Perugia, Italy...12 July, 2010
Yesterday was a day off in Roma. I walked for three hours in the blazing sunshine and made a return trip to the cafe from the previous day for one more pizza and a couple of cold, creamy Moretti bierra. Came back for a little siesta on the veranda then we all met downstairs to watch the final game of the World Cup aided by many glasses of beer. A few of us went for a very late dinner of pasta after the game and I followed that with a night cap with Anna and Mike McGoldrick and Heidi and John McCusker.
Wide awake this morning at 6 and by 7:30 hadn't gone back to sleep. Still, I was determined to catch a few more winks and difted back off at last until 10:30. I'm glad I did as it would have been a very long day without those extra few hours sleep. When I did wake up I was still full of last night's dinner and beer so bypassed breakfast including the coffee, put my togs on and took my measure of humiliation down the gym for 90 minutes. Back to the room and STILL not hungry, I parked out on the veranda, read and drank up the Roma sunshine. There was a bowl of beautiful, large nectarines in the room and I was finally beginning to feel peckish....it was incredible. Italy has the best fruit I've ever tasted, perfectly delicious, loaded with flavour, juicy and sweet. Drifted off for a siesta then time to get ready for the gig. With a few minutes to spare before departing the hotel, Dan, Mike and I went next door for a double espresso latte. Another miracle of Italy.
We flew to Perugia, a beautiful city with outlying agriculture. Perugia is known of balsamic vinegar, produce, salamis, porcini mushrooms and black truffles. The local catering served, along with other things, a pasta with black truffles and mushrooms that was one of the best things I've every tasted.
Tonight's show was part of the Umbria Jazz Festival, a long standing festival that has stages and venues all around the area and some top drawer artists this year includine, Sonny Rollins, Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller and many more...including Mark Knopfler. A beautiful outdoor setting with a gorgeous church spire in the background. A wonderfully played show and the audience was fab. A great gig all round.
A runner back to Roma, fueled by veal scallopini, rosemary sauteed potatoes, red wine and tiramisu.
Tomorrow is a return to the magical restaurant, Lagana for lunch. Stay tuned.