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How Local Culture and Traditions Reinterpret SlowFood to Create Cittaslow, in Italy – part three

From Tuscany to Liguria, with a brief stop in Umbria

How Local Culture and Traditions Reinterpret SlowFood to Create Cittaslow, in Italy – part three

Claudia Astarita

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Another ideal place to experience some rural delicacies is Todi, in the Umbria region. Since ever, this beautiful region in Central Italy is considered the green heart of the country, thanks to a stunning vegetation that melds perfectly with dozens of architectural treasures of different styles and periods. Beyond its signature dish, called palomba alla ghiotta, a pigeon cooked with juices, red wine, olives, garlic, sage and rosemary. In Todi pig is a must (porchetta, for example, is the best pork sandwich in the world, and other delicious version can be tasted anywhere in Lazio), together with rabbits and hares. Other food that is worth tasting in the Umbria region are black truffles, mushrooms (and in particular porcini), and all sort of legumes, to be tasted in soups of on the typical bruschetta. Special bread in another must-eat, and the one with walnut is among the tastiest one can find there.

Moving northern, other Cittaslow can be found in the Cinque Terre National Park areas. Levanto, for example, is another medieval little city close to a tiny and delicious beach and with dozens of hiking trails nested among lemon trees, olive trees, vineyards and pine woods available on the hills just behind the coast. While travelling to Liguriait is important to know that anchovies are Levanto's fishy specialty, together with any other sort of seafood. Green beans and pesto are also very common in the Liguria region. The best pasta to mix pesto with is trofie, a spiral pasta made without eggs, while another typical pasta from Liguria is pansotti, that is ravioli with cheese and herbs, mixed with walnut sauce. Another specialty is "gattafin, a fried pastry purse stuffed with a savory mix of wild herbs, onions, egg and pecorino cheese. It's delicious on its own, but with a ragu sauce of wild boar, it's heaven on a plate". If you travel through Liguria, don't forget to sip some drops of limoncino, the northern version of the more famous Sicilian limoncello. All delicacies are available in the region, and this is what makes Levanto a good member for the Cittaslow club.

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