Thursday, July 5, 2018

Southern Lazio: Alvito, Atina, Posta Fibreno

It was afternoon and I was hankering for some wine. Luckily for me our next stop was the Cominium Winery in Alvito. We beat the owner, Maria Pinto, so we wandered out onto the hill overlooking the vineyards rolling away under heavy clouds. The brilliant green grass was startling against the grey. Maria arrived and so did a burst of energy. 
This lady loves her business and loves Americans. She and her husband are transplants from a different region. After making wine and tasting wine made organically and non-organically, they made the difficult decision to go organic. Being a certified organic winery is extremely hard to do. It’s a family affair and each giant barrel and vat is named after a family member. 
Of course Joe had to pose in front of Peppe (Joe’s nickname in Latin America). She talked Izzy into climbing on top of one of the barrels. That was the end of those jeans until we got back to Rome to wash them.
Maria showed us the much coveted cork tree, and then she took us across the street to her house for a food paired tasting on the lawn with the view of the other half of the vineyard. She insisted on showing us her home. 
She explained each artifact and put her grandfather’s army hat on Izzy. This is the third time in three days someone has put a hat on her! Poor kid, but she bore it well as she giggled nervously about what the hat might contain. We were led right through the master bedroom to her balcony. What a gorgeous view!
Finally to Vicolo Maggiore B&B owned by Roseline Orofiamma. Roseline became our sidekick for several of the excursions after that and grew quit attached to her. She’s Italian, but born and raised in France. Now she has a home in Alvito (my favorite town), and a home in Paris.
After we got settled into our lovely rooms we left for dinner in Atina. The restaurant, Il Vicolo , was really nice, but I didn’t take any photos. Davide Tamburrini was our waiter (and the owner) and gave excellent attention to the food. He was a little bashful when he talked to us and would scurry off to bring us more treats.
The next morning we woke up to an amazing view of the valley blanketed in fog. I’ll never forget watching the fog slowly lift and reveal the verdant green valley floor. The B&B had a kitchen (with a stocked fridge and baskets of fruit and goodies), family room and two bedrooms, with a shared bathroom. Both bedrooms had doors to little tiny balconies, which opened wide to reveal the Alvito and valley.
We walked down to the town center for an espresso at Antica Pasticceria Di Tullio. Mauro Fazio popped in to take a tour the little town hall and theater of Alvito. We even got pulled into the mayor’s office where the secretary looked up in surprise. Down the hall was a civic room where Vanessa got married.

Vanessa drove us up to the Cantelmo Castle. This was a big hit for the three of us. Our hostess at the B&B, Roseline, joined us. No one was at the castle with us, we just wandered around.
There weren’t placards with descriptions, no fence, just a beautiful old castle. After we’d investigated to our heart’s content, Vanessa introduced us to our trail guide, Stefano Gaetani (with Compagnia dei Viandanti).
He led us to an overgrown path, we’d never have been able to find on our own. It was an easy two hour walk along the side of the mountains to the next castle of Vicalvi. During the walk Stefano stopped frequently to point out plants alongside the trail.
He kept a pair of clippers handy and would snip off wild asparagus or herbs for us to munch on.
We drove down to a little lake with a town around it for lunch, Posta Fibreno. This community had a different feel to it… like a summer resort-kinda-place. Daniele Quadrini welcomed us into his restaurant, Smile Pub for an early lunch (he opened the doors early) and he prepared a meal just for us. Apparently the word had gotten out that we were carnivores and Americans, so he made us the Italian version of hamburgers. They bring out all the fixings and then the hamburger patty on a plate… you build it yourself. He sat down with us and a couple of his friends to eat.
Then another lady came in and sat at their end of the table. It turned into a community meeting about their most pressing subject—how to get the word out that Southern Lazio is a beautiful area for tourists.

No comments:

Post a Comment