Monthly Archives: March 2010
5. Taste free chocolate at the Perugina factory.
Most of the Italian classes will be touring the home of the world-famous chocolate and hazelnut baci this week, but if you missed out, pick up a bus ticket and go on your own for a free tour and tasting!
4. Relax by the shore of Lago Trasimeno.
The biggest lake in central and south Italy, Lago Trasimeno is only an hour away from the center of Perugia by train. There are several sleepy towns around the lake with gelato and docks for relaxing, but the Umbra staff suggests going to Castiglione del Lago for its impressive views and historic center.
3. Walk through the “underground city,” over the Roman acqueduct, and into the Duomo. We walk past these landmarks around town everyday, but have you ever actually been inside? Perugia’s most interesting historical sites are all free and right here in the center: the Roman Acqueduct, the Etruscan Well, the Tempietto and Tower of Sant’Angelo, the Duomo, and the Rocca Paolina. Talk to Zack if you need help finding these spots.
2. Eat Pasta alla Norcina, Torta con Salsiccia ed Erba, and Hot Chocolate from Augusta Perusia! Pasta with Umbrian sausage and truffles, typical Umbria torta, and to-die-for hot chocolate… you can’t go home without trying these Perugia specialties.
1. Picnic in the grass on a sunny afternoon at San Francesco.
At the bottom of Via dei Priori you’ll find the church of San Francesco and the big grass lawn in front. Pick up sandwiches from Parma (another Perugia must-eat) and bring a blanket and your iPod… perfect for reading, catching up with friends, or meeting local Italian students.
Just as the weather in Perugia is starting to warm up and the main corso is filling with caffe tables and white umbrellas, students in Umbra’s Food Cultures class had a chance to visit a local artisanalgelateria to see how Italy’s famous summertime treat is made. Signora Paola at the Fonte Maggiore gelateria, located in Piazza IV Novembre just behind the fountain in the center of Perugia, makes all of her gelato in-house and using only fresh ingredients — no preservatives or artificial flavorings here. Students saw how she and her assistants make both the cream and fruit-based flavors, and had a chance to sample the fior di latte, green apple, and tiramisu varieties. Not suprisingly, gelato makes for a pretty tasty field trip!
Her name is a little bit different in Italian, but that didn’t present any sort of linguistic barrier to the Umbra Institute students participating in a fundraiser for Unicef. The project involves sewing together rag dolls, which are then sold to raise money for hunger prevention and vaccinations in the developing world. Umbra intern Paola D’Amora coordinated the effort and organized the dozen Umbra students that work with Perugians to make the dolls. This is the second semester that Umbra students have been at the heart of the fundraiser, an accomplishment noted in several local newspapers.
McCurry shot the famous photograph “Afghan Girl” (whose name he later found out to be Sharbat Gula) which was published on the cover of National Geographic Magazine in June 1985. The photo was deemed “most recognized photograph” in the history of National Geographic.
The exhibit (which drew more than 120,000 visitors while in Milan) will include a collection of McCurry’s work, photographs taken in Afghanistan, India, Tibet and Burma. It will be on display in Perugia through September 5, 2010.
No none knows what came first, the chicken or the egg, and just as mysterious is whether the Hershey’s kiss or the Perugina bacio was first. Original or copy, the bacio tastes just as good on the lips, and to celebrate that product the Perugina (originally a Perugian-owned company, now part of Nestlé) is sponsoring a kissing contest.
Pucker up, kids, and have your friends ready to say “formaggio” (actually, Italians in front of a camera say “Cheez!”). Send in your best pictures and, if you happen to be in Perugia, drop by for a tour as well. And remember not to eat too much free candy ahead of time!
“Big Ben and Friends” by Sarah DeNapoli from the University of Denver! Sarah will enjoy a free pizza from Quattro Passi Pizzeria. Complimenti!
Assisi by Ruth Orbach
Spanish Guitar by Emily Bostin
Big Ben by Sarah DeNapoli
No Pasa Nada by Alexandra Millrood
Verona by Bobby Coutu
Thousands of foreigners have passed through Perugia in the last century, and yet it’s hard to know what they thought about the city. Except for a few quotes from some of the more illustrious travelers of the recent past, the archives are empty. Umbra Institute staff member Zach Nowak decided to remedy this situation. Using his little publishing company, Nowak set up a contest for a Perugia anthology.
After two years of work, the anthology is finally out. While it’s already in local bookstores (and the library: call number 853.91 WHY), the official presentation is (in English) next week on Wednesday night at Caffè Morlacchi. Among the featured writers are two Umbra professors (Cynthia Clough and Naoimh O’Connor) and three formers students, another example of Umbra’s contributions to the local community.
With Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday) yesterday, Carnevalecame to an end. Children and adults alike celebrated during the day and night by wearing costumes, masks, and painting their faces. Last weekend, some fortunate Umbra students even found themselves at the celebration’s epicenter, Venice, masquerading about in good tradition. Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, masque and public street party. People often dress up during the festival, which mark an overturning of daily life.
Traditionally in Christianity, carnival marked the last opportunity to celebrate and to use up special foods not allowed during Lent. The term Carnevale is in fact derived from older Italian, meaning to “remove meat” literally “raising the flesh”, and thus raising meat from the diet for the season of Lent. The Lenten period of the Church calendar, being the six weeks directly before Easter, was marked by fasting and other pious or penitential practices. Traditionally during Lent, no parties or other celebrations were held, and people refrained from eating rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fats and sugar. While it forms an integral part of the Christian calendar, particularly in Catholic regions, some carnival traditions may date back to pre-Christian times. The ancient Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Bacchanalia may possibly have been absorbed into the Italian Carnival.