Monday, June 1, 2015

A Walk Among the Castiglion Fiorentino Countryside

On Thursday, May 28th we hiked for over an hour, about four miles, through the hill country as we made our way to a pizza making class at Mulino Vecchio del Cilone, an Italian couple’s home. On our stroll Rosella showed us many plants growing along the way such as artichoke, garlic, barley, and wheat plants as well as cherry and olive trees, grape vines and roses. The sweet aroma of honeysuckle followed us throughout our walk. All of these plants were scattered throughout the hill country in each home's personal garden. Rosella told us that family's here do not share gardens or land and that they take great pride in their gardens. It is a major aspect of their homes, which we later saw firsthand at Romano and Giovanna's home.

At around 10 in the morning we reached our destination at Romano and Giovanna’s to begin our pizza making class. We were greeted right away with Italian hospitality as they had already laid out snacks and water and freshly baked bruschetta topped with olive oil for us. Can you say delicious? Starting with flour, salt, yeast and olive oil we each began to knead our dough. Romano had already made our pizza dough and had it prepared in baking sheets ready to go into the oven before we even arrived, so we used the dough we made to bake “flower” bread. With the bread finished we all began to add toppings, all from their personal garden, to our pizzas. Italians really enjoy making things from scratch and with the freshest ingredients possible.

After an hour of bake time we devoured everything we had made paired with a glass of wine that was also made from Romano and Giovanna's own grapes. It was all so yummy and full of rich and fresh flavors. After a wonderful afternoon exploring the countryside and making homemade pizza with the friendliest of people we headed back to Santa Chiara for the remainder of the evening.


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