent and overpowering breath that seems to carry in the air an arcane voice, with its sometimes sinister flavor, up there, in that massive that rises impressive between Umbria and the Marche, in a zone heavily affected by the recent earthquake, but that guards, unchanged, beauty and wonder.

 

Sibilla Appenninica by Adolfo de Carolis

The unintelligible oracle

Right up there, between the Mount of the Sibyl, the gorges of the Infernaccio and Lake Pilato, are lurking ancient stories and legends, which are handed down, intertwined and transformed from generation to generation and still retain a magical and enchanting charm. In ancient times, Mount Sibilla attracted European people because it was thought that near its top there was a cave, oracle Sybil’s home.
We know that the cult of Sybil was very old, dating back to the classical era, during which the Sibyls were prophets who made ambiguous predictions, found in the leaves scattered by the wind.
Among the ten classic Sybils, however, does not appear the one of the Apennines, the one that gave the name to our mountains. Did the myth originate, as some scholars claim, from the Phoenician deity Cibele, the Great Mother, the goddess of nature and of the fertility that owned the gift of prophecy?
Or is it more recent, dating back to the Middle Ages, when pagan gods become Christian prophets? Was she “our” Sybil that, according to the legend, foretold the birth of Christ, and then, offended because God chose Mary as Mother of the Redeemer, rebelled against him and was confined for punishment in that lost cave?

The Queen's Double Face

The first person who talked about the Apennine Sibyl, in 1430, was Andrea da Barberino, with his novel Guerrin Meschino, a knight who asked Sybil’s advise trying to reveal the identity of his never-known parents. From this moment on, Sybil began to assume the semblance of a cruel and enchanting queen, a seducer capable of bringing a man to ruin, turning away from God and his precepts. And if Guerrin Meschino succeeded in contrasting her flatteries and, after a year, to escape the insidious kingdom and to obtain Pope’s forgiveness; the same thing did not happen to the German knight narrated a few years later by Antoine de La Sale in his opera Queen Sybil’s Paradise. The knight came to the Sibyl’s cave searching for adventures, but he was caught by her fascination so that only with great effort he managed to escape. He also went to the Pope asking for forgiveness, but the Pontiff hesitate in giving him his indulgence. So, upset, he returned to the realm of the Sibyl and didn’t come back ever again.
The popular legend, anyway, painted Sybil as a fairy surrounded by its maids, the Sibilline Fairies, who leave the cave mainly at night to go to Foce, Montemonaco, Montegallo, between Pian Grande, Pian Piccolo and Pian Perduto di Castelluccio di Norcia and Pretare, but they had to return before sunrise. It is told that during a dance they have lost their sense of time and, too late on the way back, they ran desperately with their goats’ feet, they formed the Road of Fairies, a fault at 2000 meters above Mount Vettore.

 

Drawing by Antoine de La Sale

A place devoted to the Devil

These are myths and legends, probably born for the necessity of understanding and, in some ways, justifying the impervious and imposing conformation of a territory that over the centuries has fascinated and at the same time frightened the inhabitants and the strangers who have faced their complexity.
So the Pilate’s lake, beautiful and impetuous, as the road to reach it, became the terrible place where Pontius Pilate was led, and, tied to a carriage of oxen by the will of the Emperor Vespasian, was dragged by the crazy animals at the very bottom of the little lake with “eyewear” where he drowned. Many writers and poets talk about Pilate’s lake as a place devoted to the devil, a destination elected by wizards and necromancers.
Fortunately, the pretty alpine pond, the only one in the Apennines, is still there, and contrary to what appeared to be after the 2016 earthquake, though with some backlash, the world’s most spectacular glasses keep watching us from the top of Mount Vettore.
Who loves hiking and nature’s majesty and, why not, with a little magical and fairy-tale flavor, does not miss the opportunity to go into these unique places, perhaps starting from Castelluccio di Norcia, who, in terms of legend, seems to be the favorite destination of the Sibyl’s Fairies during their night-time moves.

 


Andrea da Barberino, Guerrin Meschino

Antoine de la Sale, Il Paradiso della Regina Sibilla)

http://www.sibilliniweb.it/citta/la-sibilla-appenninica/

http://www.lifemarche.net/grotta-sibilla-linterpretazione-leggenda.html

http://ilcastellodelsole.blogspot.it/p/la-sibilla-appenninica.html

http://www.coninfacciaunpodisole.it/index.php/sibillinisegreti-il-blog-tour/189-sulle-tracce-della-sibilla-appenninica

Monti Sibillini, le più belle escursioni – Alberico Alesi e Maurizio Calibani (Società Editrice Ricerche)

 

 

More on Norcia

INGREDIENTS: 
  • 1 kg of quinces;
  • 300 g of carlina acanthifolia roots;
  • 1 l of cooked must
  • 200 g of sugar
     
PREPARATION

Wash the quinces, cut them into large slices, bake them in very little water for 30 minutes, peel them, remove their cores and place them with the baked must and sliced roots ​​in a stainless steel pot with thick bottom and walls . Cook on low heat and, when the apples are loose, combine the sugar. When a drop of quince jam, poured on an inclined plate, does not get down well, put in jars. Close the screw cap while the jam is still warm. Wait two months before opening the jar.

 
 

This quince jam is typical of the area of Norcia. The roots of carlina acanthifolia, with bitter taste, are collected in autumn, and they are useful inappetence and flu. You should not consume in excessive doses. 
 
 
 
Courtesy of Calzetti-Mariucci Editori 

 

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