|Trevi, where we are staying neat the top of the hill|
|A completely enclosed hill town of a minor lord, in a |
pretty much original condition.
|The same hill town and its vantage point above the valley fog.|
|The hills of Umbria|
Our bus got us most of the way there, and we transferred to SUVs for the rest of the trip. 2500 acres here were purchased by seven families in 1486 as shared ownership. It has been passed down through the original folks to 25 families who now share the land. Most of it is too high for olives and wine, so they raise sheep for milk and wool and hunt truffles, which are more prevalent than you might expect. The village is settled in three sections and run by a president and four councilman. Our hosts were Mac and Francesca, who is the first councilwoman ever. Mac is from New Zealand and traveled a lot before happening upon Francesca and starting a life in the village with her. They have two young children, now in elementary school.
|Our hosts' home|
|Their pet pot-bellied pig|
|The village from the truffle area.|
|The dog in the back started to dig and the middle one showed|
up to join in the action and maybe score a treat. Luca has a
tool like a narrow hoe to assist with retrieving the truffle.
|The dog has found another truffle|
|Once again, a second dog joins in and Luca wields his hoe.|
|A handful of truffles|
|It was pretty nippy and there was a lot of frost on the hills.|
|Luca makes his way back with the dogs.|
|The sheep roamed up to the hill where we were enjoying the|
spoils of the truffle hunt.
|Mac and an assistant set up snacks while the guard dogs|
for the sheep hope for a treat. These dogs are not shepherds--
they use border collies for herding. The white dogs guard the
flock against predators.
|Luca weighs the day's catch -- only 4.5 ounces.|
One big day recently, he found 18 pounds, but
it was a big day for other truffle hunters too
and he only made $30-$40 per pound.
|They really don't look that tasty. I begin to understand, |
however, why there are chocolate treats called truffles.
|Luca scrambled eggs and fresh truffle is shaved over each|
bowl, along with olive oil, for a delicious snack.
|Francesca breaks a dozen eggs into a 'bowl' of|
|She 'beats' the eggs with her hand (she says the warmth of her|
hands is helpful) before gradually mixing in the flour and
kneading to the right consistency, just like when we made
orecchetti a couple days ago.
|She works with a huge rolling pin to get the dough to the|
proper thickness for noodles. When the dough is finally thin
enough, she folds it from each end toward the middle to make
the flattened tube you see below.
|She thinly slices across the flattened tube a bunch of times|
before sliding the back side of the knife under the middle
of the sliced tubes.
|Lifting and shaking, she releases the cut |
noodles revealing the fettuccine.