Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunday in Viterbo

No big treks to Rome today. This sunday we slept in a bit and awoke to clear but chilly temps. This will not impress any of our friends in Iowa but it was too cold and windy for enjoyable road cycling and too wet and muddy to take the MTB's out. Instead we walked around the town exploring before visiting the Etruscan museum. We're in the heart of Etruscan country and here's a view from the top floor of the museum. If you look close you can see snow on the faraway peak. After the museum we joined our friends for pranzo at their apartment just outside the city walls. Our Italian "Mamma" Rosanna made a wonderful umbrichelli pasta dish using handmade noodles created with the help of a "chitarra" (guitar in English) which is a wooden box strung with wires at high tension just like a guitar. It even makes a guitar-like sound when strummed! A sheet of fresh pasta (Mamma Rosanna adds an egg to the standard flour and water recipe) is laid over the strings (there are two strung sides, one narrow, one wider) and then a small rolling pin is rolled over, forcing the pasta strips to be cut by the wires and fall into the slanted bottom where they can be extracted. We brought a wine from nearby Umbria, which is still in Etruscan country to enjoy with the meal. We ate so much we returned home, took a nap and a bath and skipped dinner entirely! La dolce vita -- indeed!

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