Food and Wine
Food is a quintessential part of life in Umbria and there is an enormous variety of delights available for visitors to sample. Day-to-day life is often interrupted by festivals celebrating seasonal produce, so visitors should check the events section of our website to see a list of festivals in the vicinity of Chiesa del Carmine.
There are a variety of markets in the area for those in search of fresh produce and these are worth the early morning rise. For example, in nearby Umbertide on Wednesday mornings, visitors have the chance to sample one of the region’s specialities: the delicious porchetta (roast suckling pig seasoned with sage or rosemary, fennel, and plenty of salt and pepper) served warm in fresh bread rolls. Also available in abundance are the fresh pecorino cheeses, wild porcini mushrooms, local wines and vegetables. The atmosphere is wonderful. We can advise of more specialities to discover at the other weekly markets nearby.
Umbria is famous for its truffles and olive oils. It produces the highest percentage of extra virgin olive oil in Italy and the quality has to be tasted to be believed. When in season, truffles are incorporated into everything from omelettes to pasta, salads and meat dishes. Lake Trasimeno yields fresh water fish, but Umbria is meat-eating territory, so game features strongly on all menus, with various birds, hare and wild boar being staples.
Umbria is also famous for the tiny lentils from Castelluccio and the pork products from the southern town of Norcia. ‘Norcino’ has come to mean ‘pork butcher’, so famous are the salami, sausages and hams produced here. Salsiccia di cinghiale (wild boar sausages) and stringozzi pasta are other delicacies worth sampling. We can recommend a large variety of restaurants in the area where you can try some of the above.
No visit to Italy is complete without sampling some of the wines of Umbria and Tuscany. These are two of Italy’s most famous wine producing areas and Chiesa del Carmine is ideally situated for visits to both.
Visitors interested in wine touring should be sure to visit Orvieto, Torgiano and Montefalco for the opportunity to see and taste wines from some of the finest vineyards in Umbria. Wines not to miss include Orvieto Classico, Sagrantino di Montefalco and Torgiano Rosso Riserva. Also worth trying are the wines of Lake Trasimeno and Assisi. It is also worth spending a few hours visiting the superb wine and olive oil museum at Lungarotti Estate, where two of Italy’s finest reds are produced.
In neighbouring Tuscany the wine heritage is equally rich, especially in Montepulciano and Montalcino. Both these regions are easily accessible by day trip from Chiesa Del Carmine and visitors must sample the sublime Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino.