The meaning of the name is: “The street where you can kiss the ladies” -two people cannot pass in the narrow street but have to wait until the street is empty.
Considered one of the narrowest streets in Italy it was probably made like this because of a dispute between two neighbours who did not want the walls of their houses to touch.
Cittá della Pieve is a charming medieval Umbrian hill top town with very nice restaurants, bars, a theatre, museums and all kind of shops. It is full of small alleys with nooks and corners where cars cannot pass and despite this people actually live there, it always reminds me a bit of Venice but without the water.
It is only 20 minutes drive from Montegiove and one of my favourite places nearby.
Very easy weeknight or lunch dish. Can be served with a piece of bread, mashed potatoes or rice and all kind of vegetables that goes well with the salmon (green beans, fennel, broccoli, pees etc).
4-500 g Salmon (skinless and no bones)
350 g Mushrooms (chopped)
Bunch of spring onions (chopped)
1 teaspoon of flour
2 teaspoons of mustard
Knob of butter
3 dl vegetable stock
½ dl Cream
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Butter an ovenproof baking dish and place the pieces of salmon in the dish.
Melt the butter in a pan, add chopped spring onions and mushrooms and fry for 5-10 minutes. Add mustard, flour and vegetable stock and cook for a couple of minutes add the thyme leaves and cream. Cook for 5-10 minutes until cream starts to thicken, season with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the salmon in the baking dish and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool slightly.
In Montegiove we have our own porchettaro -Franco, he is famous all over Umbria because of his high quality porchetta. He travels around to markets and special events and sells the porchetta in delicious panini. This spring he bought a fantastic new porchetta van and it is just super cute.
To make the porchetta he gets up in the middle of the night to prepare the boneless pork, stuff it with all kind of wild herbs, rosemary, wild fennel etc. and roast it for hours and hours in his traditionally wood oven, the roasting time is around 8 hours.
Porchetta is on the list of traditional Italian foods held to have cultural relevance.
This morning a sweet neighbour brought a basket full of delicious flavorful tomatoes. Just can’t wait to transform them into a fantastic caprese salad with mozzarella cheese, bake them filled with rice and basil leaves or eat them just as they are with salt, pepper and drops of Montegiove olive oil.
The evergreen oak trees (Quercus Ilex) in the courtyard were planted in the beginning of 1900 when Lorenzo’s grandfather was born. On these old black and white family photo from 1906, he is standing with his mother in the garden and you can see the young trees in the background. Today more than 100 years later, the tree tops reaches the lover part of the roof.
Before the castle was converted from fortress into country home, there was a wall all the way around the courtyard, but to let light in and to make the garden more open and welcoming the wall was taken down and the trees was planted also as windbreak for the tramontana.
We just love finding old photos and uncover the history of the castle. It is fascinating to think about the Misciattelli generations that lived here before us.
May is the Elderflower season in Montegiove and it is the first sign of spring turning into summer.
When the beautiful flower is blooming, it looks just like a ballet tulle skirt, ready to be worn by an Elderflower Fairy.
The Elderflower Cordial is one of the most refreshing drinks for the summer.
20 Heads of Elderflower (preferable without bugs)
Sugar 1 kg
3 Organic lemons (Juice from two and one lemon in slices)
1 l boiling water
1. Shake the heads of the elderflowers well, picking off any bugs.
2. Place the elderflowers, sugar, lemon juice and lemon slices in a large bowl.
3. Add the boiling water and stir.
4. Leave in a cold place to infuse for 2-3 days stirring occasionally.
5. Strain through clean fine muslin cloth into a clean bowl.
6. Fill the cordial into clean sterilized bottles. Store in a cool dark place or freeze in plastic containers to keep for longer.
Drink cold or hot diluted with water, -also delicious combined with lemon juice in a sorbet.
This little fellow woke us up one rainy morning; he was sitting outside on the window bars insisting on rehearsing his oop-oop-oop over an over again. Very charming to start with but after a while it got a little monotonous and we got up to find out what it was all about.
It felt very special to witness this pretty bird singing and we managed to make a blurry photo through the window glass.
In Italy the Upupa is also known as the butterfly bird. When it fly it looks like a giant butterfly as the wings are half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats. It is also called the Legionary Bird because of its distinctive “crown” of feathers on the top of the head that it can open like a fan.
It is a colourful and very pretty bird known back to ancient Egypt and it is one of the fascinating animals that live in the forest around Castello di Montegiove.