Travel assignments are the very best. Travel assignments like going to Italy in the Summer and a dream brief to celebrate the food culture of Umbria with the lovely Nadia Lim is why I love my job.
We travelled by car from France, which we decided was the best way to see both countries, we love a long road trip with good snacks and podcasts. Mount Blanc was spectacular! We crossed the border at Chamonix through the famous tunnel which connects France and Italy under the highest peak in Europe. The tunnel is 11.6km long and Courmayeur [Italy] welcomed us at the exit. We immediately noticed a change in the landscape and the architecture. Our twelve-hour journey brought us to Guardia, a small village in Umbria, Italy.
Our little Citroën was covered in Italian dust from the dirt roads and detours to capture the beautiful landscape.
We had to change our Bonjour and Merci to Ciao and Grazie. We were invited to a home-made prosciutto and courgette pizza dinner- camera in hand – at Nadia’s vacation villa, set in a 10-acre olive grove with a perfect sunset backdrop.
The next day we discovered Lugnano in Teverina, and its gelato, we were there during a heatwave, so more gelato than usual was not frowned upon, luckily. The town is on a lone hill surrounded by its medieval walls with beautiful ancient palazzos. We spent hours wondering the narrow stone paths listening to the passionate conversations of the friendly locals who gather on their chairs outside their homes.
We visited the local vegetable farm in Guardea run by Alviano, the friendly farmer who was happy to pose shirtless with his perfect vegetables and suntan. Nadia prepared a beautiful lunch using his fresh local produce. On the menu : Eggplant parmigiana, pesto with tagliatelle, grilled marinated lamb chops, grilled radiccio and green beans, tomato salad with mint, cannellini beans with spinach, garlic, lemon and parsley, twice-cooked rosemary and lemon potatoes and finished with lemon, rosemary and olive oil cake and zabaglione summer peaches.